Friday, October 26, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 26,2007) - The fact that children in Bosnia often travel long distances to attend school out of their catchments areas with children of their own ethnicity reinforces already present divisions in communities where they live, and also endangers the long-term stability and security in Bosnia, it was said, among other things, in the OSCE Education Report called, “Who Is in Charge of Creating School Enrolment Areas?”

Claude Kieffer, Director, Education Department, OSCE Mission to Bosnia, and Sladjana Curak, Finance and Management Adviser in the same department, presented the Report in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

“Each of the three constituent peoples have their own curricula. On the Bosnian state level there are seven curricula. In many cases, students attend schools only with those of their own ethnicity; in other cases they attend classes that are separated by ethnicity within the same school building. This solidifies ethnic divisions within communities where students live,” emphasized Kieffer.

Children often travel long distances every day to attend mono-ethnic schools. Unfortunately, even parents are guilty for this phenomenon as they want their children to attend mono-ethnic schools, justifying this by saying “that they know what is in the best interest of their children”.

Curak named several examples of children crossing even state borders, solely for the purpose of attending schools with other children of the same ethnicity. Recommendations for what the Bosnian authorities should do in future were also quoted in the Report, but Kieffer believes that BiH institutions will neither accept the recommendations, nor even read the report.

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