“What is created by love lives for centuries.”
The Gymnasium “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” in Novi Sad is one of the oldest cultural and educational institutions in Serbia. Through its three-century continuation, the Gymnasium has become a proud guardian of the memory of the development of education in our country.
At the beginning of the 19th century, while Napoleon’s cannons were redrafting the political map of Europe of that time and while Karađorđe’s insurgents were fighting for the independence of Serbia, the prominent Novi Sad merchant Sava Vuković, noble of Beregso, considered how to leave a lasting memory of himself to his people. Blind and visibly ill, Vuković donated 20,000 forints to Saint Sava in 1810 with a gift letter for the establishment of a Serbian gymnasium in Novi Sad.
However, the story of secondary education in Novi Sad does not begin with this generous gesture. As early as 1731, on the same place where the Gymnasium building is today, Bishop Visarion Pavlović of Bačka founded the school called “Petrovaradin’s Nativity-Theotokos School of Latin-Slavic”. This school grew on the foundations of the Serbian primary school, which was founded in the same place in 1703. Bishop Pavlović and the Serbian Orthodox Church Municipality were deeply aware of the fact that only a good education in Latin could provide a better future for the Serbian people in the Habsburg Empire.
The school continued its work until 1789, when the Serbs of Novi Sad, carried away by the promises and reforms of Emperor Joseph II, abolished this educational institution in order to create a Gymnasium for all religions in Novi Sad. For that noble purpose, they donated the building, the entire school inventory and the students. Many students and teachers of this Gymnasium remained famous for their service to the people: Lukijan Mušicki, Mojsej Ignjatovic, Teodor Radonić, Danilo Petrović, Jovan Rajić, Dionisije Novaković, Arsenije Radivojević, Mojsije Putnik, the first Serbian doctor Petar Miloradović, Teodor Janković Mirijevski, Zaharije Orfelin , Gavrilo Hranislav, Simeon Piščević, Stefan Stratimirović, the first Serbian woman who could read and write in Latin – Marta Neškova, Andrej Kamber, Joakim Vujić and Marko Jelisejić.
The rapid collapse of Joseph’s reforms proved the haste and recklessness of this gesture, because instead of the state gymnasium for all religions, based on the decision of Emperor Leopold II on 20th April, 1790, the Roman Catholic gymnasium was established in the Orthodox part of Novi Sad.
From then on, the great struggle of the Serbs in Novi Sad to regain their school and found the Gymnasium began. Because of that, it was a great wish of the Metropolitan of Karlovac, Stefan Stratimirović, the Bishop of Bačka, Gedeon Petrović, and the Orthodox Church Municipality of Novi Sad, to reopen the Serbian-Orthodox gymnasium in Novi Sad, in addition to the Roman Catholic one.
Therefore, it was by no chance that Novi Sad became the stage for this historical event. With over 20,000 inhabitants, hundreds of small shops and stores and an extremely developed grain trade, Novi Sad was the economic and cultural center of the Serbs in the Habsburg monarchy.
The Founding Letter of Sava Vuković lists three basic tasks that the Gymnasium was supposed to accomplish: general education and upbringing in the national spirit through the Orthodox religion and the national language. Based on the initiative of Bishop Gedeon Petrović of Bačka and Metropolitan Josif Stratimirović of Karlovci, a large number of Novi Sad residents joined this noble work, so that over 100,000 forints were collected, which was enough to establish a school. The lack of higher educational institutions directed the Serbian youth in the Habsburg Empire to continue their education in Roman Catholic or Protestant schools, which brought with it a great fear and anxiety of changing religion and denationalization. On 11th December, 1811, the Habsburg emperor, Franz I, gave his approval for the establishment of the school. However, this imperial decision did not conclude everything, and only on 31st January, 1816, the Founding Letter was confirmed, and thus the conditions were met to form the first and second grade, and then in November, to form the third grade of the Gymnasium.
