The Chairman of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region Miodrag Linta and Committee members Marjana Maras, Blaza Knezevic and Prim. Dr Vlado Babic met today at the National Assembly with representatives of Serb associations from North Macedonia at their initiative about the activities of Serb organizations in North Macedonia and their need for support from the home country.
Greeting the representatives of 10 Serb associations from North Macedonia, Committee Chairman Miodrag Linta said that all Serb organizations and associations should share a dialogue on key matters concerning the survival of the Serbian people in the countries in the region where they are a minority group. Linta said that the Serbian community in North Macedonia has been in a difficult position since the brake-up of former Yugoslavia and Serbia should work more on resolving the key issues of education and media in the native language and the protection of cultural heritage and national identity.
The representatives of Serb associations from North Macedonia proceeded to brief the Committee Chairman and members on the problems faced by the Serbian community and the activities and projects realized by the Serb associations. They said that though Serbs are the country’s constituting nation, most are dissatisfied with their status and position, representatives in the government bodies and the home country’s attitude toward them.
They spoke about the importance of media in the native language, mentioning the 30-minute show “Vidik” aired three times a week on the North Macedonia public service network, but at a bad time slot, and saying that improving the show requires better support. They went on to say that there are also two web portals in Serbian – SRBTEL and Spona.
Speaking of education, they said that there are three elementary schools that have classes in Serbian (Staro Nagoricane, Tabanovce and Kuceviste) and that the option to learn Serbian language and culture as an elective in third grade has be reintroduced. Here it is essential to secure quality teaching staff because Serbian is often taught by non-native speakers. They also spoke about the bad quality of the textbooks in Serbian which have not been proof-read. The representatives of the Serb associations opined that that is one of the chief reasons the number of children attending Serbian classes is dwindling.
The hosts noted that having meetings like this with representatives of Serb associations from North Macedonia is very important, as is their communication with the state of Serbia.
The Committee Chairman said that one of the coming sittings would be dedicated to the position of Serbs in North Macedonia and that all the representatives of the civil sector, the two Serbian members of the Parliament of North Macedonia and Serbian members of the governmental sector would be invited.
The meeting was attended by Zarko Nikolic of the Association for the promotion of the cultural heritage of the Serbian community in Macedonia SRBTEL, Natasa Stancic of Spona Serbian media centre, Biljana Todorovic Georgievska journalist of Vidik MTV, Nena Ristic Kostovska on behalf of the Association of Serbian Women of Macedonia, Caslav Jovanic of the United Serbian Community, Zivka Misic Hristovska of the Circle of Serbian Sisters Kumanovo, Sonja Trajkovic Andonov of the Association of Serbs and Macedonians KUD “Branko Cajka”, Zivojin Trajanovic of the Serbian National Council, Bora Ristic of the Association for the maintenance of Serbian monuments in Macedonia, Dr Vaso Radivojevic on behalf of the Serb-Macedonian Association “Srma” and Zeljko Djekic.