Ministry of Education refuses to enforce the Law

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) sent an Urgency to the Ministry of Education, yesterday, to take action in line with the CCE Initiative for dismissal of the directors of educational institutions in which were organized party rallies, and which required that the minister Slavoljub Stijepović acts in accordance with the General Law on Education.

This Initiative requires that the minister, in accordance with the article 6, paragraph 2 of this Law, which stipulates that “in the institution is not allowed for the political (party) to organize, operate or use the facilities and space for this purpose”, to remove the directors of the schools in which there were held political meetings before the local elections on 25 May 2014. The CCE attached the evidence in form of indisputable fact that the school premises were used for party promotion, which is a direct violation of the law.

Instead of the only legally grounded action, the CCE received biased and unprofessional findings of chief education inspector Miomir Anđić. Namely, he noted that in the premises of two schools in Rožaje were held party rallies, without specifying the names of the schools and taking legal action towards the sanctioning of the directors of these schools. It is specially concerning the fact that Anđić went beyond the scope of its jurisdiction and abolishes the violation of the law, finding bizarre justification that the party did not have another place for this purpose!

Therefore, the CCE asked minister Stijepović: why is school facility considered more suitable for holding political rallies than any other area, open or closed? Have the directors of these schools sought approval from the Ministry of Education to allow them to organize political rallies within the school premises or they have acted on their own initiative? Why the Ministry of Education refuses to enforce the General Law on Education?

The CCE reminds that the submitted Initiative did not request to establish the fact which of the political parties applied for a permit to use school facilities to hold political rallies. In accordance with the Law, the Inititiave required punishment of all directors or those who allowed to the directors to abuse state resources for political purposes, regardless of which political parties held rallies in schools.

Unfortunately, instead of complying with the CCE Initiative, the Ministry of Education, together with the educational inspection, manipulated and deliberately violated the Law. The finding of the education inspector is scandalous because it establishes a violation of the law and justifies it, and at the same time does not contain a minimum mandatory fact which further obstructs the implementation of the Law.

Snežana Kaluđerović, programme coordinator