Agreement Regarding Textbook Review
and Removal of Offensive Material
- 18 May 1998
1. Federation and Republika Srpska authorities will compile full sets of all textbooks in use in public primary and secondary schools, except the textbook for math, science and technical/vocational courses, by 25 May. By the same date, the Federation Minister of Education, the Republika Srpska Minister of Education, and the Federation Deputy Minister of Education will established their teams of experts who will be commissioned to perform textbook review.
2. The sets of textbook described in paragraph 1 will be provided by 27 May 1998 to the designated expert teams for review on an urgent basis. The Federation team will receive two sets of textbooks.
3. Each expert team will review the complete set of textbooks with the limited objective of identifying offensive material which should be removed in advance of the coming school year. The review should be completed by 19 June 1998. Each expert team will prepare a report of their findings, making specific recommendations of which material should be removed. In addition, the report should include recommendations of what material should be substituted for the offensive material, in those cases where the offensive material is so extensive as to require replacement.
4. On 20 June, the expert teams will meet to discuss their reports and to attempt to reach agreement upon any differing recommendations contained in their reports.
5. Any differences between the reports which remain unsolved following the 20 June meeting will be submitted to an Independent Commissions for Textbook Review which will be formed by the Office of the High Representative, in co-operation with the Council of Europe and UNESCO. The Independent Commission will be provided with the reports of both expert teams, as well as a report of the results of the 20 June meeting. A full set of textbooks as described in paragraph 1 will also be provided to the Independent Commission by the Federation and Republika Srpska Ministries of Education.
6. The Independent Commission will review the reports submitted by the expert teams, and the report of the 20 June meeting, and make final recommendations concerning removal of offensive material. The Independent Commission's recommendations will be issued no longer than 3 weeks from the date it receives the report of the expert teams, the report of the 20 June meeting, and the complete set of textbooks.
7. The Federation Minister of Education, the Republika Srpska Minister of Education, and the Federation Deputy Minister of Education will ensure that the Independent Commission's recommendations for eliminating offensive materials are implemented in full, in advance of the coming school year.
On 23 June, the Republika Srpska Minister of Education, and the Federation Minister and Deputy Minister of Education reiterated their commitment to this Agreement, and agreed further that the deadlines contained in Paragraphs 1 through 6 of the Agreement would be moved back by one month.
Agreement on removal of Objectionable Material from Textbooks to be Used in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1999-2000 School Year - [Mostar July 1999]
Further to the May 1998 Agreement on textbook review, the removal of objectionable material from the textbooks which are to be used in Bosnia and Herzegovina schools during the 1999--2000 school year is recognised by the Parties [Federation Ministry of Education; Republika Srpska Ministry of Education] as a necessary and desirable interim step in achieving an unbiased educational system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To achieve this result, it is agreed as follows:
1. In regard to all textbooks which have been identified on the list of textbooks to be used in the 1999-2000 school year (Attachment 1) and exchanged between the Parties and for which expert team reports have been produced, the determination by the respective Ministry officials as to what material is to be removed will be finalised and submitted to all parties and the Office of High Representative (OHR) no later than 25 July 1999. The Parties agree that to complete this process, the expert teams will meet in Sarajevo on 22 July 1999. The Parties specifically grant the authority to the expert teams to make whatever decision is necessary. these decisions will be subject to further review by an international team of experts convened by OHR, whose determination will be final. The international expert team has full discretion to make determinations as to objectionable material.
2. In regard to other books which have not yet been exchanged or reviewed by the expert teams, arrangements will be made by Parties to obtain the necessary books and submit the expert report to all parties and OHR no later than 10 August 1999. decisions from the Ministry officials as to what material is to be removed will be finalised and submitted to all Parties and OHR no later than 20 August 1999. These decisions will be subject to the same review by the international experts team as set forth in paragraph 1.
3. In regard to the use of textbooks originating in other countries, it is recognised that while the ultimate goal is not to utilise textbooks originating in countries other than Bosnia and Herzegovina, that result will not be practically achieved by the 1999-2000 school year. It is therefore agreed that all Parties will prepare and submit supplemental annexes for these textbooks originating in other countries intended to be used during the 1999-2000 school year to all Parties and OHR no later than 10 August 1999. these annexes will be reviewed by the Parties expert groups and reports from the expert groups will be submitted to all Parties and OHR no later than 17 August 1999. A determination as to the material in the annexes will be made by the respective Ministry officials and submitted to all Parties and OHR no later than 20 August 1999. These decisions will be subject to the same review by the by the international expert team as set forth in paragraph 1.
Dated this 19th day of July 1999.