On the basis of this imperial decision and in accordance with the Founding Letter, the Patronage and Guardianship were formed, the highest administrative bodies of the Gymnasium, which lead the work of the school until 1920. According to the Founding Letter, the Gymnasium was the property of the Serbian Orthodox municipality of Novi Sad, however the Gymnasium was managed by the Patronage. The Patronage was headed by the Metropolitan of Karlovci and the Bishop of Novi Sad, while two members came from the consistorium of Bačka, and four members were given by the Orthodox Church Municipality of Novi Sad. The Patronage determined the teaching basis of this gymnasium, prescribed textbooks, elected school principals and teachers, and determined their salaries and awards. On the basis of point 7 of the founding letter, the Guardianship was created, whose task was to invest the capital of the Gymnasium and provide unhindered financing of the school. The guardianship had six members, and affluent merchants, craftsmen and lawyers were mostly designated to it.
The flag of the school was established in 1816. On one side there is the picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the other side there is the picture of Saint Sava. The flag of the Gymnasium still proudly adorns the entrance to the school building.
With the arrival of teachers Georgije Magarašević, Mojsije Petrović, Ignjat Jovanović and Pavel Jozef Šafarik, the number of classes increased to six, so that at the beginning of October 1819, the Serbian Orthodox Great Gymnasium of Novi Sad became a comprehensive Gymnasium.
The first building of the Gymnasium was located next to the Congregational church in the area of today’s Platoneum. The building was constructed by the Serbian Orthodox Church Municipality in 1788 for the needs of the Nativity-Theodokos Latin Slavic School. The building captivated everyone who came to Novi Sad with its beauty. This is what Šafarik said about it: “The gymnasium building is something special; I have never seen such an edifice. “
The first managers of the Gymnasium were Archpriest Danilo Petrović and Mayor Grigorije Janković. With the increase in the number of students and classes, the Patronage took steps to give the Gymnasium the royal privilege with the right of the public. That privilege meant that all Gymnasium graduates had the right to enroll in any academy, lyceum and university in the Habsburg Empire without taking entrance and differential exams. Franz I gave this privilege to the Gymnasium on 26th October, 1818.
The curriculum was made in accordance with the state regulation “Ratioeducationis”, which was valid for all state gymnasiums in Hungary. The gymnasium remained organied on the six-grade standard until 1848, and all subjects were taught in German, except for religious education, which was taught in Serbian. The following subjects were studied at the Gymnasium: basics of Latin and German, geography, anthropology and arithmetic, Latin with syntax, religious studies, natural history and anthropology, world history, archeology, physics, logic, rhetoric, poetry and ethics.
The Gymnasium experienced a great prosperity when the literary historian and world-renowned scientist Pavel Jozef Šafarik came to its head. In the period from 1816 to 1848, the Gymnasium had seven administrators (directors), and the teaching process was carried out by twenty-seven teachers. Among them, the most famous were Milovan Vidaković, Pavel Jozef Šafarik, Georgije Magarašević and Jovan Hadžić.
At the great perseverance of Šafarik, in 1819, collecting of books began for the opening of the school library. The grand opening of the library took place in 1822. As part of this great cultural event, Lukijan Mušicki wrote “Одa на откритије библиотеки гимназии новосадскија торжествованое лета 1822” i.e. ”Ode to the establishment of the Library of the Gymnasium of Novi Sad, celebrated in the summer of 1822″. By 1849, the library had about 1,600 books in its holdings.
Due to the importance of religious education, cantillation classes were held from the very beginning of the work of the Gymnasium. The first choir was founded in 1828 in the Serbian Orthodox Gymnasium. In 1841, the “Music School” was opened, led by the conductor, composer and singer Alexander Morfidis – Nisis.
It is believed that in the period from 1816 to 1848, the Gymnasium was attended by over 3,300 students, which gave immeasurable importance for the development of intelligence and national revival among Serbs.
The Gymnasium continued its uninterrupted work until the great revolutionary events in 1848. On the devastating 12th June, 1849, Novi Sad was bombed by artillery fire from the Petrovaradin Fortress. There were 2004 out of 2812 buildings in the city that were burned down. The Gymnasium building was among them. In addition to the building, didactic aids and a very valuable natural history collection were also destroyed. Attempts to save at least the gymnasium library failed because the books were moved to the Almaški temple (the church of the Three Holy Hierarchs) before the bombing, which also burned down.
