The Federal Government has been briefed on information on student enrollment in primary and secondary schools in the 2019/2020 school year in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), which, together with the proposed recommendations, will be forwarded to the Cantonal Governments.
By analyzing the pattern from the 2014/201515 until 2019/2020 school year, it is noticeable that the number of students enrolled in the first grade of primary schools decreased by 2.986 or 13.41 percent. It should be emphasized that the coverage of children in preschool education programs in the year before primary schooling is complete or almost complete in these Cantons: Tuzla, Zenica-Doboj, Bosnian-Podrinje, Sarajevo and Canton 10, and an increase in the number of other Cantons is evident. The total number of primary school students in the FBiH in this period decreased by 12.585 or 6.46 percent.
The number of students enrolled in the first grade of high schools in the FBiH in the current year, compared to the period 2014/2015 – 2019/2020, is decreased by 18.66 percent, according to data from eight Cantons.
A similar negative trend is also present when it comes to data on the total number of high school students in the FBiH for the period 2014/2015 – 2019/2020 school years. The number of high school students in the FBiH during this period, based on data analysis for eight Cantons, decreased by 23.27 percent in the current school year.
The recommendations given in this information state the need to ensure that all preschool children are enrolled in preschool education programs in the year before primary schooling, and to establish an effective system for registering children who do not enroll in primary and secondary school or leave primary and secondary education before its completion.
Also, it is necessary to develop and support programs for the subsequent acquisition of primary and secondary education for adults who do not have qualifications and to provide certain funds for this purpose from the federal, cantonal and municipal budgets.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Science, in cooperation with the Cantonal Ministries of Education, should continue to implement the project of procuring free textbooks for children who come from socially disadvantaged families and transform it into a regular program for which funds from the Federal and Cantonal budgets will be allocated each year, while municipalities and cantons should allocate sufficient funds each year in order to provide free transportation to primary school students, who are entitled to it in accordance with appropriate legislation act.
It is necessary to provide easy access and participation in quality preschool, primary and secondary education for children with disabilities, and to improve the capacities of upbringing-educational institutions in order to create an inclusive environment for the socialization, upbringing, and education of all children.
Given the continuing trend of reducing the number of students in primary and secondary education, and the inevitable consequences of teacher redundancy, it is suggested that redundancies should not be addressed by creating small classes, but by integrating those people into education and training programs for inclusive education as teaching assistants, nap.ba portal reports.