“Dormant” students are the product of systematic stifling of critical thinking in higher education

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) congratulates the 4 April – Day of Students, to every student. CCE believes that there aren’t many reasons to celebrate this year’s 4 April, since there was no progress in the improvement of position and role of students in Montenegrin society.

Montenegrin students welcome this day in the arms of deep crisis of education system, which severely undermines their prospects of employment, because it has become ever-difficult to find a job with the qualifications obtained through the formal education system. Voice of youth rarely heard, even less acknowledged, which leaves the shaping of current social and political processes without the participation of young people. Montenegrin students are not perceived as stakeholders and bearers of social and political changes in their country.

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Amendments of Law on Higher Education should be the subject of extensive social dialogue

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) estimates that a number of proposals by the Ministry of Education in the case of current amendments of Law on Higher Education introduce radical and potentially dangerous applications which could be of further detriment to the already poor quality of higher education in Montenegro.

First of all, Ministry of Education suggested the abolition of existing Council for Higher Education and the establishment of the new body – Agency for the provision of quality of higher education, which would essentially be completely dependent on the Ministry of Education. They deliberately omitted the provisions on the structure of Agency, election of its members, and the manner of its operation, so that they could ultimately create an Agency with enourmously wide range of authorisations in the area of regulation of higher education, but with no legal defining of the composition of that Agency and who would make these key decisions. This is an unexpected and dangerous move backwards and CCE hopes that final version will still be in line with the needs of public interest. CCE believes that these authorisations of newly formed Agency must be followed by adequate legally defined responsibilities and transparency of its work, as well as the inclusiveness of all stakeholders, which will ensure the competitiveness and legitimacy of key bodies of the Agency, thereby its independence and effective ability to respond to volume and complexity of planned responsibilities. Specifically, CCE proposes the establishment of Council for this Agency which would be elected by the Parliament, based on the public competition, for specific professional profiles and social sectors, which include the representatives of NGOs from the area of education according to the proclaimed policy of Montenegro on the cooperation with NGO sector, as is already the practice for a number of similar bodies which contribute to independence of such bodies with different dynamics. Government should not appoint the members of Agency exclusively, since the Government itself is the founder of state university, while the Agency should be perceived as an independent and autonomous body by all stakeholders in higher education, as a body which presents the pluralism of social efforts with the aim of improvement of quality of higher education and work of every higher education institution in Montenegro. »

FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival continues its cooperation with the prestigious Movies that Matter

Miloš Knežević, director of FAST FORWARD Human Rights Film Festival, is participating in a six-day training programme “Cinema without Borders”, organised within the Festival Movies that Matter from 24 to 29 March 2017 in Hague, Netherlands. This is the continuation of previous cooperation and support between the prestigious Movies that Matter and FAST FORWARD Festival, organised by Centre for Civic Education (CCE).

Goal of this programme is to provide practical information to participants, who already have experience in human rights activism, organisation of cultural events or film production, as well as to those who are about to enter the adventure of promotion of human rights through cinematic expression, in order to improve their work. In addition, this programme offers a platform for the exchange of experience from the area of cinematography, creation of festival content which target various audiences and manner of their financing. Based on such initiatives, Movies that Matter seeks to inspire and help participants develop festivals in their countries as best as they can. Knežević is the only participant from Western Balkans on this competitive and intense programme, and apart from him, there are numerous other actors on the programme from the world of film industry from Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

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Sixtieth anniversary of EU – crossroads for the EU, but also for Montenegro

On the occasion of 60 years after the signing of Treaty of Rome, 25 March 1957, when the foundations for the establishment of EU were laid symbolically, and which is nowadays marked in various manners throughout the EU, the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) assesses that it is a good opportunity to reflect on the performances as well as on the future of EU, and within that framework, on the position of Western Balkans and Montenegro which aspires to membership in the EU.

Objectives that have gathered the founding states of EU – peace, prosperity and democracy – are equally important today as they were 60 years ago, which renders the EU as an equally important factor on the international scene today. Reason for celebration should be sought in the fact that EU has done an unparalled job in the protection of fundamental values and support throughout the world to those who needed its support, whether in case of humanitarian assistance or responses to needs of countless other groups which fight for the establishment of system of values, which guarantee dignified life to citizens.

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