Members of the Turkish ethnic minorities have managed to keep the Turkology department in Pristina and have introduced education in the Turkish language in high schools. Although few in number, their persistent political leaders, enjoying support of the Turkish state authorities, have managed to achieve official status for Turkish language in local authorities in Prizren. In Mamusa, the largest Turkish village in Kosovo, the Turkish KFOR battalion has built a grandiose high schooling center. Graduates of the high school in Mamusa can continue their college education in Turkey.
The children of Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians mostly attend classes in Albanian language, while a small number in Northern Mitrovica study in Bosnian and Serbian languages. Interestingly, Egyptians from Gnjilane requested that their children study in the Bosnian language. President of the Roma Party of Kosovo Adzi Merdza Zulfi, also a representative in the Kosovo parliament, believes that Roma, Egyptians, and Ashkali are "of one kind" and that that is a consequence of Rambouillet.
According to Albanians, education in the Serbian language, in Northern Mitrovica, violates UN Resolution 1244 and is actually an attempt to dismember Kosovo. The Serb side claims that the local education system is totally legal. Bosniaks, left between two sides, are trying to win the right to education in their own language, without Serbs. In regions with significant number of Bosniaks (Prizren, Dragas, Pec, Vitomirica) Bosniak leaders have won the right to education in the Bosnian language in primary and high schools. With that in mind, UNMiK supplied for free school books from Bosnia-Hercegovina in the spring of 2000. The demand for the establishment of college education in Bosnian language was rejected by UNMiK, and at first also by ethnic Albanians. UNMiK officials did not want to finance education in two very similar languages [Serbian and Bosnian, actually two names for the same language], while Albanians refused to tolerate vocational schools and colleges in the "enemy tongue" in their midst.
About fifty students are enrolled in Bosnian language classes at the Business School in Pec, while Bosniak politicians have set the opening of an education college in Prizren, the city with highest concentration of Bosniaks (before the war Muslims and Gorani) in Kosovo, as a priority goal for themselves. However, they are facing problems with recruitment of suitable lecturers. According to some sources, since the arrival of the international community to Kosovo, more than 40 highly educated Bosniaks with Ph.D. degrees have left the province.
The villagers from Drajcici still clearly recall the end of 1999, when in their village in the foothills of the Sara Mountain, with a lot of pomp and ear splitting ethnic Albanian folk music, education in a foreign, Albanian, language was introduced. That was "a mass celebration" with participation of leaders of several local Albanian political parties, UNMiK, OSCE, UNHCR officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations. Following the old proverb "small community gets no justice" the small village became the training ground for political goals directly in front of the representatives of the international community. Bosniak teachers were fired. Three years later, therefore starting with the current school year, pupils from Drajcici are going back to education in their mother tongue and are attending classes in the primary school "May 25th" in nearby Gornje Ljubinje. But this time, there was no celebration. Apparently the main advocate of education in Albanian, certain Dzavit Bajrami, has experienced a new "epiphany".
He has again become a Bosniak and as such works as a policeman.
"Troubles" in Drajcici are slowly dying down, but the situation is still not ideal. A local van has stopped running and higher grades pupils from Drajcici spend more times in their homes than attending classes in Gornje Ljubinje. Pupils from Musnikovo also irregularly attend classes. In the village of Musnikovo the process of Albanization "ended" thirty years ago [villagers say they are ethnic Albanians] even though "old Serbo-croatian language" is still used in daily communication. The administration of the Albanian language school in Musnikovo at first refused to officially unenroll its former pupils so that they could continue education in a different school in a language they understand better, and whose name is uncertain.
"Ten pupils from Drajcici regularly attend classes, the issue with unenrollment has been resolved, and I think that the kids have made the right choice," Kaplan Mislimi, principal of the primary school in Gornje Ljubinje, where classes are held in the Bosnian language, says.
"If 'new ethnic Albanians' want a school, they can't have our school. That is our memorial school, and they can build a new one somewhere else and teach their kids in Albanian. That's their prerogative," a local Serb, who demanded to remain anonymous, said for Danas.
Kids, who after three years of education in the Albanian language are finally set to return to education in the language they understand, even if in a different village, are very satisfied.
"I believe that this only partly satisfies injustice inflicted on the children and their parents. The mistake will be corrected only when they are permitted to attend classes in their mother tongue in the village they live in. I think that that is just and that competent institutions, school administrations, educational institute and other relevant factors will satisfactorily resolve this request by parents," said Dzezair Murati, president of the Democratic Party of Bosniaks (DSB) and representative in the Kosovo parliament.
Problems have also been reported in Ljubizda, a suburb of Prizren. Out of about 4,000 residents, more than 90 percent are Bosniaks. The local school, "March 7" has about 500 pupils, and only about 40 of them attend classes in the Bosnian language. Bosniak teachers are here also, slowly but surely, being fired.
"Perhaps that's 'just'," says thirty-five-years-old Safet, "because certain teachers, probably out of fear, enrolled their kids in classes in Albanian or Turkish. Some of them took a middle road - one kid attends classes in Albanian, the other in Bosnian". In the end, only two pupils enrolled in the first grade this year.
By introducing mandatory education up to the ninth grade Kosovo authorities have made local Bosniaks lose "synchronicity" with education in other parts of the former Yugoslavia [mandatory primary school has eight grades]. The suggestion of the representatives of the Bosniak coalition Vatan in the Kosovo parliament that Bosniaks and Serbs be allowed to continue education according to the old educational program for another year was rejected [by the ethnic Albanian majority].
Villagers from Ljubizda, Skorobista, and partly in Grncar, also near Prizren, are eagerly listening to radio "Omega-3" in the Bosnian language, which "reminds them of their ancestral tongue". On the other hand, the locals have demonstrated next to no courage to request that their children attend education in their mother tongue. In informal conversations they venture that "it is important to nurture language at home so that it does not completely disappear".
Besides Ibisi, a half of all teachers receives another salary from Belgrade in addition to the one provided by UNMiK.
The other half of Gora residents, who now see themselves as a part of the Bosniak nation, but as the first faction do not want to give up their regional name, Goran, believe that it is necessary to switch to the Bosnian language, as ethnic Albanians view the Serbian language as the "enemy language" and insistence on education in Serbian would lead to a ban of all education in their mother tongue.