A years long dispute between school and parents in village of Vrbanjci becomes a political problem

A years long dispute between school and parents in village of Vrbanjci becomes a political problem


By Mladen Dragojlovic – Banja Luka

Court in Kotor Varos rejected at Wednesday the claim of parents of Bosniak nationality children who demanded the introduction of subjects relevant to the Bosniak national group in Primary school in the village of Vrbanjci.

It was several years ago that the parents of these children came forward with their demand, but in September last year they decided that their children will not attend classes in school. In a large dispute with the Republic of Srpska Ministry of education, the parents said that the same rights were given to children in other places of BiH, but not in Vrbanjci, where Bosniak returnees are a majority. Since then they warn the public and relevant institutions that their children have the right to learn the Bosniak language, history and other subjects. Parents fill a charge against school and Ministry of education, but it was rejected. For the children, the school year is lost.

“We are disappointed, obviously there is no democracy for minorities in Kotor Varos municipality. Bosniaks are majority in Vrbanjci, but it seems that nobody cares about that”, one of the parents, Nedzad Smailovic, said to IBNA .

He added that the parents will continue with their protest and if the Ministry denies to fulfill their demands they will not send their children to school next school year either.

“Children in other parts of BiH have this right and follow lessons on their national language, learn the history of their national group, but in Vrbanjci it is not like that. I think that all children must have same rights on BiH territory”, said Smailovic.

The parent’s attorney, Haris Kaniza, said to media that he will appeal the decision and that here is a case of discrimination of children.

“We expect that our appeal will be adopted. But, this is also a political matter so it is possible that the court rejects the appeal. In that case, we will make an appeal to a higher court in Banja Luka”, said Kaniža.

The Minister of Education of RS, Goran Mutabdzija, earlier said that the demand of parents cannot be accepted, because this school doesn’t fulfill the required by the law conditions. He emphasized that the law is clear on this matter and that the parents violate the children’s rights by preventing them to go to school.