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Part I: Descriptive Section

Statistical data preparation and processing have been carried out at the Federation Institute for Statistic whereas the data analysis and comments were done by the associate experts of the Federation Ministry of Education.
I am using this opportunity to express my gratitude to Mr. Fahrudin Rizvanbegovic, Federation Minister of Education, who supported
the works' group and contributed with his suggestions and proposals to improvement of this report.
The group was established relatively late (July 1999) and had a very short period of time available for work on this project.
The work of the group was also supported by UNICEF and UNESCO.
Statistical data are given for 1996/97 and 1997/98 school terms, per cantons and, for 1990 the data relate to Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the period of war for which we were not able to give data.

The following documents were used in the course of work:

Draft Long-term Development Program of Primary Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Period from 1991 until 2010 - the document of the former Republic Primary Education Public Fund, Sarajevo, February 1992;

Dr. Srebren Dizdar: Development and Perspectives of Teachers' Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Sarajevo, June 1998;

Also were used some materials that considered the primary education problems and were available at the Ministry.

Due to a specific situation, caused by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and due to a great number of mine fields that remained uncleared, a project of education on preventive protection of children and adults was developed. It is being realized through the Federation Ministry of Education in cooperation with the International Committee of Red Cross and UNICEF. For more detailed information on the activity, see Annex 6.


In the period from the World Conference on Education For All, held in Jomtien in March 1990, until today, the educational system on the whole and therefore, regular and extra-curricular primary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, suffered extensive changes caused by essentially altered circumstances of social-political and economical setup of the country: the first multi-party elections in 1990, fall of communist ideological regime and disintegration of Yugoslavia, war catastrophe of enormous magnitude, establishment of a new constitutional order and organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina following the Dayton Peace Agreement and a necessity to get closer to social and economical climate of the Western European countries.

Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina is, in every respect and therefore in respect of education, a country in the period of transition.


Regardless of all the flaws that the former country's educational system had suffered from, which were characteristic for an ideological and conservatively defined educational system, Bosnia and Herzegovina, until the beginning of the war, could have been considered a country with a well developed educational system, which meant: existence of an adequately established net of educational authorities, professional bodies and institutions, legislation and appropriate pedagogical documentation, net of school objects, equipment and teaching aids, enviable enrollment of students and satisfactory teachers' professional qualification.

Generally speaking, primary education was instituted on an enviable level in terms of organization, expertise and staff.

Primary education was set up as a constitutional category: from the one side, as the right and obligation of attending and completing primary education of the whole primary education population /which means that the primary education was compulsory/ and from the other, as an obligation of the society to ensure all necessary prerequisites for efficient work and an unhindered development of primary education /which means that the primary education was free of charge/.

The primary education was set up as an activity of special public interest.

In terms of content, aims and tasks, that was, after all, in the greatest extent an ideologically defined and determined system of education with a highly centralized functions of planning, finance and school management. While the social problems were growing up and burdening the whole political and economical system in the country, they were casting the same effect on the educational activity. Ideological and conservative approach to educational process, lack of teachers' motivation, technological falling behind the world and the lack of possibilities for quality improvement and introduction of innovations, seriously challenged the efficiency and quality of educational system.


Immediately after the first multi-party elections in 1990, the educational authorities, through the system institutions and in cooperation with teachers as immediate executors of educational system, pointed out a need of examining the overall efficiency of the country's educational system and, in the same context, of primary education work quality and its adjustment to changes in the scientific sphere as well as of demands of new pedagogical theories and their practical application.

Striving to get the primary education closer to contemporary trends of Europe and the world, the priority requests were that the primary education, with its aims and objectives, be put into a function of a qualitatively new society on the whole and of a trend of building Bosnia and Herzegovina as a modern European country, which meant, acceptance of common life, civilization and plural interests, development of creative and critical opinion of young generations, individualism and personal attitude, tolerance, coexistence and respect for the right to be different.

Bearing that in mind and taking into account the requests for changes, the responsible educational authorities prepared, in February 1992, a document entitled: Long-term Program of Development of Primary Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1991 until 2010, which should have offered concrete plan solutions and development directions for education during the period.

The document was forwarded to the public hearing and to all subjects concerned: schools, founders, expert services and institutions with an aim to obtain the concrete proposals and suggestions for final creation and adoption of the document.

Unfortunately, the beginning of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina prevented adoption and realization of changes in primary education, planned by this document.

The Long-term Program of Development of Primary Education until 2010, should have been in function of:

faster and more comprehensive innovation of the whole educational-pedagogical process in accordance with social development principles and technical and technological development;

successful realization of goals and objectives of primary education and curriculum;

improvement of quality and efficiency of educational-pedagogical work;

creation of conditions for free creative expression of students and teachers in the teaching process, adoption of scientific view of the world, development of critical opinion and freedom of opinion, cherishing of spiritual culture and pluralism of interests;

permanent innovating of methods of teaching process and technology;

creation of conditions for resumption of education, permanent education and self-education;

creation of conditions for permanent teachers' training;

strengthening of professional pedagogical services;

balancing of schools' working conditions;

defining the educational standards.

In conceptual and structural respect, the document contained two main chapters:

study-analytical part - containing a detailed analysis of the primary education development in the past period and the situation at the beginning of the plan period,

development projection and directions - containing planned changes and their implementation schedule with forecasts of primary development for twenty years period.