The terrible war devastation caused the Gymnasium to continue its work only in October 1852. The visibly impoverished Serbian Orthodox church community made a final effort to raise funds to continue the work of the school. It was restored as an incomplete four-grade gymnasium without rights of publicity. At that time, the curriculum stipulated the realization of teaching in the following subjects: history with geography, religious studies, Latin language, Greek language, German language, Serbian language and arithmetic. The maintenance of the four-grade gymnasium was a great burden for the Patronage and the Orthodox Church Municipality of Novi Sad. The help unexpectedly arrived from Vienna, personally from Emperor Franz Joseph. It arrived in Novi Sad on 27th September, 1860, and contained an offer to give the Gymnasium assistance from the state treasury so that it could become a complete eight-grade school, provided that it preserves its religious and national character. The offer was gladly accepted, but it would be five years before the Hungarian Deputy Council informed the Patronage that the imperial-royal resolution had ordered the gymnasium of Novi Sad to be raised to the level of a large gymnasium of eight grades. Emperor Franz Joseph granted the Gymnasium the right of publicity with the same resolution.
The gymnasium was, at that time, a school of the classical-humanistic type, which is most clearly seen from the number of classes that were provided for the study of languages. The following subjects were compulsory at the school at that time: Latin, religious studies, Serbian, Hungarian, mathematics, gymnastics, Greek, German, geography, history, natural history, physics, geometric drawing, philosophy and calligraphy. The following subjects were elective: French, descriptive geometry, church cantillation, singing and music (piano, violin, playing in an orchestra and tamburitza choir).
In 1854, the then director of the Gymnasium, Dr. Đorđe Natošević, introduced gymnastics as an optional subject and procured some gymnastic equipment. Until the new building of the Gymnasium was built, gymnastics classes took place outside in the summer months.
The school library continued to work only in 1865, when the Orthodox church municipality of Novi Sad undertook the obligation to regularly finance its work.
A source of inestimable importance for the study of the history of the Gymnasium are the yearbooks published since 1867.
In the school year 1867/1868 the first matriculation exam was held in the Gymnasium, led by Dr. Jovan Hadžić. One out of the eleven registered candidates passed with an excellent grade, while nine passed with a grade of mature. It is important to note that this is the first exam of maturity in education among Serbs. From that time back in 1868 until today, despite the war events, political and economic crises, the Gymnasium has managed to hold a matriculation exam every year, which makes it an absolute record holder in our education.
By the decision of Patriarch Josif Rajačić in 1860, the celebration of Saint Sava as a school saint’s day was introduced in all Serbian schools in the Empire. On that day, all students and teachers attended the solemn liturgy in the Congregational church. The celebration continued in the building of the Gymnasium, where a celebration cake was cut and a performance was done on the occasion of the holiday. By the decision of the Patronage, the whole Orthodox church holidays were celebrated at school, and those days were non-working days. This decision was respected during the world wars, and only with the arrival of the communists in power, this tradition was broken.
The political divisions of the Serbian people at that time influenced the way the building of the Gymnasium was treated. It found herself at the center of the conflict between the conservative clergy, who, through the Patronage, managed the work of the Gymnasium and the liberal party of Svetozar Miletić, which tried to take over the management of the school. The founding assembly of the United Youth of the Serbian, Romantic, Revolutionary Organization, which advocated the liberation and unification of the Serbs, was held in the building of the Gymnasium from 15th to 18th August, 1866. There were frequent conflicts between the Patronage and certain teachers and students, which destroyed the great reputation of the Gymnasium.
After the Austro-Hungarian agreement in 1867, there was a period of great changes in the work of the Gymnasium. The Hungarian authorities tried to make the assimilation policy towards the Gymnasium by conditioning on the granting of state subsidies. In the school year 1870/1871, the Hungarian Parliament voted to help the Gymnasium with the donation of 8,000 forints, with a request that the Ministry of Education should get the right to determine the curriculum and teachers. The Patronage refused this help, explaining that it was in contradiction with the founding letter of the school.
