The Ministry of Education to ensure the transparency of interviews with candidates for directors of public education institutions

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) submitted to the Minister of Education, Miomir Vojinović, a request for the presence of CCE representatives at all scheduled interviews during the selection of directors of public institutions in front of the three-member commission of the Ministry of Education, in the capacity of the public, to monitor this process directly.

The request was submitted to improve the transparency of the employment process in education, bearing in mind that the decisions on the appointment of elected directors of public education institutions or acting directors are not publicly announced on the website of the Ministry of Education.

The public is aware that the CCE years ago indicated the necessity of legal changes in the method of selecting directors of public education institutions, and even the introduction of a three-member commission did not make this process credible in terms of competitiveness and objectivity. Namely, a significant shortcoming of this process in Montenegro is that the Minister of Education has the discretionary right to choose the director, and the director further decides on the most important issues of managing the institution.

When choosing the best candidate for the director of a public institution, the minister should, at least formally, be guided by the data from the report of the three-member commission, which was created based on the interviews with the candidates. The public remains deprived of the content of those reports, and the explanations we came upon indicate that there is no developed methodology for conducting interviews, which further casts doubt on the objectivity of this process.

The presence of the public at the interviews during which the candidates are presented would contribute to the prevention of inappropriate influence, the correct determination of the factual situation and the correct application of the law in conditions of orality and immediacy, which is undoubtedly achieved by affirming the principle of transparency.

The CCE derives the legitimacy of public attendance at interviews of candidates for the selection of directors from the analogous possibility of public attendance at interviews for the selection of judges and prosecutors. We believe that there is not a single reason that could justify the exclusion of the public, because it is in the public interest to select the best candidates for managerial staff in public educational institutions.

CCE also reminds that the Education Sector Analysis 2015-2020, produced by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, points to numerous problems that arise indirectly as a result of poor management and insistence on particular interests.

As there is no legal obstacle, the CCE expects that the minister in charge will make the commission’s work public and enable the presence of the interested public during interviewing candidates.

Snežana Kaluđerović, Senior Legal Advisor