The Teachers' Association of the Republic of Srpska was founded on 5 August 2020, with a view to improving the position of teachers in the society. Yet, this struggle dates back to the period of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, where the former featured education within religious communities and where a certain breakthrough was made as regards the latter, whose authorities introduced organised, institutionalised education. In this respect, the underpaid teachers were supposed to help children develop a positive attitude towards the Monarchy, which put them under close scrutiny of the authorities. It was the ‘Skolski vjesnik’ journal that disseminated ideas of great educators of the time, such as Disterweg, Herbart etc, to teachers in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of the 19th century. The turn of the century saw the first attempts at organising teachers by the emergence of the ‘Zadruga za uciteljsku sirocad’ teachers’ association, followed by numerous such associations in the towns of Sarajevo, Mostar, and Banja Luka, as well as in other places across the country, which marks the most fruitful period in this regard. This paper aims at determining the list of teachers’ associations that existed throughout the period of the Ottoman Empire rule until the abolishment of the Austro-Hungarian dominance in this region, at describing their activities under respective social circumstances, as well as at establishing the impact they had on the position of teachers in the society.
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