During this period, the Gymnasium was successfully run by Vasa Pušibrk (the school principal from 1871 until 1910).
After the entry into force of the Basic Law on Secondary Schools in 1883, even greater temptations came to the protection of the internal autonomy of the Gymnasium. Since then, the Patronage was under the personal supervision of the commissioners of the Hungarian government, who performed the inspection service twice a year and attended the higher bankruptcy examination. The Law on Secondary Schools that was passed in 1883 obliged the school administration to harmonize the work and organization with the state schools to an even greater extent, which required even higher material expenses.
In addition to the gymnasium fund, the Gymnasium supported itself from school activities and bequests of numerous benefactors and endowments. It is worth mentioning the endowments of Athanasius Geresky, so-called Ataneseum, Dr. Nikola Krstić from Belgrade, Gideon Dundjerski, the married couple Pajević, Teodora and Persida Mandić, Luka Milanović, Marija Petrović, Vaso Jovanović Čič and the Endowment of George Servijski and others.
At the end of the seventies of the 19th century, the building of the Gymnasium no longer met its needs. The board for collecting donations for the extension of the Gymnasium building began its work in 1897. During this action, Baron Miloš Bajić (grandson of Miloš Obrenović) donated 200,000 crowns for its construction. The new building was built in the Renaissance style on the site of the old one according to the design of Vladimir Nikolić. The construction began on 22nd September, 1899 and was completed on 1st July, 1900.
According to the curriculum from 1899/1900 the compulsory subjects were: religious studies, Latin, Greek, Hungarian, German, Serbian, geography, history, natural history, physics, mathematics, geometric drawing, philosophy and calligraphy, and optional subjects were French, shorthand, playing (violin, piano, tamburitza, fencing, eight-part cantillation and religious education for Roman Catholics, Protestants and Jews).
The activity of students was especially reflected in the launch of numerous student newspapers. In the 19th century, they were: “Sloga”, “Đački venac”, “Zolja”, “Đačka Matica”. At the beginning of the 20th century, they were: “Sova”, “Gusle”, “Šestoškolac”, “Bič”, “Osvitak”, “Napredak” and “Novi đački venac”.
In the period from 1868 to 1918, as many as 15,792 students were enrolled in the Gymnasium. The first students were enrolled in the school year 1894/1895. The prevalent number of students were of Serbian nationality, and there were also Germans, Jews, Croats, Hungarians, Slovaks, Romanians and Ruthenians, which is the best evidence of the quality of teaching in the Gymnasium. Unlike other high schools in Hungary, the Patronage decided that students, regardless of religion, would pay the same price of tuition fees, and that if they justified it with their work, they would be exempted from paying tuition fees.
Throughout the 19th century, the Gymnasium was a real nursery garden for the Serbian intellectuals. Jovan Đorđević, Lazar Kostić, Jovan Turoman, Đura Daničić, Kosta Trifković, Jovan Jovanović Zmaj, Ilija Ognjanović-Abukazem, Jovan Grčić-Milenko, Paja Marković-Adamov, Milan Savić, Svetozar Miletić, Mihailo Polit-Desančić, Tihomir Ostojić, Isidor Bajić, Stanoje Stanojević, Jovan Radonić, Radovan Košutić, Milan Šević, Pavle Vujević, Aleksa Ivić, Radivoj Kašanin, Radivoj Petrović, Jovan Maksimović, Mileta Jakšić, Miloje Milojević, Petar Konjović and many others participated in the work of the school as students or as teachers.
In 1914, the profoundly conflicting interests of the great powers pushed humankind into the First World War. Due to the proximity of the front line, the building of the Gymnasium was taken over by the army in 1914, and in 1915 it was turned into a military hospital. The teaching staff was reduced due to mobilization and war, and in the school years 1914/1915 and 1915/1916 only exams have been taken.
