Macedonian and Albanian teachers prepare joint history of 2001 conflict





The history lesson on what happened in the armed conflict in Macedonia in 2001 is the result of project "Understanding Recent History", implemented by the Macedonian Helsinki Committee and Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution within the Institute for Sociological and Political-Legal Institutions.

The project included 25 history teachers from 14 high schools with Macedonian and Albanian instruction, who have prepared a joint version on the 2001 conflict following a one-year period of seminars and training. The publication, which is issued in Macedonian and Albanian languages also includes the two radical versions on events.

The project authors expect that such presentation of the armed conflict, which is widely experienced as a conflict between Macedonians and Albanians, would contribute to the transformation of the role of history from a factor that deepens the gap into a bridge between the Macedonian and Albanian communities.

EU Ambassador, Erwan Fouere emphasized Thursday that the history is very important for the Balkans, which had suffered much in the past. According to him, Macedonia went through crisis in 2001, but due to the political courage and vision of the leadership, it managed to overcome ethnic divisions.

"December 16 decision of the EU to grant Macedonia candidate status is a formal recognition of that political vision and commitment", Fouere stressed.

Both Mirjana Najcevska from the Helsinki Committee and Violeta Petrova-Beska from the Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution emphasized that the project's objective was double. The project should help in the creation of model of communication among professors in the preparation of materials for history instruction books at all education levels; secondly, it should present the process of preparing a joint lesson treating problematic events with argumentative presentation of positions, leaving space for critical acceptance and contemplation of things, especially among young generations.



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