The facts are on our side

Centre for Civic Education (CCE), regarding the Ministry of Education response to our statement “Why are the laws on education being changed quickly and without involvement of the public involvement?” published on 30 June 2013 on the web-site of the CCE, as well as in the media, responsibly claims that the Ministry has not complied with all procedures during adoption of amendments to a set of laws on education. There was no public discussion for the Law Proposal on Amendments to the General Law on Education, Law on Primary Education, Law on Secondary School, and the Law on Vocational Education, as confirmed exactly by the proponent in the reaction posted on the ministry’s website on 1 July 2013.

Accordingly, the public debate serves to improve the draft texts, and the authorized Ministry is obliged to make final versions of texts, after a public discussion, which are being sent for voting to the Government,available with the possibility of opening documents and having an access to these on its own website, which has not been fulfilled.

Regarding the Law Proposal on Higher Education, CCE emphasizes that the publicity of documents and public discussions is undisputed.However, the Regulation on the procedure and manner of conducting public discussion in preparation of the law was not respected when it comes to this legal text. This refers to the procedures and deadlines. Namely, there was no Draft Law on higher education, and therefore it was not published in any printed media, but it directly went with the Text Proposal of the previously named law, where the period starting fromits publication on the web-site until the released call for a public discussionwas also not in accordance with the Regulation.Specifically, the web-site does not contain a final version of the law proposal after the public discussion of 17 May 2013, which was also attended by the CCE, and which needed to be released so that the public would be introduced with the outcome of the public discussion on the Law Proposal on Higher Education.

In short, the Ministry should not be talking about professionalism when there are many (un) conscious failures, and when the public discussion, which, we emphasize, did not occur for the set of laws on education, except for the Law on Higher Education, is exactly the one that should, by its outcome, contribute to improving these set of laws.

Finally, if it was different, instead of demagogic stories and trying to open the debate with the executive director of the CCE Daliborka Uljarević, through the statement of the Ministry, CCE urges the Ministry to disclose:when and where the public discussion was held, in which printed media there have been calls published for proposals of the Law on Amendments to the General Law on Education, Law on Primary Education, Law on Secondary School, and the Law on Vocational Education.

CCE notes that electronic publication of documents of national and public interest does not make these texts available to entire interested public within the Montenegrin territory due to lack of technical capacity, and poor or no internet connection at all.

Also, behind each press release of the CCE there is a responsible person withfull name, and behind the one which the Ministry responded to with an attack on the Executive Director, standsaprogramme coordinator for Active Citizenship, who is dealing with these and related matters.

Snežana Kaluđerović, Programme Coordinator