Education – the ideal for interethnic integration

Rinor Qehaja

09 August 2021

The dialogue must shift towards pragmatism rather than extremism. The distraction with dialogue has moved to periphery everything related to the interests of the citizens, obeying entirely to the political interests.

The beneficiaries of a successful dialogue process must be the citizens, better to say, the improvement of their everyday life. For youngsters, the main benefit from the dialogue would be a better education and economy, which guarantees a better career and life. Their neglect has led to economic migration thereof.

Due to the non-inclusion and the non-implementation of the agreements of the dialogue, very little is achieved for the education in particular. The non-identification of the setbacks in the implementation of the agreements and especially the political status of the dialogue, for years has made impossible any interstate or citizens’ benefit from these “agreements”. The nonsensical debate on the dialogue is all that was served to the citizens in this regard.

The youth’s detachment from political topics is a fact. They are continuously pushing off from procedural and systemic topics of the politics, and are more and more interested in prosperity and rapid improvement of their lives and the society in general.

The education is not an irresolvable topic, but rather a very good opportunity for a successful dialogue.  At the end of the day, an eventual agreement can put an end to long-lasting administrative problems but when it comes to education, the effect is beyond the dialogue- it is an ideal for rapid interethnic integration.

Education is the catalyst to interethnic integration and that in the sense of emancipation but also in forming an ecosystem of better communication and cooperation. Now we can debate on how this can be achieved in a segregated education system?!

It is a great curiosity for the youngsters of both nationalities to better get to know with each other, the culture, language, and everything else. This curiosity can become conversations, debates and friendship- the support of this interactivity will help to move at a new normality for the upcoming years.

For young people, the school and university portray a safe environment, many times very different from the local community, where they find themselves much better than in the interethnic politics of television politics- they have the opportunity to be more vocal and to debate with their peers of similar intellect and thoughts.

Such environments in fact, stimulate reflection. The integration from education refers to the social and economic integration. The youngsters who are comfortable with their peers of different ethnicities during their studies, are more likely to conduct business with them in the future, and above all, to respect and communicate openly.

This formula is not an innovation but a reminder for opportunity. Several examples of youth cooperation in schools and universities serve as an indicator for success. At the end of the day, we cannot impose integration but we can create an opportunity for cooperation for our youth. And the awareness of the latter for the benefits of the open interethnic communication is emerging. Different schemes of exchanges, scholarships and grants can push for integration but not as much as a young girl or boy, for whom the interethnic communication is a normal part of their education.

The activism of citizens for interethnic integration is the activism of youth for integration. The product of the dialogue can be different and so could be the citizens’ life after the dialogue.


This op-ed is originally written in Albanian.

The op-ed is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pristina. The opinions are of the authors and do not reflect the views of Balkans Policy Research Group and the donor.