School that means life: Three students in class in Idbar near Konjic

Instead of each going to their own, Selma, Rijad and Sajra sit in the same classroom and attend classes together, because the three of them are the only students of the Idbar Regional School

For Selma Omerović, a student in the fifth grade, Rijad Ćosić, a student in the third, and Sajra Subašić, a student in the second grade of the Idbar Regional School, in the place of the same name, about five kilometers from Čelebić, that is, about 13 kilometers from Konjic, classes start at a different way, reports Anatolia.

Instead of each going to their own, Selma, Rijad and Sajra sit in the same classroom and attend classes together, because the three of them are the only students of the Idbar Regional School.

Although Selma will move to the central elementary school in Čelebića next school year, the Idbar District School will continue to function, because a new student should be enrolled in the first grade, so the school will again have three students.

The survival of the school is very important for the town of Idbar, which according to the last population census in 2013 had 235 inhabitants, because for him it simply means – life.

The specificity of this school is that on cold days, usually between October and March every year, the hygienist has to unlock the school much earlier, start the fire so that classes can start at exactly 8 o’clock in the heated room. Given that it has been cold the past few days, and that the temperatures were in the minus in the Idbar Regional School, we found a fire burning in the stove during classes.

Ten-year-old Selma Omerović, a student in the fifth grade, says that her way to school is easy, she lives here in the village of Idbar.

“It takes me about three minutes to get to school. When I arrive, I sit in my seat, take out my things and work. During the break, we go outside, play a little. Regardless of the fact that we are a different generation, we play as if we were the same class. We miss the students, but I feel comfortable here with them”, says Selma, how she spends her days in class and in the school yard with her schoolmates Riyad and Sajra.

She points out that she doesn’t miss the Internet at all.

“It can also be done without the Internet. Children who spend time on the Internet every day are neither healthy for them nor for their eyes. It would simply be good for them to go outside sometime, play with other children or if they have a brother or sister with them. Sometimes I draw, I play when I’m free. When it comes to teaching activities, I perform as part of the choir at my home elementary school in Čelebići”, says Selma.

She says that she will miss her Idbar Regional School from next year.

“I will miss him. Somehow, I have the best memories with them here,” Selma points out.

– Proof that it is possible without dependence on social networks –

Alena Tufekčija, a teacher and classroom teacher, comes from Konjic to the Idbar Regional School every day.

“For the second year, I have been working at the Idbar Regional School in a combination of three classes. Unfortunately, the Idbar district school is attended by a very small number of students, i.e. we only have three students. We have one student in each class, in the second, third and fifth grades. As for working in combination with three departments, I can say that it is quite demanding and requires a lot of time to prepare lessons. Because it is a little more difficult to design a lesson for a combination of three classes, regardless of the fact that we have a small number of students. However, they are three different curricula. We somehow fight together despite everything. Together we try to overcome all that. So I can say that these children are in no way behind other children who attend classes at the central school. Because the curriculum is the same everywhere and here in the Idbar Regional School, as well as in the central school, so that as far as that is concerned, everything is absolutely the same. And somehow we maximally involve them in all activities at the school level”, says Tufekčija.

He states that it is true that there are many more students in the central school and that the advantage is the socializing of the students in the class, which these students in the Idbar Regional School miss very much.

“On the other hand, I can freely say that working in a regional school is interesting because we can go outside, be in nature, see many things, explore and learn. Also, much more time can be devoted individually to each student, that is, to that individual work”, emphasizes Tufekčija.

All that traveled distance of about 26 kilometers per day points out that Tufekčija does not represent any problem.

“Moreover. It fulfills me. Because I really like doing my job, and as they say, when you don’t do a job you love, you don’t work a day in your life,” Tufekčija points out.

The survival and existence of the school in Idbro is very important, he says.

“That is very important. Of course, the existence of a school is important for every village. It is true that Selma is going to the central school next school year. We hope that we will have one more student who will be enrolled in the first grade, so we will most likely have the same number of students during the next school year,” explains Tufekčija.

Surrounded by nature and greenery, the students of the Idbar Regional School are witnesses that you can do without everyday social networks and the Internet.

