September 3, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 03-09-03 b 


SCHOOL FOR SERB CHILDREN STILL HAS NOT BEGUN - TEACHERS, CHILDREN AND PARENTS ASK FOR BETTER SECURITY

Following yesterday's information regarding resumed escorts for school buses transporting Serbian children, the ERP KIM Info Service received news that the necessary security conditions still do not exist in Kosovsko Pomoravlje and that consequently school for Serb children has not begun according to schedule

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ERP KIM INFO SERVICE
Gnjilane
, September 2, 2003

Following yesterday's information regarding resumed escorts for school buses transporting Serbian children, the ERP KIM Info Service received news that the necessary security conditions still do not exist in Kosovsko Pomoravlje and that consequently school for Serb children has not begun according to schedule.

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren received a written statement from Dragoslav Vidic, a member of the school board of the Serbian community of Kosovsko Pomoravlje. In this newsletter we include his appeal, addressed to "all relevant factors in the Gnjilane region" and signed by Serb teachers and parents, as well as by Return Coalition (Povratak) MPs in the Kosovo and Metohija parliament:

Statement of Dragoslav Vidic, a member of the school board of the Serbian community of Kosovsko Pomoravlje

"In Kosovska Kamenica we began with serious multiethnic work as far back as 1999 where all groups, both Albanians and Serbs, work together. The education director is an Albanian and the deputy director is a Serb. Funds and all assistance were equally shared.

"In Kosovska Kamenica there are four schools sharing the same schoolyard, one of which is Serb. Right before the beginning of the school year 12 windows on the Serbian school were broken. In the past Russian KFOR and upon its departure a unit of Spanish KFOR escorted the buses, while those children residing further from the school were escorted to and from school on foot. The children would usually gather in one location and would then be escorted from that location to the school. Most of the parents from Kamenica are protesting and asking for protection for their children.

"The teacher who was killed in Cernica was specially trained to start working with the first-grade pupils. He was the eight teacher killed in the Gnjilane region, where two teachers have been kidnapped and six murdered.

"At this time in mixed environments such as Kamenica, Cernica, Vitina and Mogila children are especially at risk because their classes are held in places where the majority of the population is Albanian."

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APPEAL OF SERB TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND TEACHERS TO ALL RELEVANT FACTORS IN GNJILANE REGION

WE ARE ALL CERNICA


At the request of parents, a large number of children and all teachers from Kosovska Pomoravlje, Return Coalition (Povratak) MPs, elementary and secondary school principals assessed that the security of children while in school and on their way to school has significantly worsened at this time. We have appealed to KFOR and the UNMIK police to secure the school buildings and provide escorts for school buses. To date no one has responded to our request.

We ask that UNMIK and KFOR provide protection for schools and school buses in order to prevent a future tragedy from occurring.

Parents, teachers and students, members of the Return Coalition

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ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
Our Information Service is distributing news on Kosovo related issues. The main focus of the Info-Service is the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM Info Service works in cooperation with www.serbian-translation.com as well as the Kosovo Daily News (KDN) News List

Disclaimer:
The views expressed by the authors of newspaper articles or other texts which are not official communiqués or news reports by the Diocese are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church

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