In the document's analytical part on the accomplished degree of development at the beginning of the planned period, the efficiency evaluation of primary education was summarized as follows:

period of strong expansion of primary education is completed;

coherent and professionally founded primary education system is constructed;

bulk of primary education objects is on the level of developed world standards;

level of education and quality of teaching and other staff work met the needs of primary education in the country as well as the professional requirements in accordance with more developed school systems;

100 % enrollment and a passing and successful completion rate of 96 - 99 % within the primary education population, brought us closer to countries with developed primary education systems.

Opposite to these indicated positive effects, stand the contradictions and flaws of the previous primary education system:

relatively well designed but not to the end realized theoretical conception of primary school;

too ambitiously set up educational base: broad and undifferentiated program contents;

unsettled and undeveloped system of evaluation;

obsolete educational technology;

stereotypical instructive-pedagogical and supervising work;

inadequate motivation of teachers;

lack of organized and permanent scientific-research work;

lack of financial resources for introduction of technical-technological innovations;

inadequate teachers' training for realization of principles of single and integrative teaching until the 8th grade of primary school;

unfavorable material status of primary education in relation to other activities.

The second part of the document, related to projection of development of primary education until 2010, emphasizes the orientation towards a modern primary school based on two major principles:

school tailored for student and

education for the 21st century

These two generally set principles would move towards emancipation of individuals through an overall democratization of society and would be realized through:

education in a spirit of broad views and creativity and aspiration towards moral, intellectual and physical values;

cherishing of free spirit capable of independent observation, thinking and responsibility;

development of feelings of belonging to traditions of freedom, democracy, culture and science;

maximization of its own personalization through cherishing of humanistic and cultural components of a personality;

humanistic education for the purpose of encouraging the personal development of students;

bases of the third literacy culture in a spirit of technical-technological development of society;

intercultural, multicultural and multinational education with respect for tradition and universal values and understanding of other peoples' cultural and national values;

cherishing and developing health and ecology culture of conscience;

understanding and acceptance of human right and duties, tolerance for religious and other freedoms;

culture of work development.

Along the already given statement that the existing concept of primary education, with all its flaws, was set up well, the designed changes were directed towards:

education concept improvement in accordance with contemporary trends of the world, which meant continual monitoring and evaluation of student's achievement, introduction of new forms, methods and resources of teaching, new concept of teachers' training, modern teaching technology and introduction of information system in teaching, professional authorities which will be dealing with programming and introducing the teaching innovations and standards for education quality assessment, etc.

revalorization of primary education goals and objectives, which meant encouraging the development of physical, intellectual, social and emotional component of personality in view of accepting the universal values, critical spirit and opinion, achievement of necessary knowledge for continuation of education and permanent education and self-education.

unburdening of program contents in favor of higher quality of knowledge gaining, which meant taking into account the horizontal and vertical correlation and integration of educational contents.

Establishing the global directions of changes in the primary education system, the mentioned document gave a projection of development of primary education in all its segments as well as the planned changes introduction schedule. If the war had not thwarted the adoption and realization of the document, in Bosnia and Herzegovina today, most likely, the first results and achievements would have been assessed in:

nine years primary school;innovated concept of primary school;innovated curricula with common bases in the whole country;innovated pedagogical standards;innovated and common textbooks;uniform bases of education and teachers' training;balanced instruments for systematical monitoring and animation of students' development;established common standards of notions and knowledge that students should adopt - classified into: minimum compulsory program, average and above average program,teachers' training programs;established data base;integrative teaching from the 1st to the 8th grade;work with the disabled and handicapped children;modalities of work with students in combined classes;production of 1000 teachers a year;nullification of illiteracy; organization and program enlargement of the system, directed towards primary education and teachers' training and professional training of the adults;ensuring free of charge textbooks for all;etc.

In the course of the future period, it should be ensured that, at least 50% of the teaching staff in primary schools, be a high qualified staff and that a system of rapid students' development be created, i.e. it is necessary to ensure conditions for different duration of primary education.


Changes, ambitiously set and planned by the Long-term Program of Development of Primary Education, were halted at the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. Not only that the realization of planned changes did not start, but the existing educational system collapsed and in its greatest part crashed. Almost all school objects were either partially or completely destroyed or seriously damaged. Laboratories, cabinets, school furniture, teaching aids, textbooks and other school literature, libraries, pedagogical and administrative documentation, school materials and other items were set ablaze, destroyed by shelling or stolen. Huge number of students and teachers were killed or displaced. Lack of elementary conditions for schools' work and carrying out of teaching process constantly interrupted by combat activities, were being compensated by improvised teaching process carried out in private apartments, basements and shelters, with remaining textbooks and teaching aids from poor school and private homes reserves of teachers and students.

Instead of establishing the nine years primary education and innovated curricula, the traditional educational system was employed again, the current curriculum applied again, with necessary changes made later, especially in terms of elimination of contents unsuitable to the new circumstances as well as of the content of ideological nature. The curriculum was reduced in great extent (even for 50%) in relation to peacetime period allocation of hours and scope of content. The teaching class was shortened for 10 minutes, it lasted for 30 to 35 minutes and, in respect of number of working weeks, the school term varied, dependent on the war activities' intensity, for example: 20 to 25 weeks in 1992/92, 30 to 32 weeks in 1994/95. Teaching process has never been completely halted in all parts of the country but it was carried out unsystematically and with interruptions and therefore, a general and relevant assessment of education quality in this period can not be discussed as it varied from region to region, from place to place, dependent on objective circumstances: intensity of combat activities, available improvised school space, availability of students and teachers, educational material, teaching aids, inventiveness of local educational authorities and many other factors.