“We are not deprived in any way. We are here to include children in all possible activities at the school level, so that as far as internet life is concerned, we are used to this environment and it is great for us. You can live without the Internet and social networks,” says Tufekčija.

While passing through the picturesque village of Idbar, you can clearly see all the beauties of village life, as well as the empty houses that there are.

Nijaz Kurtović, the director of Čelebići Elementary School, states that we have been witnessing the problem of a decline in the number of students in all primary schools throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina for many years.

“Unfortunately, that problem did not bypass even the six primary schools of the City of Konjic. This school, Čelebići, is one of those six elementary schools that has five classes, that is, five regional smaller schools where students from the first to fourth, or fifth grade attend classes. When we talk about the mentioned issue in the enrollment area of ​​Čelebići Elementary School, there is a slight but continuous decrease in the number of students. Let’s say, compared to 2018, when I was appointed director, we now have 36 fewer students. This shows a decrease in the number of students. District school Idbar is the school with the smallest number of students. Three students attend the teaching process in that school in three classes. It is one combined department of three classes. But, regardless of the small number of students, I am of the opinion that these students, at least in terms of knowledge, are not behind those students who attend classes in clean classes”, says Kurtović.

– Unquestionable survival of district schools –

The reasons for the decrease in the number of students, he says, are numerous. The most significant of them are the emigration of the able-bodied population from smaller areas, i.e. the departure of young married couples primarily to the centers, Konjic, Sarajevo or Mostar, and unfortunately some of them also outside the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Bad socioeconomic status of residents in smaller communities, rural areas are just some of the factors that influence the decrease in the number of students. Unfortunately, by reducing the number of students, we are leading to the closure of the school in that area. And, shutting down the school leads to the dying, extinction and extinguishing of that place. Regardless of the small number of students, we as a school strive to provide the best possible conditions for the work of those students, of course with the help of the competent Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Croatian National Academy of Sciences and with the help of the City of Konjic as the founder of the school. The competent ministry and the City of Konjic, as the founder of the school, implement certain measures to encourage parents, which are reflected in the procurement of free textbooks for all students from the first to the ninth grade, the organization of transportation for students who are four or more kilometers from their place of residence to the school, as well as through various types of financial assistance in the implementation of certain projects at the school level”, emphasized Kurtović.

What they are trying to do, he says, is to include all those students from smaller communities, first of all, in marking important dates at the school level, to promote their works and their activities, all with the aim of influencing in a versatile way the motivation for learning and belonging to a larger group. .

“The survival of the school is very important. I come from one place, Bjelimići. I had the opportunity where I finished elementary school, but that school closed down a few years ago. With the closure of the school, residents who had no intention of leaving the place also leave. Therefore, it is very important that there is a school. “Unfortunately, if there are no children, the school cannot function,” says Kurtović.

It is precisely for this reason that within Čelebići Elementary School, they are trying to encourage the maximum development of regional schools.

“In 2018, the Idbar district school had five students, this year there are three students in the teaching process. I think and am of the opinion that in the next three or four years that school will work, because we have information that there are several students who plan to enroll in that school, if in the meantime, of course, the families from those areas do not leave. The situation is somewhat better in other schools. In the Ribići Regional School, which has 21 students from the first to the fourth grade, we have a continuous enrollment of students, and I don’t think there will be any problems for the work of that school. The city of Konjic, as the founder, is planning a complete reconstruction of that school during the summer vacation. Precisely for this reason that there is a sufficient number of students, there are perspectives for the work of that school. Perspectives and survival of that school in the future. We cannot say now what will happen in ten years. In the other regional schools of Lisičići, Grabovci and Orahovica, the situation is also solid”, explains Kurtović.

In addition to the reconstruction project of the school in Ribići, which is in a very bad condition, because the building was built in the 50s and little work was done on it, Kurtović says that they are also carrying out a number of activities in other schools.

“That project in Ribići is the most important for us. And we focused all our energy on the realization of that project. But, in addition to that project, we are equipping all regional schools, all regional departments with information technology equipment, computers and projectors in order to modernize the teaching process and so that these children do not differ from these children when it comes to working conditions”, concludes Kurtović.