Republika Srpska Deputy Minister of Education
Federation Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports
Federation Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports
Implementation of the Agreement of 19 July 1999 on Removal of Objectionable Material from Textbooks to be used in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1999-2000 School Year - [August 1999]
Pursuant to the Agreement on Removal of Objectionable Material from Textbooks to be used in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1999-2000 School Year, Mostar 19 July 1999, the undersigned agree as follows:
1. Objectionable material, as identified by the appointed Expert Teams and further decided upon by the process of arbitration of the Independent International Commission, will be either removed or annotated as set in Annex 1 to this agreement. Material to be removed will be obliterated by blacking in the textbooks. Material to be annotated will be marked by use of a stamp on the page on which the objectionable material is found.
2. The stamps used to mark material designated for annotation in Annex 1 will read in one of the local languages: "The following passage contains material of which the truth has not been established, or that may be offensive or misleading. The material is currently under review." "Sljedeći pasus sadrži matelijal čija istinitost nije utvrđena, ili koji može biti uvredljiv ili pogrešno tumačen. Ovaj materijal se trenutno nalazi u procesu pregledavanja" [and the same in the Cyrillic alphabet]
3. The undersigned will ensure procurement and distribution of the stamps. The cost of the stamps will be born by the Ministry of Education of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. The World Bank will be requested to authorise the use of funds under the Second Education Project for purposes of procurement of the stamps. Markers, pens etc. used to blacken out text must be nontransparent and cover the complete text specified.
4. The OHR will provide within two weeks a complete list of books reviewed, including books for which reports will then have been received. Textbooks for schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina which are not included in the complete list of books will be made available to the OHR by undersigned prior to their dissemination to schools. OHR will commission review according to the terms set out in the Agreement referred to in Article 1 above. OHR will provide amendments to Annex 1 to this agreement. The terms of this agreement apply to objectionable material identified in the amendments. As regards Article 3 of the Agreement of 19 July 1999, the deadlines are extended until 20 September 1999. For the remainder, the agreement remains in force.
5. With regard to the mention of "aggression" in Annex 1, the undersigned reserve the right to annotate rather than obliterate. With regard to the book "Moj Hrvatski 2" (1998) page 3, the undersigned reserve the right to annotate the poem on this page, as well as at other locations in textbooks where it may occur.
6. The undersigned commit themselves to implementing the measures set out in Annex 1 by 10 September 1999. They agree to implement measures set out in amendments to Annex 1, as referred to in Article 5 above, upon receiving the amendment and within a period of 10 days.
7. Implementation of this agreement is subject to monitoring. The undersigned agree to the OHR appointing individuals for this purpose. The individuals charged with monitoring the implementation of this agreement may, in particular, conduct site visits and inspect textbooks in use. These measures will be carried out in agreement with the local authorities.
8. The undersigned will issue instructions to schools and other authorities to effectuate the removal or annotation of objectionable materials as set out in Annex 1. The instructions shall include the entire and unabridged Annex 1. The instructions will paraphrase Article 1, 2, 6 and 7 of this agreement.
9. The OHR will notify the Federation Canton authorities of this agreement and of the authorities of the Federal Government to oversee its implementation.
Banja Luka, 20 August 1999.
Prof. Dr. Fahrudin Rizvanbegovic
Prof. Dr. Simun Musa
Prof. Dr. Nenad Suzic
Meeting of the Conference of Ministers of Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina - 10 May 2000, Sarajevo
At a meeting of the Conference of Ministers of Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina, i. e. the Federal Minister, the Deputy Federal Minister of Education and the Minister of Education of the Republika Srpska, on 10 May 2000 at the Office of the High Representative, Sarajevo co-chaired by Ambassador Dr. Matei Hoffmann, Senior Deputy High Representative, and Mr Gabriele Mazza, Council of Europe, and in the presence of representatives of UNESCO and other international partner organisations, an agreement was reached on the modalities and time frame of a far-reaching harmonisation of the present segregated, parallel educational systems.
The following items, which all aim at eliminating any form of segregation from the existing systems, were agreed upon:
1. The work of the next phase of the process of textbook review, undertaken with the objective of removal all objectionable material used in schools in BiH, will be accelerated. Experts from all constituent peoples are required to work together to improve the quality of textbooks in use.
All objectionable material already identified by the Independent Commission for Textbook Review will be removed by June 30, 2000, in time for the new school year. The operation of substantially improving the quality of textbooks will be completed by 31 December 2000.
2. A Curriculum Harmonisation Board, comprised of one representative of the Ministry, one representative from a Pedagogical Institute for each community / whose members have already been appointed - and representatives of the International Community will be charge of the co-ordination of curricula, the mutual exchange of information on the existing system and the changes/developments which affect them.
It will also make recommendations aiming at dramatically reducing the present pervasive overload of subjects Throughout all curricula.
This body will hold its first meeting in May 2000 and report the first results of its work to the Conference of Ministers of Education in June 2000.