At the beginning of 1994 started the implementation of more systematic measures on establishing more coherent educational system. The mentioned changes of curricula were carried out, their print out and distribution in the territory controlled by the Army of BiH as well as the print out and distribution a certain number of textbooks for primary and secondary education. However, in the territory controlled by HVO, educational system taken over from Republic of Croatia was established, utilizing curriculum and textbooks of the neighboring country.

Curriculum and textbooks of Republic of Serbia were in use in the territory controlled by the Army of RS.

Therefore, in this period, three different educational systems were in effect and were applied; with them, the country has entered the period of peace and reconstruction, as with inherited ballast which will burden it even today and make difficult its path towards accomplishment of a consensus about minimum of common bases and basic principles of educational system.


Following the signing of Dayton Agreement, radical changes occurred in the whole social-political system of the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina became a state composed of two entities: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska the former comprising ten federal units - cantons. The map of Bosnia and Herzegovina is enclosed as Annex1. State functions were, in their greatest extent, highly decentralized and transferred to jurisdiction of entities, that is, federal units. In that context, educational activity lost its centralized organization whereas, the cantons got their wide authorizations and jurisdictions in respect of defining the educational policy, legislative set up of education and all other issues in the field. Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina took on the role of coordinator and a guarantee of the rights to education in the establishment and organization of educational system.

Starting from the need of taking the democratic principles, the right to national identity, tradition and culture into consideration, the constitutional solutions were, through the high decentralization and the right of every entity and canton to independently and in accordance with their needs and the will of citizens to arrange the educational activity, enabled existence of at least ten educational systems in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, the said constitutional solutions, under the existing conditions restricted a possibility to reach consensus about common basic principles and goals of education as an activity of special interest for any state.

Today, the educational system, organization and structure of educational authorities in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are arranged and represented through:

Federation Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport and nonexistence of any federal expert institution /service, institute/ which would be dealing with improvement of educational system in all its segments;

Ten cantonal ministries of education and the unequally and insufficiently developed nets of expert bodies and institutions in the cantons’ territories;

Cantonal educational legislation in eight cantons, regulating educational system in the respective cantons;

Current federal educational legislation which, in accordance with the constitution, is being implemented in the territory of two cantons until an appropriate cantonal regulations are passed.

Process of reconstruction and establishment of a coherent educational system is underway. An aggravating circumstance lies in the fact that the process of decentralization of education, initiated by the constitution, was halted on the level of cantonal educational authorities as the transfer of authorization has been carried out, in an inconsiderable extent, from this level of decision making to the lower ones. There had been almost no transfer to a higher level (Federation) at all.

However, in spite of the fact that the process of the education decentralization turned into its opposite – system fragmentation and limited territorial, political and legislative sovereignties, it can still be said that there are certain common characteristics and similar or identical legal solutions in the field of primary education.

In regards to an early – preschool education, the operative cantons' legislation follow similar solutions and treat this level of decision making as an activity of special public interest, which is, in fact, an integral part of a single system of education and a public care for children.

It includes children in the age of six months (or one year) until their enrollment in primary education. This early level of upbringing and education is being realized on the bases of preschool education program followed by primary school program contents. Preschool education goal is to ensure all conditions for optimal physical, intellectual, emotional and social development and progress towards further successful upbringing and education in accordance with scientific achievements and children’s needs.

Primary education, as an activity of special public interest, is compulsory for the whole, lawfully defined, primary education population including children in the age from 6 (6,5) to 15. Primary education lasts for eight years and includes upbringing and education of students of normal psycho-physical development, students with difficulties in psycho-physical development, primary music and ballet education, extra curriculum education for talented students, primary education of the adult and other forms of upbringing and education of children and youth. The scheme of primary education in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is enclosed as Annex 2.

Aims, objectives, contents, forms and acts of upbringing-educational work are defined by curricula. Regardless of which document generally defines and implements the educational goals – laws or curricula (and in the greatest number of cantons in use are curricula passed by Federation Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport) it can be said that, in that respect, there are similarly defined goals and basic needs for learning which can be summarized through the following:

encouraging and developing the interests, aptitudes, abilities and independence while learning; creativeness, moral awareness and conscience; aesthetic taste and criteria; self-confidence and responsibility; public awareness; tolerance; coexistence on everlasting historical, cultural, ethnic and religious postulates; respecting human rights and universal values and humane relations among people and genders; etc.

developing communication ability and conduct of reasonable dialogue; critical opinion and thinking; functional knowledge; understanding of notions, content and conclusions; developing the ability to reproduce data, apply scientific facts, analysis and synthesis; gaining of necessary knowledge for further education, etc.

Although the public inclination and expressed ambitions of responsible educational authorities that the education system be one of the main components in the reconstruction process in view of getting closer to Western European and the world’s primary education, should have determined strategy of changes in the educational system of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the current political and economical circumstances in the country, have still not enabled taking the joint, general attitude about development directions of primary education. There is no general consensus on strategy of changes, basic principles and common (national, that is, state) goals of education.

