Serbian ombudsman calls for withdrawal of Croatian-denying textbook

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Photo: Matija Habljak/Pixsell

ZAGREB, January 28, 2022 – Serbian mediator Zoran Pašalić has called for the withdrawal of a Serbian-language textbook for eighth graders that denies the existence of Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin languages, Croatian media in the province reported on Friday. Serb from Vojvodina. .

Media quoted ethnic Croatian community leaders as encouraging.

A definition on the division of South Slavic languages ​​in the disputed manual, written by a group of authors, indicates that Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian and Bulgarian belong to the group of South Slavic languages ​​while “Croatian, Bosnians and some Montenegrins call the Serbian language Croatian, Bosnian, Bosnian and Montenegrin.”

Ombudsman Zoran Pašalić said in a statement that the handbook’s approval violated the rights of ethnic minorities because it denied the existence of their languages, with Croatian and Bosnian being in official use in Serbia.

Pašalić called on the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to take the necessary measures and withdraw the textbook before the start of the 2022/2023 school year as well as report to him within 60 days of the taken measures.

The ombudsman’s decision was welcomed by the Croatian National Council (HNV) and the DSHV party of Croats in Vojvodina, who said in October 2021 that eighth grade Serbian students had learned that Croatian did not exist.

Croatian President Zoran Milanović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković also protested the denial of the Croatian language.

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