This new school year, only two new schools were added to Tirana and not 10 as stated by the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj. This was officially confirmed for Faktoje by the Ministry of Education and the Municipality of Tirana itself. Faktoje shows how statements about new schools and the end of shift teaching are being used for propaganda purposes.
In August of this year, the mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, announced that 10 new schools will be added to Tirana for the 2023-2024 school year.
One week before the start of the new school year, Veliaj spoke again about this new package of educational facilities.
“Another package of 10 new schools is opened over the 40 we completed last semester. There are 10 schools, where some of the iconic gymnasiums of Tirana stand out, Besnik Sykja and Partizani, declared Veliaj in an interview for Top Channel on September 4.
This statement was repeated on the first day of the start of the school year, from Veliaj during the inauguration of the 9 year old school “Lek Gjiknuri”.
“This time, 10 new schools are opening, 10 more will be opened in the second semester as well. Then we will say goodbye to two-shifts shchools in Tirana”, emphasized Veliaj on September 13.
But how many new schools were added to Tirana during the 2023-2024 school year and which schools are they?
Faktoje addressed a request for information to the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Municipality of Tirana.
Request for information sent to MAS and the Municipality of Tirana
In its official response to Faktoje, MAS informs that only the construction of the ‘Lek Gjiknuri’ school has been completed this year.
“After the completion and start of activity for a number of new schools during 2022, we inform you that the construction of the ‘Lek Gjiknuri’ school has also been completed this year.
“Lek Gjiknuri” school is expected to open its doors to students for the new school year 2023-2024″, explains the Ministry of Education for Faktoje.
MAS response, September 14, 2023
Meanwhile, the Municipality of Tirana emphasizes that there are 4 new schools built this year and so far only one of them has opened its doors to receive students.
“The number of new schools built in Tirana during this year (2023) and followed in the capacity of contract manager by the Public Works Investment Directorate is 4 (four).
For the 2023-2024 school year, the following schools will open their doors to welcome students:
Gymnasium ‘Partizani’ located at Administrative Unit no. 8, “Sinan Tafaj” street.
Gymnasium “Besnik Sykja” located at Administrative Unit no. 5, “Kristo Floqi” street.
9-Year School ‘Lek Gjiknuri’ located at Administrative Unit no. 8, “Besim Daja” street.
Vaqarr United High School located in Vaqarr” – says the response of the Municipality of Tirana dated September 22, 2023.
The response of the Municipality of Tirana, September 22, 2023
This Monday, October 9, the high school “Partizani” was also inaugurated. Contrary to previous statements, Mayor Veliaj did not mention the “opening of 10 new schools”.
Asked by Faktoje about the new educational facilities, Rigels Xhemollari from the Civic Resistance explains:
“We are dealing with a recidivist behavior of not keeping promises, with a concealment of the reality of schools with two shifts and the failure to ensure full capacities in schools, producing false news in the media that informs the citizens en masse”.
Beware of propaganda with the catchphrase ‘New schools’!
In May of this year, Faktoje published a fact-checking article regarding a statement before the May 14 local elections, where Mayor Veliaj confirmed that 40 new schools had been built during under his 2 terms as the mayor. The verification showed that this included 26 existing schools that were reconstructed or rebuilt after the 2019 earthquake. Existing reconstructed schools may offer better conditions, but they do not increase the capacity of students that would provide a solution to shifts. However, in the statements, especially during the election campaigns, this term is not clarified, serving the election propaganda.
Based on the verification carried out and the collected information, we established that the statement of Mayor Veliaj about 10 new schools being built in Tirana, is False.