Not only that global strategy and development plans do not exist on the state level of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they do not exist on the level of the Federation of BiH either. Nor, at the moment, cantonal authorities have their own strategies / development plans, adopted.

Federation Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport initiated and started the work on creation of strategy proposal for all levels of education in this entity. Expert group was formed within the framework of the ministry and carried out preparatory activities for the work on this document in creation of which, a great number of various profile experts, will be included. In parallel with these activities, a process of passing and adopting strategies of education development by cantonal education authorities in a number of cantons, is underway. Not disputing the jurisdiction and freedom of cantons in setting up the educational policy, the Federation Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport is trying, through an unofficial, advisory and coordination body – board of Federation and cantonal ministries - to harmonize attitudes about defining the strategy and development plans, basic principles and common goals of education. For that and for coordination of positions on these issues with responsible educational authorities of Republika Srpska, this Ministry should and it gets the support of authorized representatives of the international community and international organizations engaged in reconstruction of educational systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, USAID…, donors, NGOs from the whole world, etc.

In the past period and with the help of these organizations, a physical reconstruction (construction and rehabilitation) was carried out on a great number of school objects in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the available data of PIU Education, 239 primary school objects were constructed or rehabilitated in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the help of these organizations, a great number of textbooks and manuals, free of charge, was ensured for primary schools. Some 84 titles were printed and distributed, total circulation 3.045.010 copies. The given material – financial help of the international community enabled creation of elementary conditions (objects and equipment) for beginning of the reconstruction of the country’s educational system. Academic reconstruction of education and thorough reform of the system, among other issues, requires the adequate financial resources which, economically destroyed country is not capable can not ensure. Cantonal education authorities are mainly responsible for financing the education in general and therefore for primary education as well. The greatest percentage of resources for this segment of education is set aside from the cantonal budget, a smaller part from the municipality budget (for students’ transport and meals) and a very small part is ensured by schools, through alternative sources of financing.


Ideological approaches to textbooks and curricula creation

Traditional perception of defining the quality and scope of curriculum content has been retained in Bosnia and Herzegovina as, after all, in the whole former Yugoslavia and central and Eastern Europe. In spite of numerous attempts to carry out educational reforms, especially during the period of communist rule 1945 - 1990, the fundamental postulate has never been challenged. For the sake of truth, it must be said that transitions from one ideological system of education to another, were always gradual as the development level of previous educational systems had not allowed rapid changes. They were especially actual during the period from 1958 to 1987, when it appeared that the reforms were finally brought to an end. As a rule, every time the changes used to be adopted with a presumption that they bring something new and better in relation to the previous situation. Yet, the justification of enlargement of curriculum content scope had never been challenged. They continued to be aimed towards plentiful accumulation of data and facts from several teaching subjects. Such an approach was often justified by the necessity that our students gain a very broad knowledge base and not only a narrow, vocational one. That is where the ideological superiority of the local educational system over the one of capitalistic countries was often shown. It has been claimed that bigger quantity of basic knowledge ensures a better knowledge complement and reorganization within chosen, future profession even into completely different profession profile than the one initially chosen by students. In seventies, such a concept was challenged in a certain extent when the "vocational education" was introduced but, very soon, that large educational experiment failed in practice. One could claim that the major mistake of the approach was a result of the presumption that the communist Yugoslavia would be living a constant progress, comprehensive economic prosperity and almost total employment. On the other side, the changes implemented in the educational system, also had a completely defined ideological background, for the then dominant standpoints on the working class' power based on free work exchange, should have been implemented.

Relation and intertwining of ideological and pedagogical, curriculum content and its only "correct" interpretation, were considered a priority within the curricula structure. Textbooks written during that period, had to meet the very requests in order to approved for use.

Indications of changes at the end of communist rule

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, certain changes occurred in the field of education, first of all in revision of primary and secondary education curricula. There was room already opening for a much more expanded and flexible educational system. It was more and more open towards market economy and multi party parliamentary democracy principles. It offered possibilities for introduction of different positive experiences of developed western countries. Among them, it is worth to mention the adjustment with the system and regime of education of the European Community countries as well as planning of introduction of a greater number of optional subjects, among them, religion.

Curricula changes are related to understanding that the quantity of knowledge that students gain in higher grades of primary school is often repeated, with slight scope extension, in the secondary school. On the other side, the knowledge achieved in secondary school not always corresponded sufficiently to relatively high requirements of teaching at higher education level. In spite of serious attempts to adjust the whole educational system - from preschool to higher education - and to get it as close as possible to an imagined entirety of educational process, they were not realized to the end.

Aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina and occurrence of three curricula

In the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, three separate educational systems were formed as a consequence of war. In the bulk of the territory (70 % at a certain period of time) controlled by military forces of Bosnia Serbs, assisted by JNA and other para-military structures, an educational system was established according to the one in use in Serbia and Monte Negro. At the same time, it developed all signs of negation of other peoples living in the area. Ekavian dialect was proclaimed official and alphabetical norm in education and administration, instead of standard, literary-language norm. Cyrillic alphabet completely pushed Latin out, the curricula put an emphasize on unity with Serb people in other parts of former Yugoslavia and favored values of, integrally presented, Serb literature, history, culture, tradition and Orthodox religion as basic, ideological agai, components of educational system. In the curricula, there was neither room for other peoples and their centuries long presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina nor for Bosnia and Herzegovina itself.

