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Contesting education : the Serb secondary education system in Kosovo

By Jeppe Thomas Schilder


This research deals with the role the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has played in the secondary education system in Kosovo with special focus to the Serbs enclave of Gračanica. The UNMIK is the largest UN mission ever. As part of their mandate, they tried to reform the secondary education system into a unified secondary education system. After the unilateral declaration of independence (UDL), a unified education system seems further away as ever. The education system seems to be heavily politicised. A situation in which education is used for other political purposes by politicians. In Kosovo that means the education system becomes part of the strategy to dispute Kosovo’s status in which UNMIK, with its state building efforts, is put in the middle. For future peace building missions it is necessary how to deal with such forms contesting governance. How has UNMIK dealt with two different education systems and should a unified education system be the goal? A good education system is one of the conditions for a prosperous and unified Kosovo. The Albanians have had poor education during their self created parallel education system under Milosevic. At the time the unemployment rates are estimated at around 50%, especially in the Serbian dominated areas. \ud \ud Furthermore, a unified education system seems of importance since a multi-ethnic Kosovo has been the goal of the UN. Do two education systems that seems to be politicised feed nationalism that could lead to a renewal of the conflict? It is true that both the Serbs and Albanians claim the area as part of their history and therefore both claim Kosovo. For many Serbs, Kosovo is the cradle of the Serbian nation where for the Albanians Kosovo stresses its Albanian ancient roots, its Illyrian origins, and the resistance of the national hero Skanderberg to Ottoman rule

Topics: Letteren, Kosovo, Serb Education, Contesting governance, Gracanica
Year: 2008
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