By Nevena Šarenac – Sarajevo
The parents of Bosniak elementary school children from Konjević Polje in Bratunac municipality and Vrbanjci in municipality Kotor Varoš decided to boycott today’s start of the school year, due to the unresolved issue of the engagement of Bosniak teachers, and the inability to attend classes in national subjects. The RS Minister of Education argues that there is no money for an additional number of teachers to introduce national subjects, and said that Serbian children in the FBiH also do not have that right.
Even if today in the RS classes began to mark the new school year, their Bosniak classmates from Konjević Polje in municipality Bratunac and Vrbanjci in municipality Kotor Varoš did not attend.
According to Muhamed Ahmetović, President of the Council of Parents in the elementary school Konjević Polje, the decision of the boycott was brought due to a number of accumulated problems faced by them and their children. They asked the school management to solve the problem of water supply, which was an issue for months during the last school year when the building did not have water.
In addition, unresolved issues are the engagement of Bosniaks in the learning process, so today, of the 38 employed, only one Bosniak teacher works with children and, in spite of the statutory law, children are unable to attend classes from national subjects. This problem is the main reason that Bosniak children who attend the elementary school ‘Sveti Sava’ in Vrbanjci did not go to school when the new school year began in the RS.
Although the parents of Bosniak children addressed all the relevant institutions in the RS to solve these problems, they did not find understanding.
The RS Minister of Education and Culture Goran Mutabdžija claims that the department does not have the money to employ an additional number of teachers in order to introduce national subjects, and said that this right is not afforded to Serbian children in the FBiH.
The Vice-President of the RS National Assembly Ramiz Salkić said that they couldn’t justify the lack of resources as an excuse to violate the Constitution and the Law.
The parents of Bosniak children in Vrbanjci, which makes up 52 percent of the total number of students, gathered in front of the school today and reiterated the reasons for the boycott of classes, and called for discussions to take place to find a compromise.