Schools in HVO controlled territory, took over the educational organization from neighboring Croatia which was also understood as region of reference for Croatian people in the area. Curriculum developed in Zagreb, in the years following Croatia's proclamation of independence, was accepted in those schools and textbooks were obtained in Croatia, developed according to the new curriculum which stressed Croatian political, social, economical, cultural and educational identity. Parts of the country, under control of RBiH Government in Sarajevo, retained the old educational system. It should be pointed out again that, the political and military unfolding of events imposed such a situation. The earlier system had not foreseen a possibility for any higher autonomy in education, not even for some moderate decentralization but it stuck to the strict, centralized approach.

In such a situation, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the RBiH Government, a year after the aggression had started, tried to connect the cut off links and re-establish any kind of educational system, at least in those parts of the country which were controlled by the Army of BiH. At the same time, a need emerged to carry out certain changes. One of the basic dilemmas lay in the answer to a fundamental question, whether to continue with works on transition of education from the current system with regard to its general orientation and quality of education according to the model which would be including far reaching changes or to try with a more moderate variant. After a comprehensive analysis of advantages and flaws of both approaches, a decision was made to go on with gradual changes and not with radical alterations as envisaged at the end of eighties and the beginning of the nineties. Later experiences confirmed that this had been the only possible approach within the war environment full of incessant obstruction and destruction of strongly shattered and quite fragile educational tissue.

Curricular changes

One of the key points of that enormous endeavor was a decision to start creating conceptions for various stages of upbringing which will be a starting point in the curricula change and not only in their sheer revision and to try to draw up new textbooks according to the changed curricula. The conceptions helped removal of components that indicated earlier communist regime postulates and definition of existence and feature of Bosnia and Herzegovina merely as an integral part of the erstwhile common country. In spite of difficult war conditions and uncertainty of the war outcome, a fundamental presumption about Bosnia and Herzegovina as a sovereign and independent civil state with three constituent peoples and other citizens from minor national groups, was incorporated into curricula. At the same time were taken decisions that for a certain period of time should have excluded the current consideration about the length and character of all levels of education. Previous model was retained. Primary education still lasted for eight years/grades (and not for nine, as the pre-war law had foreseen according to the European Union countries' model) and it remained compulsory for all six and a half old children (the limit was lowered from the previous seven) with a tendency that the greatest possible number of primary school students continue their education in secondary schools. Although with reduced number of institutions, the former structure of pre-school and special needs education, was retained. At the higher education level, it was decided not to enter any serious changes but to discuss the issue with teachers and associates from the higher education institutions, mainly from those in function in Sarajevo. Support was given to the principle of common education for all students regardless of their gender, nationality and class, but in parallel, a position was promoted that besides the so-called public schools, all types of privately owned schools which would enable quality education pursuant to current legal provisions and which would be supported by either local or international organizations, may be established. Since it was highly unlikely that such forms of education might soon appear under the war conditions, an accent was put on the dominating component of public education.

Creation of textbooks was initiated in parallel with creation of primary school curricula. Experience from the first war year in the area of free part of Sarajevo, when there were attempts to reduce the content mater and to bridge the lack of textbooks (the bulk of which, more than 4,5 million copies, was destroyed during the occupation of the two biggest textbook publishers' warehouses), did not yield good results. The work had no quality as the textbooks underwent physical changes only but out of many examples, a conclusion could have been drawn that in some cases, the point was not just in an accidental oversight.

Then the decision should have been made about which textbooks to tart with first having in mind that the textbook meant interpretation of contents foreseen by curriculum in a scope set forth by syllabus.

It was for the first time in history of public education of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that in Sarajevo, under the extremely difficult war conditions, curricula were printed on the whole.

Ministry of Education forwarded the printed curricula copies to all schools and educators in the then accessible territories controlled by BiH Army.

Creation of textbooks of "national group of subjects"

It was decided, in spring 1994, that the primary school curriculum should be the first to create. Curriculum for the subject of religion, as an optional subject, was created in cooperation with religious communities (Islamic, Catholic, Jewish and Adventist). Creation of the extracurricular textbooks was foreseen as a separate project for a great number children from Bosnia and Herzegovina living outside the homeland. Total number of titles to be made was 56 and circulation was 1.520.000 copies which was a real undertaking in the history of textbook publishing, especially when the unbearable war conditions are taken into consideration.

Under no circumstances had the textbooks to call for hatred, revenge, intolerance, negation of any nation and its culture, history, tradition, literature, art and any characteristic that determined it as a nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and neighboring countries with which Bosnia has shared, for centuries, the same geographical areas, customs, culture, language(s), history and not so seldom, destiny.

The authors were expected to avoid, as much as possible, idealization of the past, indoctrination of the present and ideologization of the future. Besides that, the textbook had to answer, first of all by its content and form, all the requests that a textbook must have in expert, methodical, pedagogical and any other professional respect.

Continuity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its peoples was a basic criterion of these textbooks' concept.

One of the most difficult issues to be solved within each of the mentioned textbooks was the issue of proportion.

In the difficult war times of tumultuous events and great changes which befell Bosnia and Herzegovina, there was a danger that the very proportion is not always hit.

Out of that reason, validity of curricula and textbooks was limited to one school term. That was done with an assumption that the issue would be discussed in a more peaceful times, after the war and in a more open and tolerant environment and without heavy emotions.

