Hope on the Horizon: Kosovan Education After the War

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — The . The war in Kosovo it was populated From the fierce military campaigns carried out by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its then president Slobodan Milošević to the fierce fighting between these state forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – a rebel group of ethnic Albanian origin, whose first goal was to secure. Kosovo’s independence through force – Kosovo experienced great devastation that would take its toll on the region for years to come.

Notes, war wastes Kosovar education infrastructure 2022. The education system is dealing with everything from forced segregation to the systematic destruction of school buildings. Today, more work is needed to determine the impact of the war on Kosovan education.


As The New York Times wrote shortly after the war, “Two-thirds of the houses in the villages across the vast swam of Kosovia are uninhabitable because of the damage caused by the war, mostly caused by the Serbs; most of the schools are severely damaged or destroyed; much of the water is polluted; much of the agriculture has collapsed.

A building effort in the face of the Lord almost 50% of all schools destroying buildings – and many other good resources that are in delivery, equipment and facilities – to the rest of the ethnic tensions and generational trauma that have made education more difficult, are very real obstacles that students and teachers also face. today

A relative visited

To better understand the effects of the perennial war and how the country, and especially its young people, seem to be responding to it all, The Borgen Project reached out to Dana Varady, a high school English teacher in Kosovo. He moved to the country from the United States in 2018 and currently teaches at the Kosovo-Finnish School, an international school in Pristina, the nation’s capital, that uses the Finnish method of education.

When asked about the continuing impact of the war on Kosovan education, Varady points out the real effects of the conflict on the physical infrastructure: “I work in private education, no matter how many friends work in the state, so I have heard different stories. Books are not always available for students, school buildings are not always They have running water and classes, and often even the teachers are great.

Varady also expressed his opinion about the quality of education in Kosovo today. For example, he notes, in Kosovo, continuing education is not necessary to remain a teacher and “once you get a job, you have a contract for life.” He compares this with teaching in the US, showing that they have to “take classes, participate in professional development hours and keep track of the completed course every few years. [her]teaching license up to date. ”

Indeed, in comparison with other countries, the quality of education in Kosovo is consistently low and is often reported. reformation efforts, whether it is talking about new teaching, renewing courses or better teacher evaluation. But progress remains slow, leaving many Kosovan students and teachers frustrated.

During the recent nationwide protest against popular Kosovan education, one student; speak to Phristina InsightHe expressed his frustration: “We still learn through dictation and writing. We don’t have books. We don’t want to go to school because those books are old and discriminate against women and segregate genders. School is boring, the system is old…”

Varady explains that there are a few main factors that support the status quo. “After the war schools had to be completely transformed. Not only in the body, but also in the school buildings are rebuilt. To train and hire teachers, the textbooks had to be transferred from Serbian to Albanian,” said The Borgen Project.

Long-term trauma

Additionally, many of the students in Kosovo today are children of a very young age who experienced the war in the late 1990s, a generational trauma that permeates the schools. Varady sees this as a practice certainly recent in Ukraine to illustrate this.

“When Russian forces invaded Ukraine, my students struggled with logistics,” Varady explains. “Parents struggling at home and students bringing a lot of fear into the classroom…”

Scenes like this in Kosovo, however, are important reasons why Varady has pursued his Master’s Education with a particular focus on trauma and resilience. A step that he hopes will help his educators in creating a “more inclusive and trauma-informed” educational system in Kosovo.

Prevailing corruption

A nation, especially a democracy, still growing from the foundations. Therefore this kind of problem is also a serious problem of corruption. Varady observes, “It is not news to anyone who lives in Kosovo that corruption is common. It’s not just in a financial sense, or…” For example, Varady describes the feeling sometimes shared by some students in which they don’t feel the need to have good grades, or even attend school, to their parents because of the connections they may have. into the public “Whether it is generosity or knowledge of the right nations, corruption is seriously impacting our students.”

In fact, in 2021, Transparency International gave Kosovo a score of 60 39 out of 100 on the annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). While it was whether incrementally better for several years, there is still a long way to go.

On Tradition, Championing Change

Despite these many challenges, something fascinating – and moving – happened. In fact, there is a clear and deep desire in the students of Kosovo to lead the young country out of the dark past and painful present, into a bright and illustrious future.

From the national protests, as mentioned above to each minor effort, it is evident that there is an effort from the Kosovan youth to a better country, and to the Kosovan education system, from the basics down. Excitingly, many people use their education to do this.

Varady shares the activities of one of his students who are currently aspiring in Kosovo to bring about a change in teaching technology. “Recently, I had a student who was passionate about women in technology, so she spent all her time making a name for herself in the European tech sector. When she finishes university, she plans to return to Kosovo to help the next generation of young women in technology. Varady emphasizes, “These are the things students are doing to really put Kosovo on the map.”

He also noted this event in a few other inspiring ways: “My kids are active in protests and politics, but also in local arts and cultural events. The students really want Kosovo to be playing on the same field as countries like Germany and Switzerland, so change and development in Kosovo push

These kids yearn for change and a better future, yet there is a unique combination of value and memory. “The kids here also want to protect the tradition. I believe that the links between tradition and the future change in the perspective of things will be unique, which all owe to this generation of young people.”

– Leo Wooldridge
Photo: Flickr

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