OSCE publishes report on school names, symbols in BiH

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina published the report “School names, symbols and manifestations at primary and secondary schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A status update with recommendations” on 27 December 2021.

This report assesses the recent backsliding and reemphasizes the need to address exclusionary practices concerning school names, symbols and manifestations, based on the Mission’s years of regular monitoring of more than 2,000 central and branch schools located throughout the country.

“Schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina are public spaces that must be welcoming to all children and should never be used for political purposes”, said Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Likewise, school names, symbols and manifestations should not be used to create divisions or suggest the exclusion of some students. Quality education requires an inclusive atmosphere that respects the rights and backgrounds of all children,” she added.

The report contains a set of recommendations for different levels of authorities, key decision makers and school managements for decisive actions that will help ensure that school environments are appropriate and welcoming for all students.

In line with its mandate, the Mission will continue to support education authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in developing inclusive and quality education, as well as in promoting non-discrimination, respect for diversity, mutual understanding and collaboration.

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