A year and a half later, immediately after signing of the Dayton Agreement in Paris, a two days seminar on the issue was organized at the end of December 1995, in Sarajevo. The curricula from 1994 served as a base for creation and a wider expert evaluation of the published textbooks.

Process of revision and adjustment of primary school curricula

Although the Federation and cantonal ministries of education endeavored in the course of 1996 and 1997 to adjust the two separate educational systems present in some parts of Federation, there was no real result with regards to curricula. On the one side, a constitutional obligation of the cantons to arrange autonomously the whole field of education, was emphasized and on the other, a need that the whole process be thoroughly examined and rationalized. Upon completion of process of institution of cantonal educational authorities, that is, of cantonal ministries of education, many actual issues of education were discussed in the regular monthly meetings between cantonal ministries and the Federation ministry of education. The Federation Ministry coordinated the process of solving the problems which prevented integration of education in the Federation into one system. It appears that the biggest problem in that work was the existence of two parallel educational system with two different curricula: Bosnian, approved by the erstwhile Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the RbiH Government and Croat, approved by Ministry of Education of the erstwhile separate authority of Croatian Republic of Herceg Bosna which was functioning in the territories controlled by HVO.

Federation Ministry started activities on creation of common cores that could serve as a base for the future uniform curriculum.

It is exactly now that the curricula revision is more than necessary. It appears that that will be a fundamental issue in the forthcoming period but, first of all in the orientation towards gaining and implementing knowledge and not towards accumulating bare facts and data.

Federation Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport organized creation of primary school curriculum. The curriculum is completed and forwarded to cantonal ministries for discussion and adoption.

The curriculum offered to cantonal ministries may be adopted as a whole curriculum or as a curriculum core with an obligatory (70%) and the part that can be subject to changes (30%).

Creation of this curriculum was initiated by the BiH Federation Forum and the BiH Federation Government and it was agreed upon in the meeting of all cantonal ministers of education held on 13 November 1997.

In the course of 1998, upon a proposal made by cantonal ministers, the education expert teams worked on creation of the curriculum.

In 1999, since January until April, a public hearing was organized for all schools, pedagogical academies, faculties and other institutions. The expert teams took into consideration all suggestions, remarks and proposals and created a new curriculum adopted by the Federation Minister who suggested cantonal ministries to adopt it as well as approve for implementation.

We expect that the curriculum will be implemented in the school term of 1999/2000.

Regarding the textbooks in use in primary schools of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we would like to point out the following:

In the Federation cantons with Bosniak majority are in use textbooks created according to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina curriculum which was adopted in 1994 and which is presenting Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state.

In Croat majority cantons are used textbooks from Republic of Croatia and in Republika Srpska, textbooks from FR Yugoslavia, that is, Republic of Serbia.

OHR requests that the textbooks in use in Bosnia and Herzegovina are revised and all disputable or offensive texts removed. The revision activity is coming to its end.


According to the Technical Instruction received from UNESCO, the Federation Institute for Statistics processed the available data for years of 1990, 1997 and 1998.

We were not able to provide data for the period from 1990 until 1997 because of the war that was going on in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 until 1995.

The following annexes give the data for the mentioned years:

Annex 3 for 1990

Annex 4 for 1997

Annex 5 for 1998

Comment follow on the received statistical data for the calculated EFA indicators.

Indicator 1

Indicator 1: Total enrollment into early childhood development program, including public, private and communities' programs expressed as percentages of an official age group, if exists, between 3 and 5 years.

The total number of children enrolled into the early childhood development programs, regardless of their age, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was increased in 1998 for 745 trainees in relation to 1997, which, in gross proportion makes 1,3. Number of trainees was decreased for 196 in relation to other cantons, only in the area of Tuzla canton.

It is indicative that, in the area of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1998, the number of the official age group population (from 3 to 6 years) was decreased for 5.968 or 6%. The decrease took place in the area of all cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the most outstanding decrease was reported in the areas of Tuzla canton (for 1.317), Zenica-Doboj canton (for 962), Sarajevo canton (919), Middle Bosnia canton (557). The lowest decrease was in Bosna-Podrinje canton, for 86.

The number of children, enrolled into the early childhood development programs according to a gender structure and, according to data from 1990 in the area of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, does not show any significant oscillations. Number of enrolled male children in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990 was 51,4%, for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1997, it was 49,13% and in 1998, it was 49,31% in relation to the total number.

In 1990, the percentage of children enrolled into the early childhood development programs, in relation to the total population of 3 to 6 years, in the area of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was 11,7% whereas this percentage, in the area of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1998, was 10%.

Indicator 2

Indicator 2: Percentage of new trainees into a basic degree 1, who attended some forms of organized forms of the early childhood development program.

Percentage of new enrollees in the first degree of the primary education, who attended some form of organized early childhood development program in the area of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997, was 4,2 and in 1998, it was 4,1 % which is less for 0,1 percentage point.

The percentage decrease is evident in all cantons except Posavina, Zenica-Doboj, Herzegovina-Neretva and Sarajevo. The highest decrease is reported in Herceg-Bosna canton.

Percentage of new enrollees in the first degree of the primary education, who attended some form of organized early childhood development program in the area of Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990, was 8,4% which is two times more than the percentage in the area of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1998.

