ON DEMOLITION OF A SCHOOL WITH THE RESIDENTS OF THE VILLAGE OF DRAJČIĆI NEAR PRIZREN
Pristina, September 30, 2020
In an effort to find a compromise solution around the primary school in the village of Drajčići in the municipality of Prizren, which was built back in 1904 and is threatened with complete demolition, officials from the Ministry of Communities and Returns initiated a meeting with representatives of Bosniaks and Serbs from this village. This was an ideal opportunity to hear conflicting views on the construction of a new school for Bosniak children on the site of the old school. The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister for Communities and Returns Enis Sulejmanovic with political advisers to the Minister, elected representative of Bosniaks in the Assembly of Kosovo, Duda Balje, director of the Elementary School "Mushnikova" in Albanian from the neighboring village of Mushnikovo, Sedat Bajrami, OSCE representatives and fifteen locals of this village.
The Bosniaks of this remote and inaccessible village of Sredacka parish on Shar Mountain pointed out that their children have had to attend school for years in the remote village of Mushnikovo, where classes are held only in Albanian, and that this is the reason for the initiative to demolish the old school. They say that Toma Tomić, a retired teacher from this village, strongly opposes this and points out that he is the only culprit for not solving this problem for years. The municipality of Prizren, by the way, provided funds for the transportation of students, but in winter conditions that is not possible, which is why it happens that children miss school for days and weeks.
Representatives of the Ministry reiterated the well-known position of Minister Jevtić that the school is an object of great importance for the Serb community and that it should be preserved, but that this does not mean that the Minister and the Ministry of Communities and Returns oppose the construction of a new school for Bosniaks in this village. , on the contrary.
A small delegation of Bosniak representatives, through officials from the ministry, also visited teacher Tom, who said that he had dedicated his entire working life to his children and their education in this and neighboring villages. A retired teacher expressed sincere regret over the children from the Bosniak community who were forced to attend classes in a school miles away. He reiterated that he was not to blame for that, but malicious individuals who removed the roof of the school on their own initiative, without the consent of the Serbs, back in 2013, which is why it is in such a bad condition today and students cannot use it. The participants were also presented with authentic documents that testify to the bequest of Mladen Jevtić who "gave a garden to his Serb peasants" for the construction of the school, about the voluntary contributions of the Serbs who built the school and the proclamation of the Orthodox Church and the school in its immediate vicinity. and under state protection since 1958.
The meetings also discussed alternative possibilities for solving this long-standing problem. Minister Jevtić and his associates will be committed to finding a compromise solution that would not be contrary to the interests of any community in this village.