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The History of Teachers in Pr i m a r y Schools in the Republic of Macedonia (1945 - 1960) Author: Igor Jurukov History of Teachers in Primary Schools in the Republic of Macedonia (1945-1960)
Author: Igor Jurukov
After the end of the II WW, the I Conference of ASNOM (Anti-Fascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia) was held on August 2nd1944, an event that laid the foundations of the modern Macedonian state.
On 16th of April 1945 the first government of the People's Republic of Macedonia was founded.
One part of it was the Department of Education being responsible for reestablishing the educational system in Republic of Macedonia.
Main problems in the process of reestablishing the education system in Macedonia:
(18% totally, and 82% partly)
(the official data state that after the war, there were 477 teachers and professors in the R. Macedonia)
(67,5% of population)
As these problems were intertwined, so were the mechanisms for their resolution.
in which they talked about this time of their lives, were captured by using the
Oral History Method
Building and Reconstructing
The process of building and reconstructing the schools involved teachers, pupils and local community populace.
The first school in a free territory
s. Podvis, Kichevo, western Macedonia
A School, 1945, s. Gari, Debar, western Macedonia
Prof. Lape, was one of the founders of the education system in Macedonia and responsible for “the education section” for the town of Bitola in 1945. For this period, he said:
“Thanks to the people’s government but also to the ordinary citizens and their love for education, the most devoted sons of the country worked both day and night to repair the schools or to move them in other facilities. There were examples such as in the areas of Kavadarci and Ohrid, where the schools were fixed by the pupils themselves who later become teachers in these villages.”
“In Ljubanci, by the end of 1944, and on proposal of the People’s Government, a resolution was enacted to start with the work of the elementary schools. Bate Blaze Slezenkovski, Velko Hristovski, Milosev and myself, launched the activities (in Skopje area). We gathered the rambled desks, chairs and other inventory and renewed it, according to our capacities. We were all working as bees! We cleaned the classrooms and other school areas. The basic working conditions we there. I become the godfather. I baptized the school - “Goce Delcev”.”History of Teachers in Primary Schools in the Republic of Macedonia (1945-1960)
- Bojko StojanovskiHistory of Teachers in Primary Schools in the Republic of Macedonia (1945-1960)
After the preparatory period, another eyewitness of that time, Pavlina Leseva from Kratovo, who worked in several villages in the eastern part of Macedonia, told me:
“Now the school needed to start working, we longed to hear children’s voices, the sound of the Macedonian language ... We needed to gather our pupils from the villages of Pakosevo, Taor and Novo Selo, on the other hand side of the river Vardar. So, we started walking to the villages and signing up our pupils.”
Sometimes during the education process, the teachers were facing problems. Here’s one of them:
“We were faced with great difficulties, misunderstandings, mistrust. Many of the children were almost grownups that never went to school before; for the others, the period in-between (different schooling) was too big ... It was also hard to persuade the parents to let their children to school since they needed them to help working in the field; parents also said they needed no school to live their lives – why should their children?!“
”My mother went to school only during the rainy days; her father told the school teacher that for the rest of the period she was needed to work on the filed.”
From the interview with Savica Boskovska about the life in the village of Stenche
Teachers played an immense role in this period. They were, all at once, construction workers, teachers and, some times even, students themselves taking part in different courses or at the University.
They were also the creators of the new system of education, and pioneers in setting up the literacy in the Republic of Macedonia.
Education of Teachers
The second serious problem in the process of introducing the education in the Republic of Macedonia was a small number of teachers or people with education.
For educating teachers, the Macedonian Department for Education, during the postwar period organized:
Marija Karakashlieva, from Gevgelija (southern part of Macedonia) participated in the courses for the teachers organized in 1944 in the village of Semerin. This is what she said about her stay in Semerin:
“ It was October 1944. It was a day for going to the market. We were visited by our neighbor Milcho Ikokaev who gave me a letter. Imagine my shock when I read it: “We are asking you to go tomorrow to the village of Semerin, at the Kozuf mountain – this is a directive of the Party’s Illegal Committee.”
I supposed to go there together with another thirty young man and women (since) a course was to be held there, a course for teachers ...”
Participants of teachers’ seminar in the village Semerin
Excursion of teachers around Macedonia
Another great problem for the new authorities was related to the man-teachers: they were obliged to go to the Yugoslav Army, and (at the same time) were found necessary for the educational process.
Petre Djajkovski, a teacher in village Gorno Ilino (central Macedonia) was drafted in the Yugoslav Army (1950), during the time when he was a teacher and an inspector for illiteracy.
In this period many schools, specially in the villages were closed or moved due to the lack of teachers.
In support of the final liberation of the Yugoslav territories, the 15th Macedonian Corpus was requested to join the Yugoslav Army.
For that reason, almost 70% of the total number of Macedonian teachers were enrolled in the army.
On behalf of the Macedonian Department for Education enormous efforts were put in place to ‘rescue’ some of the teachers from participating in the Army and continuing their work in education.
Everyday life of the teachers was in interrelation with the overall conditions in the areas where they worked and lived.
They were going to live and work wherever the Department for Education would said them to go. They often lived inside the school buildings or taught in the same houses where they lived.
“We were both very young and highly inexperienced, put to live in a building with no heating, no sanitary facilities or lighting. The only light we had was an improvised lamp with a fuse, filled with lard. We never asked for a salary.”
From the interview with Pavlina Leseva.
During the first few years after the liberation, the teachers didn’t receive any payment.
They received their food from the local populace – the villagers exchanged on a daily basis in cooking for the teachers.
Some teachers, especially in the villages, if they wanted to improve their living conditions had to work in addition to their teaching, on the farms or assisting villagers at their fields.
Teachers with the people from the local communities
The teachers were also ‘responsible’ for creating the cultural life in the places where they worked, such as:
Teachers involved in the everyday sport life in their communities:
FK “Napredok” - Stenche, 1959.
The contribution of the teachers in our society is enormous – thus they deserve a special place in our history.
This text, “The History of Teachers in Primary Schools in the Republic Of Macedonia” (1945-1960) is written in their honor.
The teachers from this period were direct witnesses of the history of Macedonia between 1945 and 1960. Through the interviews, they conveyed to us their stories that were the stories about the education, but also about their lives.
They are the creators of our COMMON HISTORY.