Total number of new enrollees in the first degree of the primary education in the area of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was increased in 1998 for 1,4% in relation to 1997.

The increase, expressed in percentages, is highest in Posavina canton, Bosnia-Podrinje canton, Sarajevo and Herceg-Bosna canton. The decrease was reported in Zenica-Doboj canton, West-Hercegovina canton and Hercegovina-Neretva canton.

Indicator 3

Indicator 3: Evident entry degree (gross): new enrollees of the degree 1 as a percentage of official enrollment age

Primary school gross enrollment rate in 1990, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was 143,% (percentage is the same for both female and male enrollees).

This rate was somewhat smaller in 1997 and it was 142,8% for female and male (together) enrollees and also only for female enrollees while the male enrollees rate was 142,7% (0,1% more female than male enrollees in the same year).

Primary school gross enrollment rate in 1998 was 143,0% female and male enrollees together and only male ones. Female enrollees rate was 142,9 which is 0,1% more female enrollees and 0,2% female and male ones together in relation to the previous year, and 0,3% more male enrollees than in 1997. In relation to 1990, increase of enrollment rate of female and male enrollees together and male ones only in 1998 is 0,5%, that is, increase of enrollment rate of female enrollees is 0,6%.

Indicator 4

Indicator 4: Net entry degree: new enrollees of basic degree 1, who are in official enrollment age as appropriate population percentage.

In 1990, net enrollment rate in primary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina was 99,0% of total female and male enrollees, 98,7% male only, that is, 99,2 female enrollees only.

In 1997, enrollment rate in Federation of BiH was 98,8% total female and male enrollees and male ones only, which is for 0,2% less total enrollees in this year in relation to 1990, that is, 0,1% less male enrollees and 0,3% less female ones.

In 1998, primary education net enrollment rate in Federation of BiH was 99,0% of both, total and individual female and male enrollees which is, in relation to 1990, for 0,3% more male, that is, 0,2% less female enrollees.

Comparison to 1997 is as follows: there were in total 0,2% enrollees, that is, 0,2% more male and 0,1% more female enrollees in primary education.

Indicator 5 and Indicator 6

Indicator 5: Gross enrollment relation (proportion).

Indicator 6: Gross enrollment relation (proportion).

High gross enrollment proportion (GEP) and net enrollment proportion (NEP) points to a high degree of participation in primary education and whether the students belong to the official age group or not. Gross and net proportions values are quite balanced per cantons and they range in average values of 103,7 for GEP and 97,5 for NEP.

GEP values for 1997 and 1998 remained the same in relation to GEP value of 103,3 for 1990.

NEP values for 1997 and 1998 are slightly smaller in relation to NEP value of 99,6 for 1990.

Indicator 7 and Indicator 8

Indicator 7: Public running expenditures for primary education a) as the percentage of total net product; and b) per student as the percentage of the gross national product per capita.

Indicator 8: Public expenditures for primary education as the percentage of total public expenditures for education.

These indicators speak about public expenditures for primary education in relation to total public expenditures for education as well as public expenditures for primary education per student in relation to the gross national product (GNP).

Table analysis shows the following:

In 1990, out of total public expenditures, 56,9% was set aside for primary education while in 1996 and 1997 it was 37%.

In 1990, for primary school was set aside 287.000, in 1996 it was set aside 57.677 and in 1997 it was set aside 84.260.

In 1990, total enrollment in primary schools was 532.468, in 1996 it was 252.332 and in 1997, it was 259.882.

Therefore, public running expenditures in 1996 in relation to 1990 were reduced for five times and the number of students in primary school, for the same period of time, for two times. We can draw a conclusion that there is falling tendency for setting aside out of gross income for primary education.

However, this table can not be treated separately from other tables for, if public running expenditures for primary education in relation to GNP are taken into consideration, then the situation is approximately similar in relation to 1990 which is 2,7% of GNP, while in 1996 it was 2,9% of GNP and in 1997 it was 3,2 of GNP.

Indicator 9 and Indicator 10

Indicator 9: Percentage of primary education teachers with adequate academic qualification.

Indicator 10: Percentage of primary education teachers qualified to teach according to national standards.

In 1990, 85,7% of primary education teachers had appropriate academic qualification pursuant to lawfully established conditions. 14,3% of them were not qualified according to the same conditions.

In the post-war period, teachers' qualification rate is worse in relation to the situation in 1990 and that is mainly a consequence of an enormous drain of qualified teachers from the country and of a territorial division of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1997, out of the total number of teachers, 82,9% had appropriate qualification which represents a fall of 2.8% in relation to 1990.

In the same period, number of unqualified teachers was increased from 14,3% to 17,1% that is, for 2,8% in relation to 1990.

In 1998, a slight increase was reported in qualified teachers' rate, 1,5% and the qualification structure was 84,4% of qualified and 15,6 unqualified teachers.

Qualified teachers percentage varied in different cantons and in 1997 it ranged from 43,4% in Bosna-Podrinje canton to 92,6% in Sarajevo canton.

A certain improvement occurred in 1998 especially in the area of Bosna-Podrinje canton (5,2%) while in other areas it was approximately 2% and even lower (in relation to 1997).

Indicator 11

Indicator 11: Student - teacher relation (proportion)

In 1997, in primary schools of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 259.882 students were attending the regular teaching. The teaching was carried out by 11.694 teachers. The relation of number of students to number of teachers in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was 22,22 which is less than the appropriate number in 1990 on the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina which was 23,47.

