Otvoreno pismo Ministru obrazovanja Srđanu Verbiću

Dear Mr. Minister,

You stated responsibility as one of your priorities, in the effort to adjust our education to the needs of the society and the time we live in: „Verbic: Key word – responsibility“ (Tanjug, May 4th, 2014).

The circumstances have presented you with an opportunity to prove your readiness to set the clear criteria which will regain the trust, and, thus, the respect that our education system has lost during the past three decades.

Apparently, at least one of your colleagues from the government has gained his PhD irregularly, “by violating academic and legal norms” (Pescanik, June 1st, 2014).

In order to remain part of the government, I think the circumstances require you to demand a resignation from the police minister, because he illegally got his PhD in two years. Unless I’m mistaken, it took you 13 years after the MSc to finish your PhD.

There are examples of responsible politicians in similar situations: “Annette Schavan, former German minister of education was forced to resign in February 2013, after it was proven that she plagiarized her doctoral thesis. The same was done in 2011 by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, then German minister of defense and Angela Merkel’s closest associate. The case of the former Hungarian president Pal Schmidt from 2010 was similar (Pescanik, June 1st, 2014)”. Unless the minister, whose violation “of academic and legal norms” has been determined beyond any doubt, doesn’t follow these examples and you remain in the government, you will lose all credibility, respect of the education professionals and the public, and, thus, prevent any necessary change of the education system you announced.

I expect you to be the first one to personally prove that you sincerely believe in the responsibility you advocate.

Respectfully, for now
Miljenko Dereta
Civil Initiatives, advisor

Translated by Marijana Simic

Peščanik.net, 04.06.2014.