3. Each constituent people will develop curricular modules with regard to its culture and language/literature to be integrated in the curricula of the other two constituent peoples, without further overloading present curricula. In addition, attention will be paid to the needs of the Roma/Sinti minority, and other minorities present on the territory of BiH.
This measure will be implemented as from the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year.
4. Both the Cyrillic and Latinic alphabets, as well as the shared linguistic, literary and cultural heritage of the three communities, will be taught throughout BiH at the relevant level, in a balanced, meaningful way. Teaching about all major religions practised in the country will also be introduced into all schools.
This measure will be implemented as from the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year.
5. Shared, core elements will be introduced in all curricula in order to enable today's school-age generation to grow up with a sense of common identity and citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina, European experience and practice will be draw upon in this process.
A new course in Human Rights and Civic Education will replace the current subject of civic defence/social studies under three various denominations. It will draw upon the materials, expertise and network of international organisations such as the Council of Europe and UNESCO, and specialised international networks such as Civitas International.
Work toward the implementation of this measure will be undertaken immediately, and completed in time for the introduction of such course at the beginning of the 2000/2001 school year.
6. Measures will be taken to ensure that the teaching and administrative staff is well informed about the changing educational environment. In order to further intercultural understanding and mutual respect and confidence, teachers from other constituent peoples will be gradually hired in order to teach all subject, and in particular the new curricular modules which are designed to meet the rights and needs of all returnee pupils in BiH in terms of cultural and linguistic/literary distinctiveness.
Ministers will submit by 30 May 2000 a specific action plan of steps to be undertaken to promote the integration of teachers from other ethnic groups, report on steps already undertaken at the monthly Conference of Ministers of Education, and they will produce regular statistics to monitor the effectiveness of implementation.
7. Pupils' school certificates and records, as well as the professional qualifications of teacher and teacher trainers will be mutually recognised throughout BiH.
Progress will be made at once, particularly with regard to the mutual recognition of school certificates and records, and full realisation of this measure will be completed by the beginning of the 2000-1001 school year.
8. National subjects textbooks which do not refer to BiH are Unsuitable for use in BiH, as was recognised in the Agreement on the Removal of Objectionable Material from Textbooks to be used in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1999-2000 school year signed in Mostar on 19 July 1999, these textbooks imported from Zagreb and Belgrade, which have Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as their reference will phase out within a period of two years, and not beyond the end of June 2002.
In the interim period, the supplement annexes which concern those imported textbooks and which regard to the same meeting of 19 July 1999 will be finalised and disseminated for use in all relevant schools as from September 2000.
9. As concerns the Federation, its authorities agree to negotiate in a responsible way. and for the benefit of the pupils and parents concerned, the peaceful resolution of all outstanding school crisis cases, as well as to preventively defuse other potential crisis cases throughout the Federation before the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year. The measures outlined above, if they are implemented in good faith, are designed to offer proper solution for such cases.
Fahrudin Rizvanbegovic (Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Nenad Suzic (Minister of Education, Republika Srpska)
Ivo Miro Jovic (Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Meeting of the Conference of the Ministers of Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina - 10 May 2000, Sarajevo
We, the Federal Minister of Education, the Deputy Minister of Education and the Minister of Education of the Republika Srpska, gathered for a meeting of the Conference of Ministers of Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina convened by OHR and the Council of Europe, and co-chaired by the Senior Deputy High Representative, Ambassador Dr Matei Hoffman and Mr. Gabriele Mazza, Counil of Europe, on 10 May 2000 at OHR, Sarajevo, declare our commitment to the fundamental reform of the existing parallel education systems of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a matter of high priority, as requested by the Council of Europe within the process of accession of BiH, as well as by the International Community as a whole. We unanimously adopt the following principles:
1. The highest quality of education based on genuine European standards and norms should be sought for all children and young people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the single most valuable resource that the country has in order to shape its fortune;
2. Education must no longer be used to divide and fragment the communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina; on the contrary, it should be used to bring them together and live in tolerance with one another. Any existing forms of segregation must be removed from parallel educational systems in the Federation and Republika Srpska, and co-ordination assured in order to facilitate the return of refugee families throughout the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
3. While each constituent people of Bosnia and Herzegovina is intitled to preserve and develop its own cultural and linguistic heritage, common and shared elements which facilitate intercultural understanding and communication should be stressed and reflected in all curricula and relevant textbooks. Measures to be taken throughout the country include the teaching of both Cyrillic and Latinic alphabets, the teaching of shared literary and cultural heritage of the three communities, and teaching about all major religions practised in BiH;
4. Curricula and textbooks for the national subjects must use Bosnia and Herzegovina as the country of reference. The names of the two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska will also be taught and use in textbooks where appropriate;
5. All certificates and diplomas must be recognised and accepted throughout the country in order to facilitate the mobility of pupils, students, teachers, teacher trainers and other educators;