Therefore, number of students per one teacher in the Federation of Bosnia and Heryegovina has a tendency of slight fall and in 1998 it was 21,16.

Fast rehabilitation of school objects and therefore increase of school space, contributes to the fall and the tendency is likely to continue.

Indicator 12

Indicator 12: Repetition rates according to degrees (grades).

It is characteristic that the repetition rate in primary education decreased in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 2% in 1997 to 1,8% in 1998.

At the same time, in 1990, taking into account the level of the Federation of BiH, it increased on 2,8%.

The mentioned rate is not the same when points I - IV and V - VII are compared.

From I to IV grade in the monitored years of 1997-1999 the repetition rate is falling from 2% to 0,7% for 1997, then, from 1,8% to 0,7% , then in 1998 and from 2,8% to 0,8% in 1990.

It can be said that the repetition rate is the highest in grade V for all monitored years (in 1990 it was 8,0%, in 1997 it was 3,6% and in 1998 3,3%).

Therefore it is evident that the mentioned rate is falling down gradually and it is the lowest in the grade VIII.

For instance, in grade VIII it was as follows:

In 1990 = 1,5%, in 1997 = 0,7% and in 1998 = 0,8%.

As per cantons, the situation is as follows (only 1997 and 1998):

In cantons number 1, 3, 6 and 10 the repetition rate was similar to the rate characteristic for the whole area of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the rest of the cantons (2, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9) the rate does not always fall.

Indicator 13 and Indicator 14

Indicator 13: Survival rate until the degree 5 (percentage of the same age students who really reach degree 5).

Indicator 14: Efficiency coefficient (ideal number of years which student needs in order to finish the primary cycle expressed as a percentage of real number of student-years).

We did not have appropriate data available for calculation of values of the indicators 13 and 14 and therefore the values of these indicators were not calculated.

Indicator 15

Indicator 15: Percentage of students who reached at least the degree 4 of primary education and with which they gain the basic learning capability defined on the national standard level.

Percentage of students who reached at least the degree 4 of primary education with which they get to adopt the basic components in learning, is the same for the whole population in 1997 and 1998: 99,3% and in relation to 1990, when it was 99,2%, it recorded a 0,1% increase.

Percentage differences between female and male population should be pointed out. In 1999 the percentage within male population was 99%, in 1997 it was 98,9% which means that it fell down for 0,1% while it grew up in 1999 again and it was 99,1%. Within female population, in 1990, the percentage was 99,4%, in 1997 it was 99,6% which means that it grew up for 0,2% while in 1998 it fell down for 0,1% and it was 99,5%.

That means that in 1997, male population percentage was bigger than the total population percentage and, female population percentage was smaller while in 1998, the percentage within both female and male population got close to total population percentage.

Indicator 16, Indicator 17 and Indicator 18

Indicator 16: Literacy rate in the age from 15 to 24.

Indicator 17: Adults' literacy rate: percentage of population of the age from 15 on (the literate)

Indicator 18: Literacy parity index per genders: relation of female and male literacy rates.

Literacy rate for persons in the age from 15 to 24

Literacy rate for persons in the age from 15 to 24 in 1990 was 99% and in 1998 it was 98,6% which means that it fell down for 0,2%.

literacy rate within male population in 1990 was bigger and it was 99,4% in relation to literacy rate within female population which was 98,6%. In 1998 the difference was even bigger and within the male population it was 99,5% and within the female population it fell for 1% even and it was 97,6%.

Literacy rate for persons above 15

Literacy rate for persons above 15 in 1990 was 88,7% and in 1998 it increased for 4,4% and it was 93,1%.

In this case also, the literacy rate is bigger within male population in relation to the female one.

In 1990, the literacy rate within male population was 92,2% and in 1998 it was 97,6% while within female population in 1990 the rate was 85,2% and in 1998 it was 89%.


New primary school and modern demands for an increase of its upbringing - educational efficiency, means firstly, flexible differentiated programs, contemporary technique and technology of educational work. In addition to that, the concept means developed programs helping in establishment of connections and relations, accomplishment of notions which lead the student into problems, relations and co-relations of their solution.

Summarizing the indicators of the National Report in the context of pre-war planned changes and development directions of primary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the period from 1990 until today, we can draw the following conclusions:

On the one side, a stagnation in primary education is evident in all its segments in relation to the planned development projection. The main cause for the stagnation lies in the 1991-1995 war and a slow economic recovery of the state as well as the states' transition processes,

On the other side, there is the apparent need as well as efforts of the responsible Federation and cantonal education authorities to get close to demands and standards of the world's developed educational systems, in the course of the reconstruction processes of the educational system.

Process of the reconstruction of educational system is overloaded with many problems and it unfolds very slowly. Quality and thorough education system reform first of all means providing basic prerequisites for joint and coordination action on programming of changes through:

reaching the consensus on education reform directions, that is, on education strategy, basic principles and overall goals of education in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

organized system of a coordinated education management and reinforcement of administrative capacities on decision making levels;

broad net of expert institutions as an important supporting element and professional assistance at school;

defining of uniform education standards and quality control instruments;

system solved issue of financing of education;

stimulation of private sector investment into educational sector;

process of reform of teachers faculties and permanent teachers training.