Mixed Results for Croatian-Language Teaching in Serbia

By 4 September 2018

ZAGREB, September 4, 2018 - Education in the Croatian language in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina was extended on Monday with the introduction of a programme for nurses in Croatian in the medical secondary school in the town of Subotica, local representatives of the ethnic Croatian community said.

A total of 14 secondary school students have enrolled in this new programme, and now three secondary schools in Subotica offer educational programmes in the Croatian language, in addition to five primary schools.

Education designed for the needs of ethnic Croats in schools in Subotica was introduced in 2002, and this year, a score of first graders start their education in Croatian in primary schools in that town.

In Subotica, about 400 children are covered by the educational programme for ethnic Croats, and an additional 400 in villages and towns across Vojvodina.

However, problems for ethnic Croats appeared in the village of Bereg in the environs of the town of Sombor, where parents of a few first-graders in the elementary school were exposed to pressure after they expressed their wish for their children to be taught in the Croatian language.

Initially, this June, seven parents said that their children would be enrolled in the Croatian language educational programme. A representative of the Croatian National Council, (HNV), an umbrella organisation of local Croat associations, said today that some of the parents encountered various forms of pressure which led to them withdrawing their application for their children to attend the Croatian-language educational programme.

One of the parents who persisted in the decision complained that he was later branded an "Ustasha."