chapter  5
55 Pages

Celebration of Albanian nationhood in parallel education

The parallel education system was a microcosm of the Kosovo-wide political dynamics. At one and the same time, it epitomized freedom and repression. The use of alternative space for education empowered Albanians symbolically. For the first time since the Second World War, Albanians were not accountable to anyone in designing the national content of education in Albanian. However, Albanians’ reality in the 1990s was also marked by a politically restrictive context. The spatial concomitant of internally exercised freedom was Albanians’ segregation and marginalization. By accentuating the limited nature of Albanians’ freedom, the spatial order reinforced their desire for it to be fully fledged. This chapter focuses on the exercise of educational freedoms by Albanians in the parallel system. In particular, it examines a symbolic construction of the Albanian sense of nationhood as illustrated by the newly produced Albanian history and geography textbooks after the abolition of Kosovo’s autonomy. It is followed by an analysis of poems and essays written by Albanian children, which provide a comparative insight into the views held by pupils about nationhood and homeland.