Centre for Civic Education (CCE) is surprised with the fact that the Government, yesterday on 7 July 2016 at 164th session, adopted the Strategy of Development of Higher Education 2016 – 2020, and that the members of Working group, who allegedly worked on this document, have not seen that document in the form in which it was adopted.
Working group, formed by the competent Ministry of Education, among others, has a representative from NGO sector. However, Ministry of Education did not send to this member a version of this strategic document that was sent to Government for adoption. CCE assesses that it is unacceptable for the members of working groups to be familiarised with final versions of texts, on which they previously worked, through media, or through already adopted documents. This stultifies the proclaimed cooperation between the Government and NGO sector, while the members of working groups who really try to work and contribute in the improvement of quality of public policies are being humiliated.
For the purpose of clarification, CCE representative sent the suggestions on Strategy on 13 June 2016, and she got the last version for insight on 15 June 2016, without major changes. That document contained 32 pages, and it was not accompanied with the Action plan for the implementation of Strategy. The adopted document has 55 pages, it is accompanied with action plan, while some of the members of working group, or at least the ones from NGO sector, were not familiarised or involved in its creation, which demonstrates the opaque acting by the proposers during the process of creation of this document, as well as the violation of legal regulations.
CCE indicates that it took more time to form the Working group for the creation of this document than the work on same lasted, which also raises the question of genuine intentions by the proposers, as well as of professional approach which proved to be frivolous and manipulative. Also, it should be noted that this Working group began with its operation without clear methodological instructions by the Ministry of Education, hence every member of Working provided his/her contribution in the manner in which he/she deemed appropriate, within the framework of his/her obligations with regard to given subject, but without the coordinating consultations in doing so. Finally, even in addition to numerous requests, member of Working group from CCE did not succeed in obtaining any record from rare meetings of that Working group by the Ministry of Education, which is pretty unusual.
CCE informs the public, as well as other stakeholders, who monitor the relations between the Government and NGO sector, that this example indicates on ever-expressed tendency of erosion of hardly established mechanisms of cooperation between the Government and NGO sector in the process of shaping the public policies, which certainly does not contribute to public interest.
Snežana Kaluđerović, Programme coordinator and Member of Working group for the creation of Strategy of Development of Higher Education 2016 – 2020