Photo: Gentiana Ahmeti/BIRN

Education Ministry Overrules School’s Ban on Long-Haired Boy

Kosovo’s Education Ministry ordered a school in the Ferizaj municipality to allow a five-year-old boy to return to classes after BIRN found that he had been banned because of his long hair, but his parents decided to send him to another school.

Valdrin Dervishaj, a legal adviser to the education minister, said on Thursday that a ban imposed by a school in Ferizaj on a five-year-old for having long hair was unacceptable and must be reversed.

“Children have their place in school. There is no legislation that prohibits children from having long or short hair,” Dervishaj said in a statement.

On October 12, the Education Inspectorate announced that it was preparing recommendations for the boy to return to school from Thursday.

“We will enable the pupil to continue his regular education. This case ends with the child’s return to school,” the Inspectorate said.

On October 11, BIRN reported that the five-year-old from Ferizaj was not allowed to enroll at the Jeronim De Rada elementary school due to a school regulation stating that “boys are prohibited from wearing earrings and growing their hair”.

In the report, Fadil Idrizi, the child’s father, said he was not allowed to join pre-school classes “just because he has long hair”.

Idrizi said that he had asked for a clarification about the regulation but did not receive an answer.

After the Education Ministry’s intervention to overrule the ban, Idrizi said on Thursday that due to the behaviour of the school’s principal, he and his wife have decided to send the child to another school in Ferizaj.

The Coalition of NGOs for the Protection of Children, KOMF asked the director of education in Ferizaj to address the case.

“KOMF considers it very disturbing to remove a child from the pre-primary class because of ‘long hair’, thus denying the child’s right to education,” it said.

“Protection from discrimination, equal treatment and the right to education are guaranteed and protected by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, the Law on Protection of Children and the Law on Protection from Discrimination,” it added.

KOMF also stated that it is seeking to “review regulations which have discriminatory provisions for children”.

The new school year for primary and secondary schools in Kosovo started one month late due to strikes organised by teachers’ trade unions.

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14 October 2022 - 17:53

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