“The quality of a community is measured by its attitude toward the minorities, those weaker and smaller, which is essential for the stability and development of the state”, said the Chairman of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society Dr Muamer Zukorlic in his opening address at the public hearing on “Education in national minority languages”.
With this public hearing, the National Assembly and the Committee reaffirm the capacity to hear the views and opinions of all the legitimate representatives of national minorities. Zukorlic stressed that education is one of the key pre-requisites for the preservation of identity of any minority community.
“That is why today we approach this task earnestly and with the good intention to give all who had responded to the invitation the opportunity to freely express their views”, said Zukorlic.
He said that the Republic of Serbia has taken important steps, especially in terms of Constitutional and legislative regulations, to advance the status of national minorities, but the final objective is to go beyond the formal and create the environment where the legally guaranteed rights can be fully exercised, especially in view of the fact that 30% of the population of Serbia is comprised of national minorities. Zukorlic opined that despite the burden of the past we can turn over a new leaf and together create an atmosphere of home.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development Annamaria Vicsek presented the basic ideas and guidelines the Ministry is working on as regards education in national minority languages. In Europe, the Republic of Serbia is recognized as a country with an exceptional legislative framework as regards national minority rights and the Ministry has developed a series of by-laws that boost tolerance and prevent discrimination in educational institutions. Vicsek said that, besides Serbian, the country also provides education in eight national minority languages.
The attending representatives of national minority councils then took the floor.
The public hearing organized by the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society was attended by representatives of SANU, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, representatives of school administrations, NGOs and the OSCE Mission to Serbia.