School reform

  1. Lemma
  2. Reforma u skoli
  3. Serbian
  4. Religious and Civil Society Education (en) - Darwinism at School (en)
  5. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  6. Education, Science and Orthodoxy - Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology:evolution
  7. 30-9-2016
  8. Colic, Ljiljana (03/03/2004) [Author]. Path - the Narrative of a Failed Minister
  9. Path : the Narrative of a Failed Minister - Belgrade: Hriscanska misao, 2005.
    1. Ministry of Defence of Republic of Serbia
    2. Colic, Ljiljana (03/03/2004)
  10. Darwin, Charles (1858) - School reform
    1. Ljiljana Colic wrote a confession-like book "Path" which deals with the еvent related to Religious Education in Serbian school system. The author has, as a Minister of Education and Sport, tried to reevaluate Religious Education as a way of national identity preservation and modify teaching curriculum regarding Darwinist theory teaching.

      The chapter "Religious and Civil Society Education – National and/or Universal" (pp. 37–41) deals with the issue of Religious education as a school subject. When introduced into Serbian schools, it has not been in an equal position with the Civil Society Education, especially due to government officials promoting the latter and its international support. In addition, European Council has not been satisfied with Religious Education as the alternative to Civil Society one. Therefore, there has been a strong neglect of Religious Education at schools across Serbia, so that Minister Colic has tried to achieve balance.

      The author emphasizes that the question of Religious Education introduction is more important in Serbia than anywhere else. Such a statement is rooted in the fact that Serbian Orthodox Church has been tradition and nationality protector apart from being an institution of religion, in the time of Turkish occupation, as well as onward. For centuries, Serbia has lost territory, safety, freedom and so on; however, it has succeeded in preserving Orthodoxy. Therefore, the author stresses the importance of the role of the Orthodox Church in education and that such tradition should not be abandoned.

      Another chapter, "Human-like Apes and Ape-like Humans" (pp. 203–216) represents an event dating from July, 9th 2004 regarding teaching curriculum for 8th grade, Biology, part Origin and Development of Human Species:  Similarity between humans and ape-like humans, Modern man ancestors, People today. The 2004 Minister of Education and Sport, Ljiljana Colic, found it impossible to sign permission for such teaching curriculum. In the further discussion with the Biology Counselor, Minister Colic stressed the existence of two theories: theory of evolution and theory of creation. Colic was worried about the fact that one theory, theory of evolution, was more common and prominent that the latter one contributing to learning disbalance and one-sided perspective. In that sense, the Minister’s plan was to temporarily omit the Darwinist theory from mandatory curriculum until the National Education Counsel could find a solution. However, the minister said that the lesson would remain in the textbook so that anyone interested in it may learn about it.

      However, such decision was followed by a turbulent press reaction and accusations of exterminating Darwin from textbooks (although the lesson was not excluded, but not included in the curriculum). A list of notable institutions such as Biological Society, Serbian Academy of Science and Arts demanded the minister’s resignation and it escalated into an unprecedented affair. Additionally, many intellectuals supported the decision, but nevertheless, public demanded resignation and the “Return of Darwin” into the textbooks. The two classes of biology dedicated to Darwin’s ape-like man were added to the lesson before that, Family and Health; however, although Darwin was practically not excluded, it did bring the resignation of the Minister that was remembered as the Minister who refused Darwin.