After the reaction of the Protector of Citizens regarding the protection of rights and freedoms of national minorities in the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development requested the publisher of Serbian language textbooks for the eighth grade of primary school to change the contentious part of the content related to the names of South Slavic languages by mid-May 2022.
Further to the complaint filed by the Croatian National Minority Council, the Protector of Citizens launched an investigation to control work legality and regularity of the Institute for the Improvement of Education and the competent Ministry and found that the contentious textbook states that Croats, Bosnians, and Montenegrins use the Serbian language but name it Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin.
Considering that such a definition denies the existence of national minority languages, which is contrary to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages ratified by the Republic of Serbia, especially since the Croatian and Bosnian languages are in official use in our country, the Protector of Citizens, in the recommendations for rectifying the shortcomings, requested the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technological Development to withdraw this textbook from the use by the beginning of next school year.
In the notification on acting upon the recommendations of the Protector of Citizens, the competent Ministry explained that the Institute for the Improvement of Education issued guidelines to all publishers of those textbooks laying out that the change in the part of the content in Serbian language textbook for eight-graders should be carried out as a narrative explanation of South-Slavic languages division, with no table or list.
The competent Ministry further states that the Institute gave the publishers the deadline until 15 May 2022 to submit the request for establishing that the new edition of the approved textbooks contains the corrections and that the publisher was asked to supplement all copies of these textbooks that are still on the market with a correction of the published text in the form of a printed corrected page enclosed to the existing page in the textbook.