The education system in Montenegro has been strongly influenced by the former education system of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well as by laws passed in the 1990s when Montenegro was part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Educational policy is determined by the federal government and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Montenegro, with significant input from international partners, such as the European Union and several national governments and nongovernmental organizations who have provided financial and technical support for education reforms. Key educational reforms at the turn of the millennium included efforts to improve vocational education and training in Montenegro and to upgrade the curriculum at various educational levels.
Compulsory education in Montenegro includes the 8 grades of primary school, attended by students typically aged 7 through 14. Serbian is the official language of instruction in Montenegrin schools, almost all of which are public. In some areas, Albanian is also offered as a language of instruction at the elementary and secondary levels. About 95.8 percent of primary students in Montenegro were taught in Serbian in the year 2000, while 4.2 percent of primary students were taught in Albanian. At the secondary level, 97.6 percent of students were taught in Serbian, and 2.4 percent were taught in Albanian. The official language of instruction at the university level was Serbian.
In 1997 about 32.2 percent of the population in the FRY was of school age or between 3 and 24 years of age. In 1999-2000, approximately 118,000 Montenegrin pupils and students were enrolled in primary, secondary, and university institutions out of the country's total population of about 680,000. The gross enrollment ratio that year for the basic education grades (the free, compulsory 8 years of primary schooling) was 98.5 percent.
Participation in preschool programming is optional, with infants and children up to three years of age sometimes cared for in childcare settings and preprimary schooling available for children between the ages of three and seven. Basic education includes the 8 years of compulsory schooling and is divided into two stages: lower primary, covering grades 1 through 4 for children generally 7 through 10 years of age; and upper primary, covering grades 5 through 8 for children aged 11 through 14. In 2000 about 84 percent of Montenegrin students were completing their compulsory education in 8 years.
Upper secondary schooling includes either 4 years of general education for students 15 through 18 years of age or 2, 3, or 4 years of vocational education for students starting at age 15. Specialized secondary schools also exist to provide four years of education in the arts, music, or ballet. Tertiary education is provided at the University of Montenegro and its 15 associated faculties. No nonuniversity higher education existed in Montenegro as of the 2000-2001 academic year, although university programs could be relatively long (lasting 4 through 6 years, beginning at age 19) or short (lasting 2 years). Postgraduate studies leading to the Master of Art or Master of Science degree also existed, although no special doctoral programs were to be found. Students interested in preparing a doctoral thesis could do so upon successful completion of a Master's degree program.
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceMontenegro - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education