Macedonia Children and School
Children in Macedonia
Sports and freetime
As in most European countries, football is the most popular sport in Macedonia. Children build goals for themselves on the streets and play against each other. Macedonia even has its own national soccer team that is a member of FIFA. Everywhere you can find children in playgrounds and on the streets who love to play soccer.
But handball and basketball are also popular and popular. Macedonia is also represented at the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Roma children often cannot go to school in Macedonia. Instead, they are forced to beg on the streets or collect and sell waste paper. Many girls are also married very early, often at the age of 13 or younger.
The Roma are excluded from many Macedonians and they mostly live in dirty settlements outside the cities. Some try to escape from this bad situation, but they have little chance of being accepted in other countries.
There are some cases of child labor in Macedonia. One can roughly assume that six out of 100 children between the ages of five and 16 work. Most of the time these children sell scrap or waste paper on the street or beg. In families where one or both parents are unemployed, the children usually have to help. Almost one in four in Macedonia has no job and 21 out of 100 people live below the poverty line.
The school system
Macedonia would like to be part of the EU and is trying to bring some of its standards into line with European ones. This also applies to the school system, which was only reformed in 2007. For example, compulsory schooling was extended. It has lasted nine years now.
School starts for children from the age of six. Because in many countries some children do not attend school despite compulsory schooling, the government regularly checks whether the children are actually going to school. Check andyeducation to see schooling information in other European countries.
Lessons in Macedonia
At school, the children mostly speak Macedonian. Only in regions where the majority are Albanians is Albanian the official language and is spoken in class. In addition, the children are increasingly learning English at school, which has now become a compulsory second language.
In subjects such as Orthodoxy (religion) and Islam, the children should learn more about their own culture, but at the same time learn to be open to other religions. Of course, there are also subjects like math and science. After primary and secondary school, Macedonia has an Abitur examination. The children can then begin studying.
Problems with education
Even if the government tries to expand and improve the school system, there are still a few problems. One of them, for example, is the financing of all the reforms. So the question is how to ultimately pay for all of this. After all, the Macedonian economy is still clearly lagging behind other European countries. The poor education of the population is also a legacy from socialist times. At that time the aim at schools and universities was less the education of the people than the consolidation of the socialist worldview.
Discrimination against Roma children
It is particularly difficult for children from Roma families in Macedonia. Even teachers who are actually well trained often consider Roma children to be dumber than other children. The prejudices against the minority are deep and deeply impressed on most Macedonians.
Even if the children prove themselves and successfully pass their Abitur, there are universities that will not allow them. All because of their ethnicity, because they are Roma. Others are not even accepted at school.
In Macedonia, Christmas takes place according to the Orthodox calendar, that is on January 7th. A special tradition on Christmas Eve is dividing a loaf of bread into which a coin has been baked. It is divided among the family members, not knowing where the coin is hidden. Whoever finds the coin is believed to be lucky in the following year.
There are beans, cabbage, nuts, wine and, above all, fish instead of meat, because at Christmas time people still fast in the Orthodox Church.
Carnival is also celebrated in Macedonia. The occasion is the new year in the Julian calendar used by the Orthodox Church. The motto of the festival is: “Disguise yourself well so that the bad does not recognize you. Then burn the mask and with it the bad. Only the good remains.”
According to these words, people dress up properly and celebrate. There are parades and splendidly decorated floats, as you might know from home.