CENTRE FOR EDUCATION
The reason for founding the Centre for Education lay in the need for the aims of the IFB – the deconstruction and reconstruction of knowledge of the politics and economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina – to be achievable in the process of reform of education as a whole in conformity with best experience. The Centre for Education of the IFB was formed by general resolution of the Board of Governors in late 2001, and is part of the organization of the IFB with its three regional centres (Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla) and seven thematic/research centres – for strategic studies, education, student programmes, historical studies, regional cooperation, gender issues, technology and economic development (with two branches: entrepreneurship and public/private partnerships, and advanced and information technology).
The Centre's activities will focus on further and higher education reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in particular on the modernization of the teaching process and the introduction of higher teaching standards, and on the de-ideologization and democratization of schools as public institutions of major importance for the social and political life of the country.
Basic strategic aims:
- awareness-raising among the general public, and in particular among professionals working in education institutions, on the need for systematic change to existing education practice and its legal and institutional context;
- a critique of inherited views of the purpose, aims and methods of teaching and communication;
- encouraging and strengthening ideas and initiatives that could contribute to the advancement of education, particularly those originating in civil society and non-governmental organizations;
- cooperation with international organizations and local governmental institutions on education reform;
- coordination of various activities and projects throughout the country, and in particular support for forms of cooperation linking different entities, cantons or types of organization and institution (international institutions, official goernment institutions and non-governmental organizations and associations;
- a critique of the present prevailing ethno-politics as manifested in education, i.e. of all forms of ethno-national indoctrination of young people in education institutions;
- to make "the education of the citizen” present in public opinion and education institutions as the main aim of the entire education process (instead of pseudopedagogic platitudes about the "creative personality”, which is empty of content and makes way for the indoctrination of pupils);
- advocating the civic, secular nature of education policy and education itself while also underlining the particular significance of religious education in a multiethnic society where confessional identity largely coincides with ethnic identity;
- the democratization of schools, not merely by the introduction of pupil-centred teaching methods but also by allowing pupils, students and teachers alike to express critical judgments, to participate actively in the work of schools and universities, mutually to assess and evaluate achieved outcomes, etc.;
- to facilitate for pupils, students and teachers the immanent political and social work methods appropriate to education institutions: the establishment of regular public debate, critical re-examination, the organization of seminars and presentations, etc;
- forming links between schools and universities and the local community, the broader socio-political community and the general public through various forms of curricular and extra-curricular activities;
- a critique of the despotic character of education institutions and the widespread and ingrained practice of discipline that is in fact a substitute for the actual teaching and education process;
- to expose to the public gaze all forms of covert and surreptitious links between power and knowledge, ideology and scholarship, prejudices and productive hypotheses, doctrinaire bias and political leanings, etc.;
- to bring to light all covert forms of ethnic and religious discrimination in the civic practice of education in a multicultural environment;
- the advancement of cooperation with prominent foreign education institutions and experts;
- curriculum change in the domain of the social sciences and humanist disciplines;
- assistance and support for young people in organizing democratically and in their academic studies;
- the organization in civil society of alternative and rival forms of academic association, cooperation and research that will serve as an example and provide incentives for the advancement of state education institutions.
Proposed Board members
The Chairman of the Centre for Education proposes the following as members of the Centre's Board: Maksuma Topalovic (Kakanj); Asim Mujkic (Sarajevo); Dženana Kalaš (Sarajevo); Dinko Delic (Tuzla). The chairmen of the regional and thematic centres are invited to consider this proposal and to submit their suggestions to ensure that it underpins the proposed activities as a whole of the Centre for Education under the auspices of the IFB.