Learning Montenegrin

Central Europe News Briefs

Montenegro’s parliament is set to discuss an amendment to its general education law affecting compulsory language teaching in schools on Sept. 2.

The debate is being closely watched by the EU as the pro-Serbian opposition has threatened to block electoral reform legislation essential for starting EU accession talks should their demands regarding education not be met.

Opposition parties demand that Serbian language be restored as a compulsory  school subject, alongside Montenegrin, while Prime Minister Igor Lukšić proposed optional language courses in children’s “mother tongue”, be it Serbian, Albanian, Bosnian or Croatian, Montenegro’s other languages.

The opposition, however, demands a special status for Serbian, as in the April 2011 census  43% of the population declared itself as Serbian speakers, and only 37% as speakers of Montenegrin, the official language since Montenegro’s secession from Serbia in 2006.

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