Prilep: Political party propaganda and manipulation of minors

(This text is being republished after receiving the third place “Civic Lenses” award in January 2016)

In the elementary school “Blazhe Koneski”, in the Prilep settlement of Varosh, in the style of the so demonized by the current government - Yugoslovenian system, there are pictures of high level officials of the ruling party hanging on its walls, as well as of MPs from VMRO-DPMNE from Prilep.

(Detail) Propaganda in the school halls – Elementary school “Blazhe Koneski”

(Detail) Propaganda in the school halls – Elementary school “Blazhe Koneski”

The school has barely thirty students, and the principle, M.S. Marija Duleva, as a distinguished and diligent member of VMRO-DPMNE, tolerates such vulgar party propaganda and manipulation of students who are minors, who have been entrusted to her from their parents for disciplining and educating, and not for indoctrination from a young age.

The photo-collage which is located in the hall of the small school is made up of photographs from political speeches, political party ceremonies “blessed” by the Mayor of Prilep, M.S Marjan Risteski, as well as photographs from MPs, Ane Lashkoska and Dimitar Stevanandjija, and of the coordinator of VMRO-DPMNE in Prilep and President of the Municipal Council, Nikola Dimeski.

Propaganda in the school halls - “Blazhe Koneski”

Propaganda in the school halls - “Blazhe Koneski”

It raises the question on whether the state educational inspectorate has noticed this manipulation (it is unlikely that they haven’t, or that they haven’t been informed, given that the controversial photographs are hanging in the school hall for quite some time) and why this kind of impermissible act of abusing children with party propaganda is still tolerated?

If in the former regime, the one party ruling system was the foundation to sustaining the Communist party, then how do the current fighters for democracy of the “quarter-century” pluralist Macedonia interpret this shameful attempt for partisation of even the youngest members of the educational system, how do they interpret the presumptuous attempts for imposing political vies and positions of the local officials?  Are there such educational workers, members of the honorable and one of the most human occupations - for which children are nothing more than a fundamental material for modeling potential party soldiers?

These are questions upon which the institutions have to think about and respond as soon as possible with strict adherence to democratic standards.

Bozidar Barlakoski

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