The civil society association Platforma 112 said at a news conference on Tuesday that loud and aggressive yet unfounded criticisms of persons involved in the making of the draft curricular reform actually constituted a fight for political power of the far-right camp.
Sanja Sarnavka, leader of the B.a.B.e NGO, which is part of Platforma 112, said that the part of the draft curricular reform concerning compulsory health education, primarily biology and the inter-disciplinary topic 'Health', avoided using the terms 'sexuality', 'gender' and terms relating to rights of the LGBTQ community.
This, she said, is evidently a result of pressure exerted on them by conservative associations and political parties.
"In democratic societies it is crucial to give every person the right to make a good choice, and in order to make a good choice, we must have complete and good information. Chucking out the category 'gender'... is inadmissible," Sarnavka said.
Natasa Bijelic of the CESI NGO said that school curricula dealt with sexuality "minimally and in a very conservative way", with emphasis being put on "responsible sexual behaviour", "sexually transmitted diseases" and "use of protection".
Such a one-dimensional approach excludes other dimensions of sexuality, such as psychological and socio-cultural ones, and neglects important aspects, such as values, views, feelings, and important skills, such as communication and decision-making, said Bijelic.
"The curricular reform must not be based on compromises that are detrimental to children and young people. The school should be a place of learning, information and acceptance of differences," she said, adding that no one questioned an individual's right and freedom to make decisions in line with their own values or parents' right to raise their children in line with their values.