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In the 2017/18 school year, a total of 174 students in 8 classes, 6 in the third grade and 2 in the fourth grade, enrolled in the “Dobre Jovanoski” Primary School in Prilep, attended classes in a facility 300 meters away from the school itself, or the so-called “Military school” named as Training Center “Lazo Filipovski Lavski”. And while the parents have reacted to the teaching, safety and hygienic conditions in these premises for the past 15 years, there is no record that can illustrate the situation in this dispersed school.

The situation escalated on January 21, 2018, when one of the students playing in the yard suffered an injury expressed with open wounds on the hip and thigh, acquired from a slip of the school fence, which literally fell over the student. The student was detained for hospital treatment and a serious surgery was performed.

Analyzing the case, an information was also received about a previous case that happened just recently, similar to the above when conducting a sports course, when a student suffered injuries expressed with a fracture of both hands, injury to the lower lip, head and knees injury, which injuries are detected by a doctor. The student received the injuries in a fall due to the slippery terrain in the yard, which part of the students use for playing, although this field is not marked.

For these cases, no one wanted to take responsibility, so for that reason parents asked for support from the NGO, and it was found that in this so-called school:

  • There are no technical and hygienic conditions for teaching;
  • The building and the yard are ruined and unsafe, and the inventory and walls decay;
  • The object is not marked, and neither the road, students are at risk of traffic;
  • The parent council reacted on several occasions, but there is no record of it;
  • The age of the children is not appropriate for visiting an educational institution at this distance and they are in unequal position compared to other students enrolled in that school.

The complaint submitted to the Ministry of Education and Science, the State Education Inspectorate, the State Sanitary and Health Inspectorate, the Municipality of Prilep and the MPS “Dobre Jovanoski” resulted in two inspection surveillances.

The State Sanitary and Health Inspectorate, within a week, acted upon the complaint and determined the following:

  • The hygiene in the total school space is not satisfactory and is loaded with unnecessary items,
  • In the school building there is no running water, that is, a plastic bowl and old sink are used,
  • The sanitation facilities are not provided with personal hygienic utilities and there is no lighting,
  • The classroom inventory is obsolete and damaged,
  • In the school yard there is solid waste,
  • In the auxiliary facility – a guardhouse, there is also solid waste, damaged woodwork etc.

With the decision addressed to the MPS “Dobre Jovanoski”, it is ordered to take 5 sanitary-technical, sanitary-hygienic and anti-epidemic measures for protection of the population against infectious diseases.

The State Educational Inspectorate proceeds a month later and, according to their insight, the conditions for conducting the classes are on a satisfactory level, indicating that from the Parents’ Council, as early as September 2017, a request was submitted to the Municipality of Prilep for placing traffic signs around this building , but the answer has not yet been received.

The conclusion in the very end of the answer indicates that this space is safe for the students, and at the same time it is emphasized that there is no marking on the road and the school building, that is, arranging the traffic in the surrounding around the building ie. there is no marked pedestrian crossing, nor there is any sign that it is an educational institution, although the building itself is located at a crossroad on the main street in the city center.

In parallel, it is of particular importance that there is no consent from the parents, that is, the children are enrolled in the “Dobre Jovanoski” school where they attend classes in the first and second grade, just to continue their education in the “military school” in the third and fourth grade, and in fifth they return to the main building again. The only answer parents receive in response is that there is not enough space in the building to accommodate all students, so they have to be redistributed to another facility.

The facility has been used continuously for more than 15 years on the basis of Temporary Agreements.

Although primary education is entirely within the competence of the Municipality of Prilep, no official response or reaction has been received from them.

The case was presented for the first time at the seventh regular public event within the “Roma Civic Parliament” activity on 06.06.2018, when clear messages were sent to the competent institutions to take measures in order to find a lasting solution to this problem..

On 11.06.2018, the school denied the allegations of ROMA S.O.S. pointing out that they are tentative and untrue and that the cause of both accidents is the neglect of the students themselves.

Director of Primary School “Dobre Jovanoski” Prilep, Suzana Darkovska: “It is true that last year and this year there were two unfortunate cases with students, but they are not related to the quality of the construction of the building. The first accident happened in May last year, when a student fell on the stairs during the break and got fractured, and the second one is from January this year, when a third grader went on a fence two meters high before falling from the outside of school yard and got hurt. There are constantly interventions in the facility to improve the conditions. Part was realized last year, and part this year after the indication of the sanitary inspectorate, after ROMA S.O.S. filed a complaint to the competent institutions for the accidents. The State Sanitary and Health Inspectorate inspected the school, provided certain guidelines, they were carried out. The State Educational Inspectorate stated that the school has undertaken several activities to improve the working conditions, which is satisfactory, so that there are no dangers for the students, that is the space in the building and the yard are safe for the students. “

After hearing out the information, the Ombudsman initiated a procedure, and individual meetings with representatives of the school as well as with our association were realized, where we stressed that it is good that the school has undertaken measures for remedying the shortcomings after the submitted complaint, but that is not a solution for safe and quality teaching and as an association, we ask that the project be closed and the students be transferred to the main school building. Namely, the improvement of hygiene is not a permanent solution because the facility is not a school but a Military Training Center.

On 02.07.2018 an official response was sent regarding the complaint by the PS “Dobre Jovanoski” Prilep to our association, which presents all the measures taken as a result of our Complaint and Reaction, as well as from the inspection surveilance:

  • Personal hygiene utilities for students (liquid soap and toilet paper) are placed in the sanitary facilities.
  • School space in the school building has been completely cleaned and disinfected with disinfectant, and also all unnecessary items that were found in the school building have been removed.
  • The school yard is cleaned of unnecessary solid waste. The latched branches, bricks and glass were removed, and the unsealed wooden poles in the schoolyard were also removed. The metal covers of underground manholes are provided with padlock. In the auxiliary object-guardhouse (which is not in operation) a wooden door is placed, thus preventing the students from entering it.
  • In the school building, drinking water was carried out and a fountain and a pavement were installed in the corridor of the school.
  • To the Mayor of Prilep, we submitted a request for the provision of a new school inventory, as well as for changing the wooden ceiling and the floor in the school building.
  • In the sanitary nodes there is lighting with lamps with a sensor for switching on.
  • School space in the school building is clean and disinfected with a disinfectant.
  • To the commission for setting up vertical and horizontal signalization in the Municipality of Prilep, we submitted a request for placement of traffic signs and obstacles for reducing the speed of vehicles around the facility of “Lazo Filipovski-Lavski” Prilep.

In the answer, it was emphasized that the Teachers Council decided that due to the lack of classrooms for the next school year 2018/2019, the teaching in the “Lazo Filipovski-Lavski” Center will be held again, and the School Council gave unanimous agreement on this decision.