Debates and accusations for corruption relating to the “Cambridge” book project in FYROM

Debates and accusations for corruption relating to the “Cambridge” book project in FYROM

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, November 10, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

The project of the Ministry of Education in FYROM for the use of the notable British school “Cambridge” books in the schools of the country, has sparked political debates.

There have been strong debates by the Macedonian opposition which has stressed that the application of this educational project has nothing to do with education, but it’s a business organized by the current government.

“There’s no ‘Cambridge’ project in education, but there’s a business scandal amounting to 12 million Euros, where the government of Macedonia along with the Ministry of Education and Science have been involved. Our education experts believe that these translated books have many methodical and scientific errors and that they do not cover the school program in our country”, declared the head of the education committee at the opposition party LSDM (Macedonian Social Democratic Union), Petar Atanasov.

According to him, the committee of reviewers with experts of pedagogy have expressed many complaints about these books, as they’re not in line with the education program.

Professor of pedagogy, Risto Malcevsiki told IBNA that such books have not been accepted due to problems with the translation. “These books have been translated and adapted by people who do not have the most basic knowledge in Mathematics. Therefore, we have reacted in order for them not to be used in schools”, said professor Malcevski.

Macedonian opposition wonders as to why “Cambridge” text books are being allowed in schools after the stance of the reviewing experts.

“Who has taken money and how much money has been taken for these books? We believe that this is a government business”, said the opposition representative, Petar Atanasov.

But, the “Cambridge” project has been trumpeted by the government and Ministry of Education, stressing that these books will eliminate the numerous errors that are almost encountered every day in school text books that students in the country use.

Minister of Education and Science Abdilaqim Ademi has rejected the accusations launched by the opposition, by stressing that the translations are professional and that these are notable translators who are licensed and were recruited through a public contest. He has not commented the accusations launched by the opposition that there’s corruption in this government project.

“The project with the Cambridge books shows that we’re increasing the quality of education and that Macedonia is the first country in the region to apply these learning programs. The books have a high quality and are adapted based on our circumstances and the age of the students”, declared Ademi.

Students’ parents are worried about the current situation and the fact that school texts are becoming a political issue. Biljana M from Skopje says that the accusations about the text books show irresponsibility and show that politics is being made out of children.

“We appeal for these accusations about the books to be clarified, especially in relation to their translation. We don’t want our children to be the experiment of someone or of campaigns which are made for political purposes. We appeal to the Ministry of Education to explain things, because as parents, we’re concerned about these phenomena that manipulate with the fate of our children”, said Biljana.

Last year, the government of FYROM signed a contract with “Cambridge” books through a tender costing 12 million Euros. /ibna/