Pristina, 29 April 2009 – Kosovo’s schools need to do more to promote intercultural education and provide students from non-majority communities with opportunities to learn about their culture, according to a report from the OSCE Mission presented today.

The report, Kosovo non-majority communities within the primary and secondary educational systems, found that neither the Kosovo nor Serbian educational systems offer specific or adequately tailored textbooks on the language, history, art and music of the Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian, Gorani, Croat and Montenegrin communities in Kosovo.

The Kosovo educational system provides curricula for primary and secondary mother-tongue education in Albanian, Turkish and Bosnian languages. However, a curriculum in Serbian language, based on participation and acceptance of the recipient communities, has yet to be developed. The report also highlighted the lack of curriculum-based textbooks in Turkish and Bosnian languages for secondary education.

Continued physical separation of students and the lack of sustained efforts to promote interchanges between Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb teachers and students contribute to further divisions, according to the report. In addition, historical events are described differently in the Kosovo and the Serbian curricula.

“A reconciled view of Kosovo’s recent past – a view that embraces rather than divides communities – depends on a mainstreamed curriculum and an accompanying process of transitional justice and inter-ethnic dialogue. Learning to understand each others’ languages is a first step towards tolerance and integration,” said Ambassador Werner Almhofer, the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.

The report also found that the representation of non-majority communities in school management positions is insufficient in both Kosovo and Serbian curriculum schools. Moreover, neither Kosovo nor Serbian curriculum schools offer the possibility of learning the other official language.

The report is based on extensive field research and 738 interviews with respondents from all communities conducted during January and February 2009. The report also includes recommendations to the responsible authorities on how to address identified shortcomings.

The report is available here (in English/in Serbian/in Romani/in Albanian/in Turkish).

Source: OSCE