Speech of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani at the elementary and lower secondary school "Ismajl Qemali"

I am very honored and excited by this visit to the Ismajl Qemali school, a school where it was rightly said, I took my first steps. It is a special honor and also a special emotion to meet the lecturers, the teachers, the class tutor and many, many people with whom I have spent extraordinary moments of our lives and some uneasy moments too. I remember the first day I came to enroll in school and that little office where pupils were asked if they knew the first letters,  with a small piano there, where we organized concerts and songs about Kosovo at a time when singing about Kosovo meant risking your life, and all those teachers and principals, because many who have given everything, but our best defenders and second parents at a very difficult time I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for this extraordinary contribution they have made.

Going to school in the 90s was more than just school, it was more than just a cause for education and schooling. It was above all a cause for freedom because we witnessed our freedom-loving spirit as a nation, we witnessed our insistence on freedom and independence by not depriving us of our right to education even when they expelled us from school. Many of you who are sitting here today remember the days when we were expelled from school, when we were forced to go to makeshift schools at people's homes where just to cross the yard we had to cross over knee-length water pools but we always had in addition to our families teachers who gave us strength in addition to giving us knowledge.

This extraordinary contribution of people who have risked everything for us is being deliberately mentioned today because unfortunately it is often forgotten that we went through a very difficult 10 years during the 90s when we were denied basic rights including the right to education. But it has been the insistence of these people, the insistence of the teachers who worked without a single cent and without compensation which proves that nothing can break the soul of a nation who wantst to live free and nothing can break the will of children, teachers to be educated. now after all those experiences, we are free for 23 years now. We have gone through many challenges, but today it is important that we all join forces so that these young children have a much brighter future so that they never experience what we have experienced and they understand it as it was rightly said in the beginning that with work and with toil everything can be achieved.

At school, we would spend extraordinary moments, beautiful moments and sometimes even moments of dissatisfaction when you may not get the grade you want, but this should never serve as an obstacle to achieving and realizing your dreams. During those years that we were at Ismajl Qemali school, we had problems, many obstacles, the conditions were much worse. Today you have a much more beautiful school, in much more favorable conditions, you have teachers who support you on your journey so do not stop work, do not stop zeal and above all do not stop your dreams.

In particular, I want to encourage the little girls, the girls who are in this school today attending school but also the girls around Kosovo to never stop the step despite the obstacles that someone may put in your way, you can do whatever you want. There is no profession and there is no achievement that girls can not do excellently and I believe that many girls who have graduated from this school and today excel in education, culture, art, diplomacy and in many different fields, already have proven this and you have many examples to see but always rely also on your strength, your perseverance and above all on the work you do.

Of course, as we discussed with the mayor in the previous meeting, a society can only move forward when it prioritizes education. There is no country in the world that has succeeded if it has not set education as the first priority, if it has not turned its mind but also its budget towards education, so I am here today to show my commitment and that of our institutions to have exactly this kind of investment in our education system, so that our young people, our young women, our little ones have as much quality in the educational process, have as much support and become a useful member of our society because the first steps as you know are the most important steps and this not only we are saying, but also science has proven that as many years as children spend in early education there will be quality education in the first years, the percentage of their usefulness as useful members of society increases many times more. This has been proven in the most developed country and we just need to learn from these countries which have overcome unemployment, countries that have always increased the quality of education by making sure to invest in our children is the right way , is the brightest path to the success of a state.

Once again I want to thank each and every one of you, my first teacher, the many teachers who are here today, the class tutor, the principal who is here today, the new teachers, the new teachers, the young teachers who meanwhile have joined here the educational staff, and encourage them not to stop with their work because after a few years you will see the result and the fruits of your work no matter how at first it seems to you, you will see those results and above all your cause and your work, you will see extraordinary pupils and students who tomorrow and the day after tomorrow will send Kosovo but also other countries of the world because our young people can contribute everywhere with their talent by leading us forward and you will all feel proud of the contribution you have made not only to the life of an individual but to the contribution you have made to your country throughout all these steps as president of the country I will be by your side not only to crying worries and to talk but to make sure we solve all the problems together and deal with all the challenges you face together. Success to all students, the more excellent successes the more exemplary behaviors, the faster and easier your dreams will come true.

Thank you for your hospitality today!