European Union has reconstructed 15 schools, damaged in May 2014 floods, investing EUR1.8 million out of EU Assistance for Flood Relief in Serbia Programme. The reconstruction included primary and secondary schools as well as one kindergarten in Obrenovac, Svilajnac, Paracin and Sabac. Most of the schools have been reconstructed in Obrenovac: three primary and three secondary schools, as well as a satellite unit of one primary school. The EU invested over EUR860,000 in the reconstruction of schools, that is cleaning up, construction works, furnishing and purchase of teaching aids. The reconstruction kicked off at the most severely damaged primary school, “Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj”, attended by some 1,500 pupils, whose ground floor and every library had been flooded, as well as children day-care spaces, kitchen, offices and gym.
Other schools in Obrenovac have suffered similar damage: “Posavski partizani“ primary, reconstructed over the course of seven months, and “Jefimija“ primary, whose reconstruction was completed as early as October 2014 and supported by other donors besides from the EU. In the neighbourhood Poljane, the reconstruction of a satellite unit of “Drazevac” primary, attended by 30 pupils, is also coming to an end. Agriculture and Chemical Secondary School has underwent the reconstruction of ground floor, that is five cabinets and the gym. Secondary Technical School and Obrenovac High School were also reconstructed. The Obrenovac High School required a geomechanical study to be conducted due to sinking of the floor plate. Majority of schools have been reconstructed in time for the 2014-2015 school year. The Obrenovac High School was the only one to be opened on 27 January 2016.
Schools in other towns have also been reconstructed. Three primary schools in Sabac: “Stojan Novaković“, “Laza Lazarević“ and “Jevrem Obrenović“, whose reconstruction has been supported by the EU with more than EUR50,000, as well as Secondary School of Textile and Chemistry. Paracin saw the reconstruction of Technological School, where classes could not be held at all due to major damage, as well as School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. The EU allocated EUR182,000 for the reconstruction and furnishing of these two schools. High School “Svilajnac” (High School and School of Technical Engineering) and School of Agriculture have been reconstructed in Svilajnac, as well as kindergarten “Decja radost”, thanks to cooperation of the EU with other partners and donors.
Better working conditions have been created for 13,136 children, pupils and teachers in these four towns.
Apart from the reconstruction of schools, the allocation of EUR30 million from the EU Assistance for Flood Relief in Serbia Programme has been used for the construction of 161 houses, reconstruction of 888 damaged households, support to 23,816 farmers and 545 entrepreneurs and SMEs. Also, water supply system has been reconstructed in Trstenik as well as 12km of Korenita-Krupanj road.
As of 2003, the EU has allocated EUR74 million for education reform at all levels in Serbia.
The text originally appeared in Danas daily.