By Maja Tuljković – Sarajevo
On Saturday, 21 December at 11:00, an informal group of young people and students will hold protests called (R)EVOLUCIJA+” in five cities in B&H. The reason for the protests is the problems in education, primarily the termination of participation in the program of the EU called Erasmus+. The protests will be peaceful, without political and national connotations, and will be held in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Mostar, Bihać and Goražde. Organizers pointed out that there is a possibility that B&H students will also protest in Berlin. Unfortunately, there is no other way for students to demand their rights and express disatisfaction, other than to go out on the streets.
The RS government gave consent yesterday afternoon for partial participation of B&H in the EU program in the area of education, youth and sport Erasmus+. Goran Mutabdžija, Minister of Education and Culture of the RS said that the program has two degrees, and that for now the RS government gives consent for B&H to participation in the first phase, as a partner, for which it will pay an entry ticket of 115.000 Euros. This decision was confirmed by the Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs of B&H Denisa Sarajlić-Maglić, who said that ”participation in this program is a huge investment in the B&H educational system, and that it would certainly give young people a chance to acquire knowledge and skills through their education, which would make them competitive in the job market”.
However, members of the informal group of young people (Re)volucija+, which is the organizer of the protests, thinks that this information by the RS Ministry of Education is a deception to the public. In its press release, it states that ”We responsibly argue that this is a clear falsehood, and that everything that Mutabdžija’s PR team sent to the public is actually an attempt to manipulate and deceive the public of this country. As mentioned in the statement, the RS government gave consent for B&H to participate in this program in the domain of partial participation, as a partner, for which it will pay 115.000 Euros as an entry ticket. However, a small but important detail that Mutabdžija did not include is that consent of the RS in this case is not even necessary!”
They recalled the statement made by the Spokesperson of the EU and Special Representative of the EU in B&H Andy McGuffiee, which states that a portion of the Erasmus+ program will be available to the population of B&H, and that for this part the consent of entities is not required.
On the other hand, the B&H Ministry of Civil Affairs said that the European Commission offered only partial participation for the next year, which means paying the registration fee and meeting the requirements of the first phase of participation. The second phase is full participation in the program, which extends to the level of primary and secondary education.
Erasmus+ is a program where teachers have a wide range of options to hone their skills all across Europe, from which primarily students in B&H will benefit. Students in B&H will have the chance to listen to lectures by professors from the best European universities, who will hold lectures in universities in B&H. If this is stopped and no agreement is made, students in B&H will be prevented from participating in programs in countries of the EU for the next seven years. Students will not be able to volunteer through the most well-known European Volunteering Service EVS until 2020, and will ultimately be left at the unemployment offices.
Young people are asking whether the saying ‘the world is left to young people’? matters any longer. They say that they do not care who is from where, or who is a Croat, Serb or Bosniak. ”We do not want anyone to cause fights among us any longer. We are too clever for that. We do not fall for any political games and promises. We do not trust them. We reject it. We want to give every ounce of strength, even if we fail all the exams this time, but we encourage you, our friends, our smart, beautiful and young people. And one day we will all have the chance to lead this country”, said in the appeal to the citizens of B&H.