The Government of the Republic of Srpska adopted today during its regular 135th session the Information Note on the network of primary schools in Republic of Srpska with the Rationalization Proposal.
Minister of Education and Culture Dane Malesevic stated at the press conference after the government session that this matter attracted a lot of attention of the public since it is the interest of parents and students that every school should remain open.
The Minister said that there were 5 small school units who after the children from the previous generation finished the fifth grade was left with no children enrolled in the first grade and would therefore be automatically closed. In addition to that 10 school units in rural areas with one or two children would also be closed.
“We gave the opportunity for other schools to work since we made the assessment on the basis of the birth records that those small schools would have students in the next few years and that transportation of children to school had also been taken into account”, the Minister said.
„We tried in accordance with the legal regulations and taking into account the interest of children to find the best possible solution and gave the matter a due time”, Minister Malesevic said and added that the Law on Primary Education in Article 5 defines the circumstances when the school is to be closed or change the status.
„We have decided that central schools which have less than 14 classes would nevertheless not change the status and remain central schools since it is expected that the number of children would increase in the next few years and that the financial effects would not be significant and to avoid the situation of reopening the school. Therefore the Government decided that all central schools would which had smaller number of student would nevertheless keep the status of central schools”, Minister Malesevic said.
The Minister further specified that schools with nine grades could remain in function if they had 36 pupils and more but that the final assessment always took into account other elements such as travel communications, distance between the central school and small school units, etc. Due to such assessment five schools would no longer have nine grades but five grades and pupils from the sixth to the ninth grade would commute to central school.
The Minister also said that teachers in those school units who would lose their posts would be reassigned to other schools and that teachers without full working hours would be asked to fulfill it in other schools.
“The Ministry would be very strict in sanctioning schools if they advertise vacancies before all teachers are taken care of”, Minister said and added that the Government was looking after the interest of children but that workers and teachers were not forgotten either.
Facilities that remain empty would be reinstated to local communities to prevent their devastation and be used for a good and useful cause for agricultural cooperatives, civic associations, etc.