Reinstate Civic Education into the status of a compulsory subject

Non-governmental organizations – Human Rights Action (HRA), Centre for Women’s and Peace Education (ANIMA), and the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) – have sent an initiative to Minister of Education, Science and Innovation, Dr. Anđela Jakšić-Stojanović, for the reinstatement of the subject of Civic Education into the compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools in Montenegro.

The development of democracy, which implies respect for the rule of law and human rights, can only be ensured if all children and young people are equipped in a timely and adequate manner to be active citizens who know how to engage in dialogue based on arguments, understand the modern concept of human rights, possess elementary knowledge about the system they live in and the competences of institutions, as well as the values and principles underpinning progressive societies, including the European Union whose membership Montenegro aspires to.

Civic Education (upbringing) was a compulsory subject for 13 years in primary schools, while Civic Education in secondary schools was mandatory for 10 years, until it was downgraded to an elective subject in 2017 through the reform of the then Minister Damir Šehović.

We remind that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Montenegro is a signatory, demands that the state provides every child with education focused on developing respect for human rights and preparing the child for a responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups, as well as developing respect for the natural environment. Education on these and related issues must be provided by the state to every child, and the most suitable means for this is through the compulsory educational programme of Civic Education, which should be organized to include necessary and desirable knowledge and skills that young citizens should acquire as soon as possible, but no later than reaching the age of 18 when they acquire voting rights and enter into the process of making decisions important for our society.

In addition to the introduction of this subject as compulsory, its curriculum should be revised, adapted to modern needs and concepts, alongside careful selection of personnel based on clear criteria and competencies, with additional training.

We expect that Minister Jakšić-Stojanović will implement positive changes in her department. In the letter sent, CCE, HRA and ANIMA expressed willingness to help in the implementation of this initiative.

Human Rights Action (HRA)
Centre for Women’s and Peace Education (ANIMA)
Centre for Civic Education (CCE)