Organising intercultural and interreligious activities

A toolkit for local authorities


Current Affairs Committee

Sedef Cankoçak

Tel : +33 3 88 41 21 10

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Subotica - Breaking down the sectarian divides in society

Best practice Educating young people

The city sees education at the heart of both its problems and opportunities. The separation of children into three main monolingual school systems threatens to create another generation of ethnic division and misunderstanding. The system is defined and imposed by central government, and unfortunately the city only has limited discretionary powers but within these limits Subotica is attempting to break down the sectarian divides. For example he is encouraging all schools to adopt a common history curriculum to address the misunderstandings that have sometimes fuelled tension. They have supported the writing of a new history of Yugoslavia in which Serb, Croat and Bosnian historians have collaborated. The best example of good practice in education has been the inter-school quiz competition ‘How Well Do We Know Each Other?’ To win, school teams must answer questions on both general knowledge and about the cultures other than their own. It is sponsored by a large telecoms company and is screened on regional TV so it is widely known and is keenly competitive, with the four winning schools receiving large cash prizes and foreign excursions.