Savović: The entire team of the school from Tuzi was silent, the ministry found out about the incident when the video appeared

"No one guarantees that something similar is not happening at this moment," said the director general of the Directorate for General Secondary Education, Vocational Education and Lifelong Learning.

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Students targeted the teacher, destroyed school property..., Photo: TV Vijesti

Slobodan Savović, Director General of the Directorate for General Secondary Education, Vocational Education and Lifelong Learning in the Ministry of Education, said that the incident at the "25. Maj" Secondary School in Tuzi, when students targeted the teacher and destroyed school property, happened before March .

He said in the Colors of the Morning on TV Vijesti that the school was obliged to inform the ministry about the incident and that they only found out about the event when the videos appeared in the public. He stated that the students in the video were attending the third or final year of that vocational school, and that the teacher in the video went on maternity leave in March.

None of the representatives of the "May 25" school appeared in the morning program.

Savović reminded that there was a change in the school leadership, that is, that the current acting director came to that position after the incident happened. "During the conversation with him, although he worked at that school as a teacher, we saw that he did not know about that case, that it was new to everyone," he said.

Savović, when asked if anyone will be held accountable for keeping silent about the event, said that according to the school's rules, it is something that will be prosecuted and that it is the principal's responsibility. "He will undertake everything within his competence to investigate the case, to investigate who is the class leader... It is certain that certain disciplinary measures will be taken".

He stressed that he was not satisfied with the school's reaction in this case. "Most of all, I am not satisfied with the fact that the entire team remained silent on this or possibly similar incidents, and not only them. No one guarantees that something similar is not happening at this moment," said Savović.

He pointed out, speaking in general about education in Montenegro, that teachers "attend the daily amount of aggression" by students.

"The system has to deal with that. It's something that comes from the outside environment, let's avoid mentioning the family. The lack of authority is also noticeable when such a student comes to the classroom, to a school where the system is somehow arranged in which they know the rules, adjusting it looks like something that is very painful for some. Most students accept the rules, but we also have cases like this," said Savović.

Asked when concrete measures will be taken, he said that there are clearly defined procedures. "I have no doubt, bearing in mind the commitment of the new director and knowing some colleagues from that school, that they will approach those procedures responsibly. I expect that this will be a daily activity, that the team will organize a meeting today and tomorrow and start taking action." Savovic said.

"The new director faces a big challenge"

Radoje Novović from the Institute for Education said that the incident did not surprise him, bearing in mind the report of the supervisory service from 2022.

"This is a consequence of the implementation of the curriculum in the mixed secondary school. The rating of the supervisory service was 'satisfactory'. This is the least positive rating for a school, which is quite alarming. The new director faces a big challenge to organize the school, arrange it and correctly implement its curriculum ", he emphasized.

He reminded that teaching and grading at the "25th of May" school were assessed as problematic.

"In the part of support for students, in the part of indicators - the school provides support in the development of students in the part of learning and education, the rating is 'unsatisfactory'. In the part of the ethos of the school, that the relations between students and teachers are based on respect for the rules, the rating is 'satisfactory' "In the part that the rules are respected and that the school offers systemic protection against violence, the grade is 'satisfactory'. That in itself indicates that it is really problematic," Novović pointed out.

"The school should have reacted more adequately and been aware of the problem"

Marija Ružić Stajović, social worker and project coordinator from the NGO Juventas, said that such cases should not be learned from the media, but that the school was the first to react more adequately, but also to be aware that it had a big problem.

"Peer violence is something that happens and has happened, but perhaps in this period it is much more visible. This puts before all of us, who work in the sector of child and social protection, the education system, that our work must be more intensive and that as systems we need to be much more connected... Where there is system connectivity, there will be a timely response," she said.

She said that this event is an alarm that more work should be done on the education of children and their parents, teaching and professional staff, as well as the wider public, saying that preventive measures should be intensified.