News archive


20. November 2009.

In a photograph below, together with the Serbian President Boris Tadic, are Semra Hiseni and Milan Jovanovic from Presevo, Suada Latifi and Nikola Milanovic from Bujanovac, Milica Sukovic and Aljban Salihu from Medvedja, as well as 145 other children, who are secondary school students from South Serbia and the Coordination Body’s scholars. At the end of the eventful day, the students, who were immensely impressed, couldn’t suppress their excitement.

Set out below in the text are some of their impressions:

„I like Belgrade a lot, it is a very nice city, and I’m very happy and excited. I don’t know what to say or what I feel now. I liked the reception hosted by President Tadic a lot,” said Semra Hiseni, a student from Presevo, at the end of the day. 

Suada Latifi from Bujanovac said: “I liked our being at the Serbian Parliament the most, because I felt very good there”, while Milica Sukovic from Medvedja said: “We had a very good time, we liked the buildings we visited a lot, while we loved the reception held by President Tadic.”  

“I really liked the city, as well as everything we saw that day, but I also liked our meeting with President Tadic. I like our capital city a great deal,” said Nuran Aliji.

They came to the capital city to be present at a ceremony at which they were to receive scholarship agreements. On that occasion, apart from meeting with the Serbian President, they also saw the Serbian Parliament’s chamber and the City Hall. They also took a walk in the city center and Kalemegdan Park. Finally, scholarship agreements were given to the students at a ceremony held at the Palace of Serbia.  In addition to the agreements, „Srpska“Bank presented as a gift to each student a savings book with a 5,000 dinar deposit in it. The city assembly and „Telekom Srbija“also gave becoming presents to the students, thus making their stay in Belgrade more enjoyable. At the very beginning of the students’ visit to Belgrade, Milan Markovic, President of the Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja and Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, wished them a warm welcome. He said he wished they would get to know Belgrade well and expressed hope that they would love their stay in Belgrade. He also said: “You’ll soon become teachers, MPs and craftsmen. However, we wish that you firstly became good people, while the Coordination Body, along with MP Riza Halimi and the presidents of your municipalities, will do everything to provide you with the appropriate school textbooks, as well as with the possibility of doing university studies in your own language and in the place were you live. Such a possibility already exists in Medvedja. “  

While talking with secondary school students from the municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, the Serbian President Boris Tadic pointed out that it was a great privilege for him to have them at the Serbian Presidency’s building. He also expressed hope that they were given a good reception in the capital city.  During a talk with the students of Albanian, Serbian and Roma ethnic background, President Tadic underscored that he was proud because of their wish to study and because the government, on its part, could provide the funds for their education.  

- It is of utmost importance that children and the youth can get educated and improve their skills, since, in the future, you’ll compete with the young from other countries, too, who will one day become your competitors – President Tadic said and told the young scholars that, apart from finding the time for learning, they should also find the time for playing.  

The students were previously the guests of the Serbian Parliament, where they were, in addition to Milan Markovic, President of the Coordination Body, greeted by Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, the Serbian Parliament’s Spokesperson, as well as by Riza Halimi, an MP from South Serbia. For twenty or so minutes, they were observing a session of the Serbian parliament from the gallery. Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, Serbian Parliament’s Spokesperson, told them that they should use the scholarships for acquiring more knowledge and cherishing positive feelings.

In the city assembly, the students also met with Assistant Mayor Radmila Hrustanovic. At the end of that meeting, Slobodan Draskovic, the president of the municipality of Medvedja, said to representatives of the media: „99 per cent of our children are in Belgrade for the first time now and this means a great deal to them. They can watch and hear about Belgrade a lot on television. However, when they experience it, they’ll love it, as well as the region they come from, even more “

The secondary school students, who are scholars from Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, finished off their stay in Belgrade in the Palace of Serbia, where they attended a scholarship agreement awarding ceremony. Minister Milan Markovic, President of the Coordination Body, and Zarko Obradovic, Minister of Education, presented the scholarship agreements to 58 students from Presevo, 54 from Bujanovac and 39 from Medvedja. The monthly scholarship amount is 5,000 dinars. On that occasion, Minister Markovic said: “We wished to provide scholarships to as many students as possible, and now, upon completion of the open competition, there are 151 students here that will be receiving  scholarships throughout the school year, while I think that the scholarship amount will make their everyday life easier. Of course, this is only one of the projects. When it comes to education, our goal is to make it possible for all children in Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja to attend elementary and secondary school classes, as well as university ones, in their mother tongue. This year, we have started with elementary school, more precisely with the first-grade, and I hope that in the course of one year, or two at the latest, we’ll complete the textbooks for all children in the three municipalities in their mother tongue.  Therefore, we believe there is no development of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, or a true modus vivendi for the Serbs, Albanians and Roma that live in the three municipalities, without making investments in the young, their education and their future. They are the ones who should rectify the mistakes their elderly made in the past. They are the ones who we should offer a future that is much better than the one in the past. That is why the Coordination Body puts an emphasis in its work on the young, on those who are now attending elementary and secondary school classes, as well as university ones. You already know that we have recently opened two departments of the Nis University in Medvedja, where the young can study law and economics in Albanian, too. The textbooks for law and economics studies have been translated into Albanian thanks to our friends from the USAID. Textbooks for the second, third and fourth year of those studies will be translated next year. We are also working closely with the OSCE on a feasibility study, which would enable the opening of similar departments for students from Presevo and Bujanovac, so that some of these children might become students of the faculties that are to be opened in Presevo and Bujanovac, where they’ll be able to study in their native tongue. Besides, I can say right now that we have provided the funds for the next school year, when, I hope, we’ll give scholarships to a larger number of students, so that their only obligation would be to acquire knowledge and repay their country, region and municipality by being useful members of society in which they live. I can say to the children the following: You should study, because no other obligation is more important than studying, and because knowledge that you are going to acquire is something nobody can take away from you. It depends only on you what your life will be like. Your learning nowadays is your investment in the future. We’ll try to provide the best possible conditions for you, while you should study for your own sake, as well as for the sake of your municipality and your country.“

Minister Zarko Obradovic reiterated that the Ministry of Education fully supported the Coordination Body’s activities in the field of education and added that it would continue doing so in the future.  

On the occasion of awarding scholarship contracts, Saip Kamberi, the president of the municipality of Bujanovac, said, on behalf of the three municipalities, the following: “This is the first time that something like this was organized. We’ll try to make a contribution to stability in the municipality through cooperation with the Coordination Body, primarily through projects that bring all communities in Bujanovac closer to one another.“

Ivan Maricic, Chairman of the Managing Board of „Srpska“Bank, gave each student a savings book with a 5,000 dinar deposit in it.  On behalf of „Telekom Srbija“, Milica Amidzic presented secondary school students with becoming gifts. Ms.Amidzic and Mr. Maricic underscored that their companies always readily invested in young people and knowledge. 

Nonetheless, 819 students entered the Coordination Body’s competition, while 151 of them received scholarships. The scholarships were, first and foremost, awarded to children without one or both parents, whereas the criteria for getting scholarships included the social position of parents or custodians and good marks received in the previous school year. There are 99 Albanians, 41 Serbs and 12 Roma among the scholars. The students will be receiving scholarships until the end of this school year. In June 2010, the Coordination Body shall announce an open competition for granting scholarships to secondary school students for the 2010/2011 school year.