Miodrag Marinkovic of Kosovo’s Center for Affirmative Social Actions (CASA) said on Feb. 20 that over the past ten years the number of Serb children in Kosovo’s primary and secondary schools had dwindled by 10,000, indicating that around 40,000 Serbs had left the territory.
Marinkovic said to a BETA journalist that 120,000 Serbs lived in Kosovo ten years ago, and that the size of the population dropped to around 80,000.
“According to the official statistics of the School Administration of the Serbian Ministry of Education, 25,000 Serb students attended classes in primary and secondary schools in Kosovo and Metohija. Ten years later, the number of students is 15,000. In a word, we have lost 10,000 students over the past decade,” the NGO activist said.
Marinkovic explained that the Serbs had been leaving Kosovo because of a poor security situation as much as because they had failed to find employment.
When asked by BETA where EUR900 million the Government of Serbia allocated for Kosovo every year could have gone, the CASA NGO activist said the money had never been invested in the return of displaced Serbs, and that the returns had never been a priority for either Belgrade or Pristina.