Students from ethnically divided schools to lawmakers: We want to be together


Students from one of Bosnia’s schools where students are separated based on ethnicity told lawmakers on Thursday that they want to go to school together and overcome the boundaries that were set up to keep them separated.

The ‘two schools under one roof’ is a phenomenon Bosnia is known for when it comes to education. Children are separated based on ethnicity and have separate curriculums that differ mainly regarding history and languages.

High school students from the central Bosnian towns of Travnik and Novi Travnik visited the Parliament of the Federation (FBiH), the part of the country mostly shared by Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks.

They told the lawmakers that one of the key problems of youth in Bosnia is the insisting on divisions 24 years after the war ended.

“Why are they doing this? Why are they separating schools? Why can’t all religions be in the same school and everyone hang out together, and not for a huge fence, two metres high, to separate us?” asked Dzejla Halilovic, one of the students from Travnik.

“We are actually all the same people, but a two-metre fence separates us, which is not that terrible as we still hang out together,” said Esmeralda Kalibic, another student.

“I know children from that school and they socialize excellently with each other, but the adults are destroying that,” said Lamija Zajmovic, a student from Novi Travnik.