Also after the distribution of new textbooks in the Bosnian language, teachers of this community are facing difficulties. At the beginning of this semester, after the publication, the textbooks of the new curriculum were distributed, but in the school “Lekë Dukagjini” in Prizren, some classes are attending classes with the old textbooks. Teachers say they have found translation errors, and that in the language they are learning, they do not have all the textbooks needed for a subject. There are over 3,100 students in Kosovo who study in Bosnian language.
Albanian and Bosniak students are studying in the same school in Prizren. Children from the first to the fifth grade have the opportunity to learn in the primary school “Lekë Dukagjini”.
Sabina Dana, a second-grade teacher in Bosnian, says she is continuing to use old curriculum textbooks.
“We have the basic textbooks we work with, for example for the Bosnian language we have a textbook and we have some worksheets now for the second grade, but we work with the new curriculum and we still have the books with the old curriculum. We received some books now at the beginning of the second semester, but still, we have already started working with the other curriculum, so we cannot use those books this school year, so next year, God willing, we will use them. In terms of mathematics, we have only one textbook, a basic text of mathematics, whereas those who learn in Albanian, they have worksheets, tests, but we do not have, we have only one text, so we try as we teachers know, we find books in Novi Pazar and Sarajeva.
The director of the primary school “Lekë Dukagjini”, Lendita Bllaca claims that they have problems with the new textbooks that have been distributed to students.
“There are ten parallels in the Bosnian language. From the first grade to the fifth grade, there are two parallels. There are a total of 102 students… Some of them did not have the textbooks, but in the meantime they have brought them, the problem is with the curriculum, but not with all. They teach with the new curriculum, while the books are with the old curriculum, some, not all of them. They have brought the books twice, but they brought only 20 books for second graders, and there are 23 students. So, three students were left (without books), they had to photocopy the books”, she said.
Regarding the teachers’ claims for mistakes in the translation into Bosnian, from the Ministry of Education says that they are in the phase of waiting for comments as the books have been distributed recently.
The head of the Division for Community Education, Nazan Safqi says that they are committed to quality education for all communities in Kosovo, so that the people of Kosovo can learn in their mother tongue.
“According to the new curriculum, we have had a delay in the preparation of textbooks in the language of these communities. However, for the school year 2021-2022, MESTI in cooperation with publishing houses have translated textbooks of general subjects. All textbooks have been translated, published, and distributed to schools. In January 2022, the distribution of these textbooks was finalized. Now we are waiting because the textbooks have just reached the hands of teachers and students, and we are waiting for comments from schools regarding new textbooks or any remarks they may have about new textbooks, translations, or other errors”, she said.
The MP from this community, Duda Balje, is also aware of the incorrect translation of textbooks in the Bosnian language. She says that she is constantly trying to eliminate this problem.
Balje says that Bosniak children should also learn the Albanian language in order to continue their higher education.
“We had a problem with the quality of the Albanian translation into Bosnian. But for this, in MESTI, but also, we are constantly trying to find solutions to this problem on the one hand, while on the other hand, how many Bosniaks are learning in Albanian. We are living in Kosovo, the Bosnian language must be respected, but we are living in Kosovo, and the Albanian language is very important for the students here in Kosovo. This is a negative point, because for many years we have been doing analysis, and students who finish primary schools, but also high schools are not ready, and do not speak Albanian well”, said Balje for KosovaPress.
Regarding the lack of textbooks in Bosnian language, Safqi stated that the Ministry of Education announces a competition for textbooks in national subjects, for Turkish and Bosnian languages in the subjects of language, history, music and fine arts. But publishing houses have refused to publish them on the grounds that there are few texts.
“During the last competitions announced by the ministry, the authors of these communities have applied, but as for these texts, we have not yet managed to publish these texts. Because, the publishing houses have neither accepted to publish nor compensate the authors of these communities. Due to the small number of textbooks and the number of students, which is a smaller number. However, now we as the ministry are making efforts, and we are working in this direction to find a way, a solution how we will be able to publish these texts and to compensate these authors from the Ministry of Education”, said Safqi.
In Kosovo, the learning process takes place in Albanian, Serbian, Turkish and Bosnian. Books are distributed free of charge to these communities as well.
This article was realized within the project “Identification of challenges in the learning process of children of non-majority community as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic” implemented by the Center for Innovation and Development/CFID and funded by Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation/SlovakAid.