Is the School in Nature program losing its purpose: It costs a lot to walk without classes

The program is more about fun and socializing than education. Schools should not encourage material differences between children, and therefore the justification that the program is not mandatory is absolutely untenable, says Lepa Žunjić from the Parents Association.

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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The prices of the School in nature program cannot be paid by the importance of part of the families, and the way in which they are organized is also questionable, considering that the students do not learn anything, apart from hanging out with the teachers in a less formal atmosphere.

They are parents, he says Beautiful Žunjić from the Association of the same name, in a big problem - how to explain to the child that he will not go with his peers and teachers outside the city, because the price is unattainable for the household budget.

Žunjić points out that the School in nature should be available "to all children because it should not be just a place to rest and walk".

Parents have been warning for days about the high prices of the program, but also the fact that schools usually receive one offer that they can either accept or explain to the child why they will not socialize with their peers outside the classroom.

The program is designed so that they learn in contact with nature, which, among other things, affects the improvement of their health, as well as psycho-social and physical development.

Several principals of elementary schools contacted by "Vijesti" said that the procedures are ongoing, as well as that they will have all the information about the location and price of the Nature School only after the tender is concluded.

Radoje Novović from the Institute for Education said yesterday in "Morning Colors" that the program will be organized at the end of this month and during May, mainly in Ulcinj, Budva and Žabljak.

Programs cost up to more than 200 euros for three nights.

It makes a difference among children, but not in knowledge

Žunjić told "Vijesta" that by raising the price of schools, the already big differences that "exist between children and we continue to create an additional gap" deepen.

"The school should not encourage such a way of functioning and therefore the justification - it is not mandatory - absolutely does not stand. If the School is designed in nature to hold classes but according to an adapted program and to learn functionally, i.e. apply in practice what was mastered during classes, then children who do not go, will be additionally deprived of that experience. Although we could also discuss the purpose of the program and its connection with the initial idea, because we are not sure that it works like that anymore", said Žunjić.

Zunjic
Zunjicphoto: Private archive

She pointed out that parents' concerns about children not learning anything new during the Nature School are justified.

The "Vijesti" interlocutor emphasizes that this is due to the fact that many teachers "do not prepare a work program and children do not learn school material, at least not as intended by the program prepared by the Institute for Education".

"School in nature is more about fun and socializing than education. We are not saying that the children will not learn some important life lessons from those experiences of togetherness, but one should not exclude the other," said Žunjić, adding that Montenegro is far from developed countries in this regard, where similar programs are implemented more often. , and mostly without the financial participation of parents.

She emphasized that the advantages of resorts owned by the state and the municipality should be used, and children should be afforded a quality organized experience.

The tenders are still ongoing, the options are increasing

Principals of primary schools with whom "Vijesti" spoke said that the procedures are ongoing. According to some, parents will be informed about the details only after the tender is completed.

Principal of "Maksim Gorki" Primary School Tigran Dobrašinović he said that the tender has not yet been concluded, and that the public invitation procedure is ongoing. He added that only one agency responded to the tender.

Dragan Mijuskovic, the director of Elementary School "Oktoih" said that the School in nature will cost parents 225 euros per student, as well as that only one tourist agency applied for the tender.

"To all the teachers from the first to sixth grade who participate in the school in nature, the Parents' Council and all the parents of the classes from the first to the sixth grade. I sent them via Viber to fill out an online survey," said Mijušković.

The parents, however, claim that the offer is too expensive for them, and that no one consulted them about it. Mijušković, when asked by "Vijesti" if these allegations were true, said that "these are malicious parents" and that such "do not bother him at all".

Principal of Elementary School "Vuk Karadžić" Budimir Vukicevic however, pointed out that the School in nature largely depends on the price of the offer.

"Parents pay, so if they accept. The parents suggested not to the northern part, but to the coastal part. That's what we proposed too," he explained.

Vukicevic
Vukicevicphoto: Private archive

Žunjić: We all turn a blind eye to the monopoly of two agencies

Žunjić tells "Vijesta" that it is "harmful and devastating" that two travel agencies have a monopoly in Montenegro.

"... Because we all know that and it's been going on for years. However, we all have to bear that part of the responsibility, because first we do not insist on the responsibility of those who do it in front of all of us, and then we agree, accepting such conditions in the end. Tenders, which are often very precisely described and written in such a way that the offer is practically just transferred to another time, receive exactly one offer. And then, they say, there is no choice. And so for years," said Žunjić.

The road under question mark for Elementary School "Vladika Danilo"

It is not certain that all primary school students will "attend" the School in Nature, and Lidija Rašović, director of the "Vladika Danilo" Elementary School in the Municipality of Zeta, confirmed this doubt to "Vijesta".

"We sent the parents to declare whether they are interested in their children going, and given that we have witnessed that the parents' powers are limited. A small number of students applied, so at the session of the Teachers' Council we will decide whether to go at all and what to do," she said.

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