In the school years 1916/1917 and 1917/1918 regular classes were held but with great difficulty due to the lack of teachers and economic scarcity. Due to that, the school years were shortened and semester exams were introduced.
After the war and great changes, the Gymnasium continued its work in the liberated, newly united Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The school year 1919/1920 began without any significant novelties. The gymnasium was still managed by the Patronage until, by the decision of the Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on 27th August, 1920, the Gymnasium started to be state-funded and was named the State Men’s Gymnasium in Novi Sad. It was considered that there was no need for the Gymnasium to continue its work as a private denominational school. This resolution came at the right time because the Patronage, due to the war-ravaged economy, inflation and agrarian reform (which deprived the gymnasium of 353 square meters of land or the entire land fund), could no longer cope with economic difficulties and was not able to finance the school’s work independently. However, that did not mean the end of the work of the Patronage because it continued to manage the funds and property of the Gymnasium. The Patronage continued to dedicatedly facilitate the development of the Gymnasium until the communist authorities, with the Law on Nationalization passed on 5th December, 1946 and its amendment on 28th April, 1948, confiscated the property of the Orthodox municipality of Novi Sad and the funds of the Patronage. With this act, the administration of the Patronage over the Gymnasium was abolished.
The first and most important task was to renovate the subject rooms, library and school inventory because the school building had been turned into a hospital during the war.
The library was especially damaged because two thirds of the students’ books and about 2,500 books from the teacher’s library were lost. For the second time in its history, the library rose from the ashes only in 1927.
National freedom and new opportunities were most visible in the curricula. In history teaching, for the first time, the emphasis was placed on the study of the past of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, while the Serbian language and mathematics were in the first place in terms of the number of weekly classes. As an expression of general Francophilia in society, the number of hours for studying the French language has increased. Given the tradition and commitment of individual teachers, the German language was studied very intensively. There was a special rivalry between the techers of German and French.
On 3rd October, 1931, the Gymnasium changed its name to the State Male Real Gymnasium of King Alexander I.
In the period between 1935 and 1937, for the purpose of supporting physical education, a playground the size of three hectares was built (on the area of today’s students’ playground i.e. Đačko igralište). There were courts for volleyball, basketball, football, tennis and gymnastics. In 1914, the students of the Gymnasium founded the Football Club Vojvodina and thus laid the foundations of a sports society that is today one of the largest in Europe.
In the new state, the Gymnasium developed a very lively social activity. Lectures were held, student gatherings and actions were organized. It was not uncommon for the highest civil servants to come to visit it since the Gymnasium, with its affluent past, enjoyed a great reputation.
With the introduction of the state support of the gymnasiums in Novi Sad and Karlovac, the Serbian people were left without gymnasiums of the classical type. The Minister of Education, Anton Korošec, tried to go back in time when, in September 1939, he gave permission to renew the work of the Serbian Orthodox Gymnasium in Novi Sad. The old gymnasium became a tenant in its former building. This gymnasium had one class in 1939, and in 1940 another class was opened. An attempt to renew the work of the old gymnasium was stopped by the outbreak of World War II.
The dynamic development of the State Male Real Gymnasium of King Alexander I was interrupted by the April War in 1941. The rapid collapse of the Yugoslav army was a terrible omen of the great suffering of the Serbian people that would follow. The fascist invader entered Novi Sad on 13th April. As an institution with a clearly emphasized national significance, the Gymnasium is prohibited from operating. In place of the old one, a new Hungarian Royal State Gymnasium with Serbian as the language of instruction was founded. It had two parallel classes in each grade. This educational institution had the basic task of creating a feeling of loyalty among the Serbian population towards Great Hungary and providing preconditions for the Hungarianization of the Serbian population through the teaching of the Hungarian language and history. The main subject was Hungarian, and classes were also conducted in Serbian. The teachers had to speak Hungarian to one another.
In addition to the clearly expressed assimilation plan of the fascist invader, the Gymnasium was allowed to celebrate the glory of Saint Sava and to hold religious lessons. Students were also free to attend worship services.
