A two-day international scientific and professional conference under the name of: “Interculturality and Education in Minority Languages and Scripts” organized by the Serb National Council (SNV) was held in Zagreb, where it gathered representatives of national minorities as well as teachers and educators who participate in the educational process.
PHOTO: HINA / Damir SENČAR / ml
Milorad Pupovac, member of the Croatian Parliament and president of the Serb National Council (SNV) said before the beginning of the conference that took place on Monday and Tuesday at the Dubrovnik Hotel in Zagreb, that multiculturalism and interculturalism in some areas in Croatia work well together regardless of language differences.
However, in some areas, such as Vukovar, he added, unfortunately, there is still a dominant approach in which cooperation, exchange of experiences, and usage of common historical foundations and heritage is not something that should be given the right of citizenship.
Member of Parliament Furio Radin believes that national minorities can be defined as bridges connecting nations and states. Such a world, according to him, is only somewhat true, and in many situations it is only virtual.
Dejan Jović, a professor from the Faculty of Political Science said in his welcome speech on behalf of the SNV that the international scientific and professional conference is only one of a series of events organised by the Serb National Council because he believed that science is strongly related to education.
In this sense, he added, we are opposed to any one-sided interpretations and politicizations, especially when it comes to non-scientific and anti-scientific educational practices that we face in Croatia, but also in Europe and the world.
UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, participated in the conference as well, warning in his speech that two-thirds of hate speech appearing on social media is directed against minorities, especially against women who are members of minority communities.
He particularly emphasized the need to nurture minority languages, especially from a pedagogical point of view, because children learn better when taught in their mother tongues.
The representative of the Ministry of Science and Education, Nandor Čapo, said that interculturalism is an integral part of Croatian society in which the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia recognizes 22 national minorities that enrich its linguistic, historical, and cultural diversity.
One of the human rights is the right to education in the mother tongue, which at the moment in the Republic of Croatia is exercised by 16 national minorities, out of the 22 minorities that are recognised, in some of the different education models, starting from preschool and going all the way to high school education, and in this academic year, slightly more than ten thousand students are involved in one of these models.