Alliance of Albanians leader Ziadin Sela visited the Star Grad village in the mountains over Veles to bring Albanian language text books to the 7 children living there.
The children were attending school in Macedonian due to the lack of enough children to form an Albanian language class. After the story got traction in Albanian media outlets, Education Minister Arber Ademi announced that the Ministry will provide Albanian teachers for the few children living in the distant mountain hamlet – population 50.
Sela, whose AA coalition is competing with the ruling DUI party for Albanian votes, distributed the books and made the obligatory “eagle” hand gesture with local citizens, insisting that the DUI party has ignored their needs for so long.
Ziadin Sela visited the children in Veles and showed us that the ALBANIAN language will be taught here! A move that every politician must do, the INA news site in Albanian language reported.
The case of the small village near Veles, in an overwhelmingly ethnic Macedonian part of the country, highlighted the practical side of the law on the use of languages, which makes the Albanian language an official language throughout the country. This is in violation of the Constitution which states that a minority language is in official use only in areas where the ethnic minority makes up more than 20 percent of the population – where it is practically beneficial. The small number of Albanians in and around Veles means that they normally have to have a good grasp of Macedonian for their everyday needs. The new law provides that a costly translation system will be put in place to enable official use of the Albanian language everywhere in Macedonia, before every public institution, even in areas with little or no Albanians present.
The Mayor of Veles Ace Kocevski, although elected with the support of the SDSM party which pushed this law through alongside DUI, had an angry outburst over the issue of this village. During a press conference with Minister Ademi, Kocevski reacted when Ademi responded in Albanian to a question from an Albanian journalist, and complained that he doesn’t understand what is being said about a school in his school district.