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December 4, 2016  Nova Varos, Serbia

INTERETHNIC INTEGRATION AND INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION

Nova Varos, Serbia. December 2016. On December 4, 2016, CIG organized the third roundtable of the Regional Forum of Southwestern Serbia/Sandzak devoted to interethnic integration in the region in the context of the process of the European integration of Serbia. Forum members discussed the current modalities of education in Serbia and options for introducing intercultural education in the region. The participants developed draft recommendations which will be finalized at the next meeting of the Forum. A complete report from the meeting is available below in Serbian.

The participants made draft recommendations of the principles that should be considered for the introduction of the intercultural education in the region. As the recommendations will be finalized at the next meeting of the Forum, CIG did not seek approval from the participants for their current content.

1. The Government of Serbia must define the message related to the application of the concept of intercultural education in Serbia in a consistent manner. The government should promote this concept and inform citizens about the modalities of its implementation.

2. It is necessary to analyze the content of the curricula, considering the requirements of the intercultural education, and make recommendations for their reform.

3. There is a need to initiate broad consultations about the inclusion of the intercultural education in the educational system with the national councils, teachers, the governmental institutions responsible for the approval of textbooks, civil society and citizens, publishing houses and others. Models for consultations could be roundtables, focus groups, surveys, etc.

4. It is necessary to involve representatives of the aforementioned groups in the working groups of the Ministry of Education of Serbia that will be tasked with preparing the concept for the implementation of the intercultural education.

5. The Ministry of Education should include the concept of the intercultural education into its strategic documents.

6. It is necessary to organize additional education sessions about the intercultural education for teachers to raise their awareness and develop supporting materials in that regard.

7. It is necessary to promote the intercultural education among political parties and leaders (both minority and majority). Also, it is necessary to promote this concept to the institutions that will be in charge of the implementation of this concept (the Center for Professional Specialization), as well to the majority population.

8. It is necessary to analyze the content of studying of religion from the perspective of the intercultural education. It is necessary to initiate a public debate on religious education within the context of the constitutional description of Serbia as a secular state, and about the need for religious teachers to have regulated working and legal status and have appropriate level of formal education, as it is the case with all other teachers.

9. Teachers who teach religion should go through additional training, to have appropriate formal education and should obtain a teaching license. Also, this process must be aligned with the efforts to introduce the intercultural education in Serbia, i.e. these teachers should acquire intercultural sensitivity and understand intercultural content. After this text, below please paste as always link to the report in Serbian (SRPSKI) in the attachment marked 4. decembar.

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