Analphabetic Courses in the Royal Yugoslav Army 1918–1941 Cover Image

Analfabetski kursevi u vojsci Kraljevine SHS/Jugoslavije 1918–1941.
Analphabetic Courses in the Royal Yugoslav Army 1918–1941

Author(s): Dalibor Velojić
Subject(s): Cultural history, Military history
Published by: Institut za savremenu istoriju, Beograd
Keywords: literacy; Royal Yugoslav Army; teaching recruits to read and write; analphabetic courses

Summary/Abstract: After the end of the First World War, the newly formed state of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/ Kingdom of Yugoslavia was burdened with a Distinctive set of challenges reflecting its political and economic development rate, as well as cultural heritage. Different laws and systems of elementary education pointed at inequality and the need to create a unique organization. Statistical data show that northern and western parts of the country were at a much higher level of cultural and educational development, whereas in the south and other underdeveloped areas illiteracy rate was even up to 90%. The significant number of illiterate people was among the female population, reflecting the fact that patriarchal society did not recognize emancipation of women. Therefore, the aim of the state was to improve the educational status of young people by opening as many elementary schools as possible, particularly in underdeveloped and distant areas, as well as training the teachers. One of the taken measures was organizing analphabetic courses, with the aim of teaching the population deprived of schooling to read and write within a short period of time. The military also participated in these activities, given that all healthy and capable male population had to pass through it. Military authorities and units treated the problem of illiteracy very seri ously, showing the same amount of effort as civil organizations in addressing the illiteracy. Serious approach and clear strategy were particularly prominent in 1930s, when this activity gained a legal support. Ultimately, a number of anal phabetic courses in the armed forces was twice as high then in the civilian popu lation, and the number of its trained analphabets was higher as well. The re search indicates that the military had an important role in raising the educational level of its recruits, particularly those from southern areas of the country.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 37-52
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Serbian