Denationalization and Hungarianization were visible not only in teaching and extracurricular activities, but also in changes in certain subjects. The study of national history was excluded from the curriculum, and the study of Hungarian history was introduced.
During the war, the school library was severely damaged. The occupier made the decision that only copies of books printed before the disintegration of Austro-Hungary, i.e. before the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, could remain in the school library. The Patronage received 11,050 books for safekeeping, while over 20,000 were burned. After World War II, due to their exceptional value, the books were handed over for safekeeping to the Matica Srpska Library.
The hardship days during the intrusion were marked by the expulsion of the population and mass killings (the Novi Sad raid in 1942), and ended with the liberation in October 1944. It is estimated that about 241 students and teachers of the Gymnasium lost their lives during the war.
Three gymnasiums were founded in Novi Sad on 28th February, 1945: the Men’s Gymnasium (which was originally located on the site of the Platoneum, and was later moved to a building in Futoška Street), the Mixed Gymnasium (on the site of today’s Music School) and the Women’s Gymnasium (in the building of the former Civic school). After the Bulgarian army moved out of the gymnasium building, the Mixed Gymnasium moved into it on 30th June, 1945.
In the school year 1950/1951, the Men’s Gymnasium from Futoška Street was moved to the current building of the Gymnasium, a unique First Mixed Gymnasium was formed, and the former Gymnasium became the Second Mixed Gymnasium. The following year, the First Mixed Gymnasium became the Mixed Gymnasium “Svetozar Marković”, and the Second Mixed Gymnasium was named “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj”. For the better use of the premises of these two gymnasiums in the school year 1959/1960 they were merged into the Gymnasium “Jovan Jovanović – Zmaj”.
After the liberation of the country, due to the general poverty and the lack of the most basic didactic aids, classes were held only with great sacrifice of the teachers. The lack of textbooks that had a Marxist view of the world and the teaching staff, as well as classes with a large number of students were another great difficulty of that time. After the Second World War, Yugoslavia found itself in a communist regime, so that the entire teaching process was accompanied insisting on the socio-political education of students on the basis of Marxist teaching. Until the conflict with the Information Bureau in 1947, the Yugoslav authorities blindly copied the social order of the USSR, which had negative consequences in education as well – “lowering the criteria and levels in the demands of work with the age of upper primary and secondary school.” The new communist government took the position of militant atheism, which is why the Orthodox Church was persecuted. Religious education was expelled from schools and the church’s property was confiscated. All that affected the work of the Gymnasium because the government subducted the gymnasium funds and property. After more than a century, the celebration of Saint Sava as a school saint’s day was banned.
The period from the end of World War II to the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was marked by numerous reforms in education. The Gymnasium of Novi Sad has always proved to the school authorities as an indicator of the success of certain reforms, which testified that it also had a great reputation in the new socialist society.
Based on the General Law on Education that was passed in 1958, the Gymnasium was supposed to provide students with in-depth knowledge of natural and social sciences and general technical education. The novelty was that the classes were divided into general and elective. The general subjects included the following: Serbo-Croatian language with literature, history, sociology with the basics of political economy, social organization of Yugoslavia, logic and psychology, philosophy, art, foreign language (in addition to Russian which was dominant after the liberation, they began to study English, German and French as well), biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, technical education, physical education and pre-military training. Elective classes were divided into four directions: social sciences (social sciences and other foreign language), natural sciences of the first group (mathematics, chemistry, physics), natural sciences of the second group (biology, physics, chemistry) and foreign language (second foreign language and Latin Language). The aim of such classes was to create a basis for further scientific improvement and to create a socialist view of the world in students. Based on this federal law, the People’s Republic of Serbia has made a decision to divide gymnasiums in Serbia into two educational streams: social sciences and linguistics and natural sciences and mathematics.
After the great school reform, initiated by Stipe Šuvar, in the period from 1977 to 1983, the school worked as a Center for the education of staff in social activities. In the printed report, the Gymnasium “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” made this announcement – “In accordance with the reform of secondary education in the Socialist Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, from the next school year the school will work under the name Center for Education of Personnel in Social Activities “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” and will provide education for legal, mathematical, information, biological, physical, chemical and geographical occupation”. Six years after this hasty and unsuccessful reform, it again became the Secondary School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj”. In the school year 1990/1991, the school was named the Gymnasium “Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj” and it still keeps that designation.
