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The Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture of Kosovo

This union was responsible for coordinating the massive demonstrations on 12 October last year, when 200,000 in Prishtine and 600,000 in the whole of Kosova protested against the closing of schools. Some 570 people were beaten or taken into police detention that day, 16 of them were imprisoned for between 30 and 60 days, and one girl from Peja had her ear cut off. About 60% of the union’s remaining members in Kosova teach in elementary schools. 22 elementary schools have been closed; in those that are open, Serbian and Albanian education is rigidly segregated: Albanian teachers are unpaid; no materials are supplied for Albanian pupils; only the rooms used by Serbs are heated; each Serb pupil has an average space of 12.6 sq metre, as against 0.67 sq metre for Albanians (many pupils have to share chairs and desks). The federal budget allocates 28 per cent of its education spending in Kosova for the 450,000 Albanians, the rest for the 40,000 Serbs.

The Union distributes the 30DM per month to each of the 22,000 teachers keeping the elementary schools or shadow secondary schools and university classes going, either in people’s homes or using some school buildings. Obviously it is very difficult to teach science subjects, and they would be very interested in organizing student groups to visit other universities in their vacations when they might have access to science facilities. [italics added] Some student hostels have now been turned into police accommodation. While federal spending on education in Kosova is being drastically cut for Albanians, it is being expanded for Serbs sometimes very dramatically to allow for colonisation.

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