The Protector of Citizens has requested the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development to harmonize the provisions of the Law on Fundamentals of Education System and the Law on Textbooks in order to clearly outline the role of the Parents’ Council in the textbook selection process.
In early June 2021, after the parents from Oslobodioci Beograda Elementary School filed complaints alleging that the school refused to approve the use of free of charge textbooks for some school subjects, the Protector of Citizens initiated the investigation to control work legality and regularity of the competent Ministry and the School.
In the response to the Protector of Citizens, the competent Ministry has invoked Article 34 of the Law on Textbooks, which did not specify that the Parents’ Council might influence the textbooks selection. However, in the same document, not once did the Ministry refer to the provision of article 120 of the Law on Fundamentals of Education System, specifying that the Parents’ Council takes part in suggesting the electives and in the textbooks selection process.
In the Opinion issued to the Ministry of Education, the Protector of Citizens has stated that, due to the inconsistencies of the Law on Fundamentals of Education System and the Law on Textbooks, it is necessary to use appropriate amendments to the Laws in order to harmonize the provisions that define the role of the Parents' Council in the selection of textbooks.
According to the Protector of Citizens, it is necessary to harmonize the articles of the two Laws related to the education of children in order to clearly and unambiguously define the role of the Parents’ Council in the textbook selection process, and thus enhance the child's right to education.