The disintegration of the country, economic and political isolation caused not only a re-examination of value attitudes in society, but also a crisis in education. Notwithstanding, the Gymnasium managed to preserve its reputation, and above all the opening of special mathematical classes for gifted children proved to be a success.
After the democratic changes on 5th October, 2000, the development path of the Gymnasium went in two directions: the Gymnasium became a leader in introducing innovations and higher standards in secondary education and it also returned to its glorious tradition and times of yore.
The best indicator of these claims are the great successes achieved by students in international choir competitions, Balkan Games, Olympics, federal and national competitions in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and informatics.
For its centuries-long successful educational work, the Gymnasium has often received the highest social recognitions. Here we will list only a few of them: the Order of Saint Sava of the First Order of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1935, the Order of Merit for the People of the First Order of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia in 1960, the Order of Labor with the Red Flag of the Socialist Federal Republic Yugoslavia in 1985, the Vuk Award of the Cultural and Educational Association of Serbia in 1970, the November Award of the Association of Physical Education Organizations of Serbia in 1971, the Spartak Award in 1972, the Award of maturity “25th May” in 1972, the Award for the Liberation of Vojvodina in 1985, the October Award of the City of Novi Sad in 1984, the Golden Plaque for Education “We choose the best” in 2002, a commendation to the best gymnasium for the results achieved in the school year 2002/2003 and the Award “Dr. Đorđe Natošević” of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province Vojvodina for the year 2006.
In the Gymnasium today, there are four educational streams: natural sciences and mathematics, social sciences and linguistics, the stream for students talented in mathematics and the general stream. Since 2007, the Gymnasium has included experimental classes of the seventh and eighth grade of primary school. The Gymnasium is equipped with three modern computer science rooms and specialized classrooms for mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology with accompanying laboratories, a school library with 30,000 titles, a ceremonial hall and a gym. Among the extracurricular activities in the school there are choir and orchestra section, drama in French, recitation section, environmental club, debate club, editorial board of the school newspaper “Skamija” (founded in 1972), linguistic workshop, psychological section, chemical and biological section, art section and IT section. The cultural exchange of teachers and students with the Gymnasium from Slano (the Czech Republic) has been realized for years, and from this year the same form of cooperation with the Moscow gymnasium “Elada” is implemented.
Centuries have passed. Various state establishments, generations of students and teachers have left their mark to the eternity by embedding themselves in the development of this school. Perhaps that is why it would be most appropriate to end this text with the verses of Jovan Živojnović: “What is created by love, lives for centuries and counts the whole immeasurable series.”
o Gavrilović Slavko, Iz istorije Srba u Hrvatskoj, Slavoniji i Ugarskoj (XV-XIX vek), Belgrade, 1993.
o Group of authors, Gymnasium of Novi Sad 1810-1960, Novi Sad, 1960.
o Group of authors, Gymnasium of Novi Sad 1810-1985, origin and development, Novi Sad, 1986.
o Group of authors, Memorial on the centenary of the Serbian Orthodox Gymnasium in Novi Sad, Novi Sad 1910.
o Đurđev Petar, Football Club Vojvodina from Novi Sad in the period 1914 – 41, Novi Sad, 2002.
o Popović J. Dušan, Serbs in Vojvodina, volume 2, Novi Sad, 1990.
o Popović J. Dušan, Serbs in Vojvodina, volume 3, Novi Sad, 1990.
o Stajić Vasa, Serbian Orthodox Gymnasium in Novi Sad, Novi Sad, 1949.
o Građanski list, Gymnasium “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” – Generation 2006/7, Novi Sad, 2007.
o Šević Milan, O prvim srpskim srednjim školama (The First Serbian Secondary Schools), Beograd 1926.
To all those who did good to the students and this Gymnasium, let the greatest gratitude be written in this place as well.