Recommendation to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia, the NEC and the Institute for the Promotion of the Quality of Education for the elimination of discriminatory content from teaching materials and practice and promoting tolerance and human rights

9 June 2011, ref. no. 649/2011


Acting within the framework of the legally prescribed competencies to monitor the implementation of the laws concerning the prohibition of discrimination and recommend to the public authorities and other persons measures achieve equality (Art. 33, items 7 and 9 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, Official Gazette of RS, No. 22/2009), the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality gives the following


The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia, in association with the National Education Council and the Institute for the Promotion of the Quality of Education, will, in accordance with their legal competences, take all the necessary measures within its competence to ensure:

  1. that educational materials, by their content, and teachers by their teaching practice and the way of working with students, foster awareness of differences, promote non-violent culture, equality and non-discriminatory practice, as the postulates of a democratic society based on respect for human rights
  2. development of awareness of diversity, interculturality and common values through presentation of famous figures of different ethnic, religious groups and cultures, etc.,
  3. that teaching content and teaching materials present to young people different models of the family in contemporary society (single parents, guardianship families, families without children, the right of same-sex partners to a family, etc.)
  4. removal of stereotypical representations of gender roles/professions and promotion of varieties; insist on manifold and multi-layered human identities, value individuality, solidarity and creativity regardless of gender
  5. improvement of the Civic Education plan and program to include concrete workshops on the prevention of discrimination and the alleviation of prejudices against children from vulnerable and marginalized groups (children with developmental disorders, learning difficulties, children who are socially deprived) in all classes, but in accordance with the principles of inclusive education with the use of modern and adequate terminology
  6. inclusion of content and programs from Civic Education into other subjects
  7. greater visibility of children from marginalized groups in textbooks, plans and programs (texts, workshops, photographs), in accordance with the principles of inclusive education
  8. introduction of affirmative and accurate representations of same-sex sexual and emotional orientation, transgender people, transsexuality and intersexuality in all textbooks (both natural and social sciences), including examples of LGBTTIAQ individuals as part of historical, but also contemporary democratic societies
  9. removal from textbooks, plans and programs terminology that is obsolete, outdated and offensive, especially removal of contents which abound in medical approach, specifying diagnoses and prejudices in relation to the capacity of children, especially children with developmental disorders
  10. using and insisting on standardization and legal regulation of gender-sensitive language and the language of non-discrimination (children and youth with disabilities and developmental disorders, not with special needs; persons who suffer/inflict violence, not victim/perpetrator, a person using psychoactive substances, not drug addict etc.)
  11. that through appropriate professional development programs, teachers improve their knowledge and skills in the field of children and human rights, equality and non-discrimination, gender equality, and nonviolence, and overcome their own prejudices and stereotypes, as well as increase the sensitivity to the gender content of teaching materials and teaching practice


Dr. Nevena Petrušić

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