Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through History

Explore the extraordinary past of Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through the pages of the book 'Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through History.' Uncover political events, economic development, and cultural heritage of these Banat towns through richly documented stories. Follow the evolution from the earliest days to the present, delving into the intricate threads of political intrigues, economic transformations, and cultural ascensions. Experience the past through the eyes of the author as the pages of the book unfold before you, providing a unique perspective on the life and legacy of these significant locales.

Primary School in Vranjevo

Primary School in Vranjevo

Information about the primary school in Vranjevo was only recorded in 1768 in the school census. The teacher at that time was Sava Stojković, and in the baptismal records of Vranjevo, a newborn of Sava Stojković, a master, was recorded in 1773. The school was considered one of the better Serbian schools, as it had eighteen students who were taught reading, writing, religion, and arithmetic.

Vranjevo was one of the most advanced villages settled by border guards from the Bačka region, so it is assumed that there should have been a school there at the time when schools appeared in Mokrin and Melenci, as those schools were included in the report of Protosyndel Radivojević in 1758. There is no mention of a school in Vranjevo at that time, but priests in Vranjevo contributed to school funds. It raises the question of who received those contributions. Perhaps due to its proximity to Novi Bečej, Vranjevo might have sent its students to the school there until a school was established in Vranjevo. Therefore, it's possible that the contributions, or part of them, were allocated to the Novi Bečej school. Especially since at that time, the Bečej Protopope covered Vranjevo, Mokrin, Velika Kikinda, Karlovo, Beodra, Kumane, Melenci, and Novi Bečej, and churches were supporting schools. Vranjevo likely utilized the proximity to Bečej in those early years after the border guard resettlement, thus delaying the opening of its own school for several years.

Vasa Stajić notes that in 1778, Vranjevo had a school, but the teacher complained about irregular salary payments and the lack of necessary supplies. Soon after, on May 4, 1778, an order was issued to immediately pay the teacher's overdue salary and procure the necessary supplies. On that occasion, it was ordered that the District Commissioner Hala submit a report on why the schools were "progressing so poorly" in the District.

According to the census of 1783/84, the school in Vranjevo had thirty students, and the teacher was Nićifor Uvalić, who had the required qualifications. The school building was reported to be in good condition, fully furnished, and equipped with necessary teaching materials. The teacher's salary was sixty forints, and he had a house with three rooms, 4 hectares of arable land, and two hundred and forty bundles of reeds for heating.

Vranjevo developed quite rapidly, and by 1787, it had 248 Serbian households. Consequently, the teacher received a higher salary, class II, totaling ninety forints annually. That year, the director of Serbian schools, Avram Mrazović, visited the school in Vranjevo, conducted an inspection, agreed with the selection of the teacher Nićifor Uvalić, and made an agreement with the municipality regarding its obligations towards the school and the teacher.

It seems that Nićifor Uvalić didn't stay long as a teacher, as mentioned in the diary of Sava Rajković, in March 1794, Rahila (his daughter) started school with the regular teacher Lazar Popović. The next teacher mentioned is Jeremija Popović. After Jeremija Popović, the teacher was Nedić, whose full name is not recorded, but it is said that he was from Kikinda and is believed to be the ancestor of Evgenije Nedić (later Sentklarai Jene). Meanwhile, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Toma Tapavica was the teacher, and his house was located where the Catholic church in Vranjevo stands today.

By 1811, there was only a "small school" in Vranjevo—a primer school with one teacher. From 1811, the "Great School" was established—teaching psalters or III and IV grades. The first teacher of the "Great School" was Joca Madžarov, who was called a great teacher because of the school.

After Nedić, Georgije Sekulić became the teacher of the "small school" and remained in that position until 1838. In that year, Stanimir Nikolić from Krušedol took his place, who according to the collected data and recorded in the Chronicle, was a teacher until 1892. This information seems dubious because, according to it, Nikolić worked as a teacher in Vranjevo for fifty-four years. After him, Sava Rajković, the great-grandson of Sava Rajković, the registrar in Vranjevo, who kept the diary used for writing the Chronicle of schools in Vranjevo, taught for one year.

The next teacher was Sava Rajković, the grandfather of Svetozar Rajković, who wrote the Chronicle. After that, the teacher was Pera Gavrilović, who served as a teacher until the end of the nineteenth century.

The first teacher of the "Great School" was Joca Madžarov, and it was established in 1811. According to oral tradition, the school building was where the Orthodox church in Vranjevo is today.

In 1830, according to the decree of Duke Miloš, the secular power took over the schools from the church, and Vranjevo paid eighty forints annually to the teacher Sekulić. Then, by the order of the district of Novi Bečej, Georgije Sekulić was the teacher, who was required to report the number of students each month and to make sure that the students didn't miss classes without a valid reason. He was also tasked with maintaining order and cleanliness in the school.

The old school building was where the Orthodox church is located today. The school building was rebuilt in the mid-nineteenth century, in 1863. The builder was Jovan Čongorović from Vranjevo, and the total cost of construction was 646 forints. Of this amount, 190 forints were provided by the district, and the rest by the municipality. The carpentry work cost 173 forints, the brickwork 110, the masonry 125, the lime 35, the clay tiles for roofing 65, the shingles 50, and the ironwork 60 forints. The school had two rooms, two blackboards, and two stoves. The size of the land was 1,014 square meters.

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