Ministry of Education to work legally and professionally

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) maintains its stand on the matter of illegal questionnaires that were distributed in elementary schools, and in that regard, CCE submitted an initiative to Agency for the protection of personal information to exercise supervision over the creation and dissemination of Questionnaires on personal information of pupils at the Ministry of Education and elementary schools „Štampar Makarije“ and „Radojica Perović“, as well as in other institutions where this questionnaire may have been distributed.

In addition, CCE finds the reaction of PR service of Ministry of Education to be inappropriate, related to CCE’s previous announcement on that matter. Namely, one of the paragraphs contained in Ministry’s reaction, sends the following message to the CCE: “You ignore everything which has a humane character, and this is a commonplace when the elections are approaching, so your intention to politicise mere school procedure is obvious”.

Ministry of Education, as well as the overall interested part of Montenegrin public, is well aware that CCE has been dealing with issues related to education and different forms of misuse in education for years. Hence, such qualifications on CCE’s founded allegations are inappropriate and these stem from the framework of professional behaviour and political neutrality, which should serve as baseline position to civil servants and employees. In that respect, by using the institutional procedures, CCE filed the complaint to the Minister of Education Predrag Bošković, and to the Ethical Committee, due to the violation of Code of ethics of civil servants and Law on civil servants. Law on civil servants prescribes that a state servant, within his/her work, cannot discriminate citizens based on his/her belief, political or other opinion, belonging to certain group or any assumption on belonging to certain group, political party or other organisation, as well as based on other personal characteristics, and that he/she is obliged to comply with Code of Ethics.

CCE remains consistent when position that directors of schools breached their authorisations by distributing such, or any similar, questionnaires which encroach on privacy of parents and children. This is not a case of some standardised school procedure, and our employees and associates, who are also parents of the children of various grades in elementary school, can confirm that based on their experience since their children did not have to fill in such questionnaires before. In addition to being unprofessional, the reaction of Ministry of Education was also hypocritical. Public is familiar with the fact that CCE long ago initiated the initiative aimed to ensure free education to every child, including free textbooks for pupils of primary education.

Mira Popović, programme associate