A boy from Pljevlja, Slobodan Markovic, is one of the best students in the final year of the private high school "Oswestry" in the town of the same name in England.
The school which borders with Wales, with a 612-year-old tradition, is one of the oldest educational establishments in England.
In addition to the British, there are also students from 27 other countries.
Eighteen-year-old Slobodan received the opportunity to be a member of this school two years ago when he, as a second-grade student of the Gymnasium in Pljevlja, applied for a scholarship through the NGO "London Bridge" at the HMC organization. Although the interest of Montenegrin high school scholars was great, he was elected for one of the scholarships. In addition, three more students from Montenegro attend this school and one student from Serbia. "The first few weeks were not easy for someone who went to school in Pljevlja. It was necessary for me to adapt to the lifestyle and the schedules in the education system. What I liked instantly was the friendly society," said Slobodan, who was seventeen when he came to England.
Slobodan is preparing for the final exam that is taken at the end of high school, and the grades he gets will be crucial for enrolling in some of the world's prestigious universities.
He has chosen to study economics, which he showed interest in during his stay in England.
After graduating from high school in England, he says that he will likely continue his schooling at one of the universities in Germany for which he has already applied.
He emphasizes that the British education system is significantly different from ours, which is not suitable for achieving the full potential of some students.
"Our educational system is well organized because it allows students a high level of general education partly due to a large number of subjects and the inclusion of social and natural sciences as well as arts and sports. However, the problem is that a large number of subjects, as well as the inability to have a choice, do not allow students to focus on a more detailed study of the areas in which they are successful and for which they are interested."
In High School in England, Slobodan studies four subjects that he has chosen - mathematics, chemistry, history and economics.
He says that there is about a dozen students in some of the classes.
"The school year begins in September, and this year will end on July 7th. We have three larger vacations - summer, winter and Easter, and a seven-day break at the half of each of the three semesters. We have six lessons from each of the subjects in one week. School begins at 8.20 pm and the class lasts for 60 minutes. After the first two classes we have a break of 20 minutes, then two more classes. From 1-2.30 p.m. it's time for lunch, then we have two more classes, and on Wednesdays two hours of sport. Schools are better equipped. Technology is used, the school has an online platform, and the online system has replaced diaries. We also use the Google classroom and all the students receive a notification when one of the professors uploads something to it," said Markovic, who was the student of the primary school "Ristan Pavlovic" in Pljevlja.
He is a member of the school's blues orchestra, composed of three professors and three students. Slobodan plays the guitar and sings.
When asked whether he thinks he will come back to Montenegro one day, he says he always likes to return to Pljevlja, but that currently there are better conditions for success abroad.
"Knowledge is much more appreciated here, and qualifications are much more valuable than in our country," Slobodan said, who was elected as one of the four student leaders of the school last year.
Slobodan followed the footsteps of his sister Milica who, after completing United World Colleges in Mostar, continued to study in America. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at the famous Harvard in Chemical Biology. Slobodan's older brother Dusan is studying pharmacy in Novi Sad.
Slobodan says that he is particularly grateful to his parents, mother Mira and father Zoran, a renowned doctor from Pljevlja, for the efforts they make to educate them.
Church on Sunday regardless of the religion
Every Sunday, students living in the boarding school go together to the church within the school area, regardless of their nationality and religion.
"Every Sunday at about 6 pm, students from the boarding school, one hundred of us, need to go to the church, regardless of the religion. We listen to the lectures from the Bible which I think is useful. The church is part of the school's tradition because it was founded when the church was the dominant sphere of life," Markovic points out, who lives in the boarding school with one hundred students.
Students are allowed to leave the boarding school to go to the town, except on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the condition that they are obliged to return by 10 p.m. Those who don't abide can be in custody, which means they are not allowed to leave the boarding school except for lunch and when going to school, says Slobodan. A punished student is also obligated to spend the whole day in the school uniform.
Text by Goran Malidzan, on May 5th, 2019, read more at Vijesti