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February 21, 2011

21. February 2011.

A Teacher from Vranje Holds Classes in Serbian in Veliki Trnovac, an Albanian village in South Serbia, three times per week.

According to the 2002 census, Veliki Trnovac has 6,000 inhabitants. There was a Bulgarian, a Bosniak and 12 persons with unknown ethnic backgrounds. There were no Serbs then, and there aren’t any of them today, either. According to the information provided by Valbone Ismaili, the School Principal, there are 1,003 students and 96 junior and senior primary school teachers at the school.

The classes are held in accordance with the curriculum set by the Serbian Ministry of Education, and it includes minimum adjustments. Serbian is thought from first grade three times per week. The classes in Serbian are held at junior primary school by qualified teachers and at senior primary school by teachers of Serbian. The junior and senior primary school teachers are Albanians that had been educated in Vranje or Nis. However, there are Serbs, too, a male teacher, as well as a female teacher from Vranje, by the name of Suzana Lukic.

Valbona Ismaili, the School Principal, says that children from urban environments, such as Bujanovac, may hear Serbian being spoken in the street or by their neighbors, while there are no such things in Veliki Trnovac. Children in Veliki Trnovac can hear Serbian from their teacher, and that’s it.

„Those who have good marks in other school subjects, have good marks in Serbian, too. Those who won’t learn other school subjects, won’t learn Serbian, either, “says Suzana, adding that she had never had to deal with ethnic-related problems.

“Students coming from rural environments are, in principle, more disciplined that those coming from urban environments“, said Valbona, who graduated from the Faculty for Primary School Teachers in Vranje. 
Nevertheless, students with Serbian ethnic background from South Serbia don’t learn Albanian at all.

Suzana Lukic is satisfied with her job and she says: “This job, in such an environment, requires a great deal of patience and tolerance on my part, as well as on the students’ part. It’s difficult for both me and them“.