At the panel discussion “One Society for All – Present and Perspectives”, which was held on December 15, 2021, as part of this year’s edition of CIVIL’s Conference “Perspectives 2022”, through a special interview on this topic, Minister of Education and Science in the Government of North Macedonia Mila Carovska also took part.
What is the situation with the implementation of the Strategy “One Society for All”? Where is there progress, what are the weaknesses and challenges? What are the expectations, recommendations and prospects for 2022? These questions were given to all the participants of the panel, representatives of institutions and the civil society sector from several departments and areas.
Minister Carovska thinks that the concept “One Society for All” is indeed significant for the country, for us to mature as a democracy and to create generations that will believe in those values. According to her, this Government has the opportunity to transform the society from a conservative and closed one to a modern, open society, which takes care for every individual to realize their rights equally and to feel as part of the processes of building the state.
“To achieve such a transformation of society, it is very important for the education system to support the Strategy “One Society for All”. And that is exactly what we are doing. If you see the new concept of primary education, it is setting national standards of learning for the first time, they are harmonized with European and world national standards of learning, certainly adapted to our needs”, stressed Carovska in the interview for the Conference “Perspectives 2022”.
Carovska explains that in this direction, for the first time three pillars are set with the new concept of education.
“One is inclusion – everyone to have equal access. The second is gender equality – the messages that have been sent until now and regard humiliation of women or putting them in second place – now to have equalization and positioning of boys and girls at an equal level and our expectations of them to be equally placed there. And, the third is interculture, or indeed, respecting all individuals who are in this country equally, and giving a chance for everyone, regardless of their ethnic affiliation, to achieve their maximum”, said Carovska in the interview for CIVIL Media.
Talking about the results in realizing this concept, in the interview Carovska points out several examples, among which that all schools that show that interculture and learning about diversity are also their values, receive grants from the MES as an incentive for their activities.
“We have many such schools, I think 97 such grants are given annually, which really give me hope that it is possible to transform our society into a society for all, in which all are respected and feel as part of the development processes”, says Carovska.
Talking about the challenges, she spoke also about the resistance that appeared with the new concept and reforms in the education.
According to her, every reform creates polarization, a discussion is opened for the first time on certain issues that had been put under the rug.
“If you see that one ethnic group is learning one history, another ethnic group is learning another history, you need to discuss which one is the national one, and how they can jointly learn all facts that seventh-graders, eight-graders, ninth-graders need to know. Only in this way we can build One society. On the other hand, you have schools that in one shift are one ethnicity, and in another shift another ethnicity. And when you start opening all this as a discussion, it is normal to have polarization. It is normal to have forces that will pull on the other side”, explains Carovska.
Carovska says that those forces are constantly keeping us in a closed society that cannot develop. We cannot want to be part of the European countries, and on the other hand keep ourselves isolated in our closed circles, believes Carovska, calling for an open discussion.
“We as a state, simply long for having bold steps made by various officials. When such bold steps are made, we need to stand behind them and in this way seek results. Because, otherwise, anyone of us can say how much they care for One society, but it is much more important to see what they do to achieve One society, says among else Minister of Education Mila Carovska in the interview for CIVIL with the framework of the Conference “Perspectives 2022”.
interview by: Petrit Saracini
camera: Atanas Petrovski
editing: Arian Mehmeti
translation: N. Cvetkovska