Thursday, October 29, 2009

Student protests in Skopje

I am just about to head to Austria for the University Evangelists Training. It's exciting because this year again the main speakers will be some of the best evangelists in Europe.

Right after it I am heading to Skopje, Macedonia. Most probably I will give evangelistic talks in Stip, an hour away from Skopje. I am going there with 'humility and trembling', aware of the historical precipice between our two countries. In this respect, it was interesting to read a notice in a Macedonian blog, regarding Macedonian students. It seems that their problems are not so different than those of their Bulgarian colleagues (see below).

Student protests in Skopje
Posted by Shepard On October - 24 - 2009

On Tuesday, 20th of September, in Skopje, the Republic of Macedonia, student protests were organized by the autonomous student organization “Sloboden Indeks” [in English Free Index; index is the official student document, a small booklet that contains all the data about the student and they use it for whatever they do in terms of official procedures].

The event began when several groups of the organization members started protesting at the separate state university campuses throughout the city [the ones taking place on the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Philosophy were most successful]. Subsequently, the groups from all the faculties headed to the government headquarters. There, an estimated number of 300 hundred students gathered and read their demands: increasing the government budget for education that would lead to the decrease and/or repeal of the tuition fees; improving the conditions in the student dorms; liberalization of the official student bodies and providing computer vouchers for the seniors which was a practice in the years before.

The protest steered a political debate as well. The Prime Minister denounced it as a plot of the opposition party thus causing more anger among the students. At the same time, the official student organization got a new leader, who similarly to his predecessor allied with the government party and turned the back to the students.

More actions are to take place in the following days.