Two Regional Launches of the new JHP Workbooks were held in Podgorica on 8 December and in Belgrade on 20 December. Both were held in the respective Ministries of Education with representatives from the diplomatic core, international organisations, history teachers associations and other NGOs and CSOs participating in each of them. The panelists all agreed that the main aim of teaching history in schools should be to promote democracy, foster dialogue, and in so doing – overcome conflicts and promote peace. With the new JHP workbooks and its multiperspective teaching methodology which helps develop critical and analytical skills, students should be able to select and assess information they receive and, therefore, no longer be the victims of political and ideological manipulation.
In Podgorica, the panel consisted of Mr Radovan Popović, Director – Ministry of Education, Mr Emile Mabita, Head of Financial and Contract Section of the EU Delegation in Montenegro, Mr Dragutin Papović, Historian and member of the History Educational Committee and Mr Rade Vujović, President of the Montenegrin History Teachers’ Association. In Belgrade, keynote speakers were Mr Mladen Šarčević, Minister for Education, Science and Technological Development, H.E. Ambassador Michael Davenport, Head of EU Delegation in Serbia, Prof. Dubravka Stojanović, Vice President of the History Education Committee and Mr Aleksandar Todosijević, President of the Association for Social History – EUROCLIO. As in the previous launch events, Ms Kovač was the moderator of the panel.
As the books are currently only produced in English, all stakeholders expressed the importance of translating the books into local languages – the next logical step in the project – so that teachers can be trained in the new teaching methodology and materials and given the opportunity to use them in classrooms.