Now is the time of enrollment in the first grades of primary and secondary schools, as well as the first year of study. There are fewer and fewer students because the number of born children decreases each year. It also leads to an increasing surplus of employees in education. Authorities have not begun to address this issue seriously, nor the problem of depopulation at all. They are still, obviously, hoping that with their temporary and occasional measures, this problem will disappear.
It is obvious that the number of students in schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is decreasing each year. The analysis of the well-known macroeconomist showed that nowadays, compared to the indicators made 10 years ago, there are 61.000 fewer students in primary schools, and almost 39.000 in secondary schools. Also, there are fewer students in higher education institutions.
“Ten years have passed quickly. I once again appeal to elected officials to understand that demographic disappearance is the main problem in this country and that we should all together contribute to slowing down these negative trends and eventually stopping them so that we do not look at similar indicators in the following years, ” told Faruk Hadzic, a macroeconomic analyst.
The authorities have not seriously addressed the demographic problem and it is also shown by the fact that as a consequence, there is a surplus of employees in education. It was emphasized from the education union that they have been warning for years about the possible appearance of partial and complete labour surplus. Employees who are left without norms manage to be retained only by redistribution.
“These days, some colleagues are calling me who think that they could become surplus to requirements and ask me to use the opportunity to find a solution during a conversation with the Ministry and directors,” said Dragan Gnjatic, the President of the Trade Union of Education, Science, and Culture of Republika Srpska (RS).
When it comes to the Banja Luka Technical School, they announced that for now, they do not have that problem since in the past few years they have had the same number of newly enrolled. But still…
Demographers reiterate that systemic measures and the adoption of population policies are necessary to stop negative trends. Furthermore, they warn that 2020 ended with the worst rate of natural increase in both RS and the Federation of BiH (FBiH).
”2019. year ended with a negative natural increase, minus 10.000, while only a year later it amounted to 16.500. It showsthe trends will not go positively, because we are not doing anything to change it,” concluded Aleksandar Cavic, a demographer.
In RS, the Council for Demographic Policy was established three years ago, which was mainly composed of ministers. The general public is not familiar with the pompously announced national program of demographic renewal.
In a written response from the Ministry of Family, Youth, and Sports, which heads the Council, they point out that the demographic renewal document elaborates the demographic renewal program in detail and that efforts will be made to find financial resources and projects in order to help support families. They are sure the first results will be the allocation of financial resources to support the birth of children in agricultural farms, the provision of free textbooks for primary school students, and the expansion of the right to subsidize housing loans. Future statistics will show is this all enough, and will there be more serious measures that will stimulate childbirth, but also stop migration, BHRT writes.