a

Thursday, 26 January 2012

In the procedure of controlling the work of the Institute for the Advancement of Education, the Ministry of Education and Science and the National Education Council, the Protector of Citizens has established a series of irregularities in giving their expert assessment on primary school textbooks, at the request of a publishing company from Belgrade.

The Protector of Citizens points out that the procedure of assessing the quality of draft textbooks and approving them for use is burdened with numerous irregularities, including the absence of rules for the procedure of assessing the quality of drafts and arbitrary actions of the management that is responsible for ensuring correct, unbiased and above all, expert assessment of the textbook that will be used by primary school pupils and secondary school students in Serbia. Arbitrary and biased conduct of administration authority, along with the failure to comply with the legally prescribed procedure did not only violate  the principles of legality and regularity, but also challenged the credibility and professional integrity of the experts who provided assessments and bodies that made decisions based on these assessments.

It has been recommended to the Institute for the Advancement of Education, the Ministry of Education and Science and the National Education Council to adopt regulation that will regulate the manner and procedure of expert assessment of the quality of draft textbooks, to establish responsibility for committed errors, return money to the publisher and adjust future actions to the principles of legality, fairness and correct administrative behaviour.

These state institutions are obliged to inform the Protector of Citizens, within 60 days, about the implementation of received recommendations.