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ISTOCNO SARAJEVO, November 8 /SRNA/ - Serbian language professor at the Faculty of Philosophy in Istocno Sarajevo Milanka Babic believes the implementation of the language provision in the Law on Elementary Education in the Sarajevo Canton, which stipulates classes exclusively in one of the three official languages, aims to erase the Serbian language and wants to impose the “Bosnian” language as the only official language in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


She points out the Bosniaks are conducting a careful language policy since the Bosniak nation and “Bosnian language” have been promulgated.

"There have been various stages in the language policy but it all mainly comes down to the ‘Bosnian language’ being the language of all peoples in BiH,” Babic told Srna.

Babic noted the Serbs in the Sarajevo Canton, as well as in other cantons in the Federation of BiH, were just a statistical error and that no matter what the children say and despite having the Serbian language in their report cards, the majority will be the Bosniaks.

"Everything that has been happening in the Bosniak language policy since 1992, everything that has happened with changing their approach to the name and status of the language aims at ultimately getting a language that would be called ‘Bosnian’ which would erase the Croatian and Serbian languages which do not suit the Bosniaks,” said Babic.

Saying this was an interim, new stage in their language policy, she explained that when “everything is mixed up and its name is lost, the name of the majority emerges from that name.”

"The goal is to first lose the name of the Serbian language and thus exert the pressure on Republika Srpska because our competent ministry does not recognise the name ‘Bosnian language’,” she said.

Babic said the linguists were putting up a strong fight against such a language name because it was very dangerous for the status of the Serbs and Serbian culture in BiH and threatening “the loss of the Serbian identity within the ‘Bosnian’ which is projected in the long-term.”

She rejected the possibility of international institutions exerting pressure on Republika Srpska to finally lose the name of the Serbian language and introduce the “Bosnian” or “mother tongue”.

The Sarajevo Canton Ministry of Education officially began applying the instructions more than a year after the Law on Elementary Education, which deals with the issue of language studies in schools, was passed.

School children recently brought home a document entitled “Stating your opinion on the name of the subject deriving from the name of one of the three official languages of the BiH constituent peoples.”

The cantonal Minister of Education, Science and Youth Elvir Kazazovic earlier informed the principals of elementary and secondary schools that the report cards and diplomas will no longer have the “Bosnian,” Croatian, Serbian language and literature as the name of the subject.

The letter states that lectures and other forms of educational activities will be carried out in one of the three official languages used by the constituent peoples in BiH. /end/ds