The Chairman of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society Academician Muamer Zukorlic met today at the National Assembly House with the Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade Tobias Flessenkemper to discuss the Committee’s plans and work priorities and opportunities for future cooperation.
Academician Zukorlic said that the Committee he heads is one of the most important in the National Assembly, pointing out the wide range of areas it covers. He added that, in order to improve its efficiency it had formed two subcommittees - for the information society and digitalisation and for youth and sports. He also added that the Committee would go back to its good practice of holding sittings outside the National Assembly seat in different towns in Serbia, as soon as health conditions allow.
Speaking about legislative activities, Academician Zukorlic said that amendments to several laws in the field of education are to be adopted in the coming period, mainly dealing with details determined in practice not to give the expected results or proving difficult to apply.
In addition to these regular activities, through constructive cooperation with the competent Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the Committee strives to improve the education sector in the conditions of the pandemic and online teaching, which though it has its shortcomings is the only possible solution, said Muamer Zukorlic.
He agreed with the Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade Tobias Flessenkemper that it is important to set aside budget funds for the technical equipment of pupils and students for this type of teaching and demonstrate the state's responsibility in this manner.
Tobias Flessenkemper and the coordinator of the CoE Mission's education projects Kristijan Rajkovic briefed the Committee Chairman on the current projects focusing on primary and secondary school students. Rajkovic said that a project is being implemented in cooperation with 60 schools throughout Serbia concerning the promotion of peaceful coexistence through the development of various competencies in children, in cooperation with teachers and parents.
They also praised the fact that Serbia has joined the Council of Europe's partial agreement - the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe, which should encourage the teaching of history in accordance with the values of the Council of Europe and offer a vision of open and multiple perspective approach to history.
Committee Chairman Academician Muamer Zukorlic emphasised the Committee’s readiness and interest to cooperate with the Council of Europe Mission in Serbia on this subject, having in mind the specifics of this area. He stressed that it is important to have a more relaxed attitude towards the past in the educational system, in the sense of recognising mistakes and overcoming them, while preserving what is good, and to turn to the future together.
In the course of the meeting the participants also discussed the use of minority languages in education. Academician Zukorlic pointed out that Serbia has set up a solid legal framework in terms of the status and rights of minority communities, but there are shortcomings in the operational application of these laws and it is important to further develop the culture of communication and attitude toward minorities.