Serbian Ombudsman Requests Withdrawal of Textbook Negating Croatian Language

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Photo: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL
Photo: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL

The media quoted leaders of the ethnic Croat community as describing the recommendation as encouraging.

A definition on the division of South Slavic languages in the contentious textbook, written by a group of authors, says that Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian and Bulgarian belong to the South Slavic group of languages while “Croats, Bosniaks and some Montenegrins call the Serbian language Croatian, Bosnian, Bosniak and Montenegrin.”

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

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

The ombudsman’s decision was welcomed by the Croat National Council (HNV) and the DSHV party of Vojvodina Croats, which in October 2021 said that Serbian eighth-graders were taught that Croatian did not exist.

Croatian President Zoran Milanović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, too, have protested over the negation of the Croatian language.

For more, check out our politics section.


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