By Medina Malagić – Sarajevo
At today’s session of the Tuzla Canton government, 270.000 KM were granted to student centers for food and accomodation.
This amounts to 189 KM per student to be used towards accomodation and food for students from Tuzla Canton who live in student centers in Sarajevo, Mostar and Zenica, and the payments will be from 15 September to 15 July 2014. In a statement from the Tuzla Canton government, this payment would only apply to students who are entering their first academic year, which is in accordance with the criteria for the admission of students to student centers in the FB&H.
The decision adopted today comes at a crucial time since the new academic year began recently, and after numerous complaints and requests submitted to the FB&H government on the crippling and dilapidated conditions in student centers throughout the FB&H.
The situation has become so grave that students are not able to use basic services at student centers.
The debts of the FB&H to student centers in the FB&H amounts to 1.870.000. Thus, several days ago the President of the Student Community Centers of the FB&H (ZSCFB&H) Emir Kadrić said that the ZSCFB&H demands that the FB&H has until 16 September to pay the debt at a session of the ZSCFB&H.
As a result of this, student centers throughout the FB&H face serious concerns and challenges, as the possibility of the financial collapse and closure of student centers could become imminent.
This prompted further calls from the ZSCFB&H for the FB&H government to send a request to the FB&H Parliament to adopt a law to standardize regulations on student standards.
Directors of students centers also held a meeting last week where they reiterated these requests to the cantonal and FB&H governments and of the problems that they have been facing for years.
Representatives of student centers in the FB&H warned government officials to not exacerbate the already desperate situation in student centers throughout this entity in B&H.
The decision of the Tuzla canton today does not solve the situation, since a substantial amount of money is still owed to student centers throughout this entity in B&H. Students have been left with limited choices, and 1.100 studnets from the Central Bosnia, Zenica-Doboj and Una-Sana Canton were not able to be admitted to student centers this week since the cantonal governments from which they come have not met their financial obligations to student centers. These three cantons owe around 1 million KM to the student center in Sarajevo.
Thus, while student centers are able to accomodate students, they would not be able to offer them basic services, such as hot water. As a necessary emergency measure, Kadrić stated that students would have the option to pay the full amount, and when the cantonal governemnts pay their debts, the money would be returned to the students.