ZAGREB, December 19, 2018 – After a Croatian language instruction office was opened at Priština University this past autumn, another such office is expected to be opened at Tirana University as well, while an Albanian language instruction office will be opened in Zagreb, Croatian MP Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj, who represents five ethnic minorities, including Albanians, and who initiated the introduction of Croatian language classes in Kosovo, said in Zagreb on Wednesday.
Lekaj Prljaskaj said that she believed the opening of a Croatian language instruction office at Priština University in early November would lead to the introduction of a Croatian language and literature department at Priština University as well as the establishment of an Albanian language and literature department at Zagreb’s Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty.
The MP said the Albanian language instruction office was expected to start working in March, adding that she hoped the Albanian language department would be established in two years’ time.
“In the former Yugoslavia, Serbo-Croatian was taught in Kosovo, but younger generations no longer have that option and given the current circumstances, it is unlikely that Albanians will learn Serbian, which is why I have proposed introducing Croatian language classes,” Lekaj Prljaskaj said.
She noted that the Croatian language instruction office in Priština was currently financed with money from EU funds, but that work was underway to have Kosovo and Croatia sign an agreement whereby they would take over the financing of their respective language instructors.
Lekaj Prljaskaj said that she had also talked with officials at the Croatian Education and Science Ministry and the Office for Croats Abroad about introducing Croatian language classes for children in Janjevo, a Croat minority village in Kosovo.
There are about 40 children in Janjevo whose classes are based on Serbia’s and not Kosovo’s curriculum, they learn Serbian and their books come from Serbia, the MP said.
The officials at the Education and Science Ministry have promised to send a teacher and provide textbooks for those children in line with Croatia’s model for the education of ethnic minorities, she said.
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