Improving the quality of education is one of the priorities of the Government of Republic of Srpska. In the last few years, significant steps have been made in this area, especially in harmonisation of education policy with the needs of the labor market.
In coordination with the Ministry of Education and Culture with schools and business entities, intensive work is being done to increase the volume of practical classes with employers in the Republic of Srpska.
The structure of the workforce according to the level of vocational education in the Republic of Srpska in July 2020 was as follows: university degree (69.55%), college degree (8.14%), secondary education (10.02%) and others (12.28%).
At more than 90 higher education institutions in the Republic of Srpska (nine universities - two public and seven private and eleven colleges) it is possible to acquire higher education in various fields: economics, law and other social sciences, arts, natural sciences, technical and medical sciences and other areas of education. In the school year of 2019/2020, about 27 000 students are active. During 2019, 4 144 students graduated, most of them in the educational field Business, Administration and Law.
All persons who have completed a four-year high school in the Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as students who have completed a high school abroad, have access to higher education. Higher education is organized in three cycles.
The business activity of higher education is regulated by the Law on Higher Education and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Scientific and Technological Development, Higher Education and the Information Society.
The secondary education activity is regulated by the Law on Secondary Education and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Secondary education is available to all persons under equal conditions and is not compulsory. Depending on the type of curriculum, a high school can be established as a gymnasium, art school, vocational technical school, vocational school, religious school and a school for students with special needs.
Secondary education in the Republic of Srpska takes place in 94 secondary schools (89 public schools and five private schools). The greatest interest of students at the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year was for the professions: mechanical engineering and metal processing, electrical engineering, economics, law, trade.
In order to harmonise the education system and enrollment policy with the needs of the labor market and to educate experts who will be competitive on both the domestic and European markets, the Ministry of Education and Culture is undertaking activities to create a better enrollment policy in secondary education. Thus, a project was launched to improve practical teaching in secondary vocational education and a cooperation agreement was signed with representatives of the business sector. Interested employers provide conditions for conducting practical classes, pay compensation to engaged students and employ students who have achieved the best results in conducting practical classes.
For the purpose of international mobility, an international graduation programme has been organized within the gymnasiums, which includes education in English in the third and fourth grade.
Primary education in the Republic of Srpska lasts for nine years, it is mandatory and free of charge for all children aged six to fifteen. In parallel with the acquisition of primary education, primary music and ballet education may be acquired as well, under the conditions and in the manner prescribed by law. Primary education is provided by primary schools, primary schools for children with special needs, primary music and ballet schools.
In the Republic of Srpska, there are: 187 central primary schools and 480 regional departments (79 nine-grade and 401 five-grade), 11 music schools and four primary schools for children with special needs.
The following foreign languages are taught in primary schools in the Republic of Srpska: English, German, French, Russian and Italian. In accordance with the curriculum, from the third grade onward, the study of English as the first foreign language begins, and from the sixth grade onward, the study of the second foreign language (German, French, Russian or Italian). Chinese is also taught in several primary schools through optional classes. It is planned to implement part of the curriculum and programme in English in some primary schools.
The primary education activity is regulated by the Law on Primary Education and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
In the Republic of Srpska, there are a total of 120 preschool institutions, of which 42 are state-owned preschool institutions and 78 are private preschool institutions.
Work with children is organised in educational groups according to the age of children: in nursery groups for children aged six months to two years and children from two to three years and in kindergarten groups for children aged three to four years, from four to five years, from five to six years, and in mixed nursery and kindergarten groups. For children who were not covered by some form of preschool education, the Ministry of Education and Culture organises a children programme in the year before starting primary school for at least three months every working day for three hours.
In some preschool institutions, the programme of preschool education is also conducted in English, in accordance with the Rulebook on the manner and conditions of realisation of the preschool program in a foreign language (Official Gazette of Republic of Srpska No. 10/16).
The preschool upbringing and education activity is regulated by the Law on Preschool Upbringing and Education and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Law on Higher Education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 67/20)
Law on Secondary Education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 41/18 and 35/20)
Law on Primary Education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 44/17, 31/18, 84/19, 35/20 and 63/20)
Law on Preschool Education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 79/15 and 63/20)