2 minute read


Preprimary & Primary Education

As noted above, preprimary education in Montenegro is optional. However, nearly 12,500 children—about 24 percent of all children ages 0 to 7—were enrolled in childcare or preprimary educational programs in the 1999-2000 school year. Starting in 1994, the Open Society Institute, a private foundation based in the United States and funded by philanthropist George Soros, introduced the "Step by Step" program into Montenegrin preschools with strong cooperation from the Ministry of Education and Science. Established in 2000 as an independent program, "Step by Step" in Montenegro also started primary level programming in eight model primary schools. "Step by Step" has emphasized reforming teacher training programs to prepare early childhood educators who are better versed in child-centered methodologies and democratic principles of classroom and school management. Across the transitional countries of Eastern and Central Europe, "Step by Step" has developed a positive reputation for building democratic partnerships among school staff, parents, and local community members and for fostering creativity and programs designed to support the educational needs of minority children. In Montenegro, children with disabilities, Roma, refugees, and the impoverished have especially benefited from "Step by Step" programs.

In 1999-2000, approximately 38,198 students were enrolled in lower primary schooling (grades 1 through 4) and 39,839 students were enrolled in the upper primary grades (grades 5 through 8) at 167 central schools and 303 branch (i.e., village) schools in Montenegro. All of the schools were publicly funded except for one private music school at the primary level. With an average of 22.5 pupils per class, about 4,888 teachers taught primary school in Montenegro that year. Significant differences in class size existed between village schools and town schools. In the villages, the pupil to teacher ratio was 11.8:1 for the first 4 primary grades, whereas in towns the comparable ratio was 24.5:1. In Montenegro's upper primary grades, classes averaged 24.4 pupils, although the pupil to teacher ratio was actually only 12.7:1 due to the high number of part-time teachers employed. In comparison, the pupil to teacher ratio for the FRY as a whole was 16.9:1 for basic education in 1997.

Educational innovations in the late 1990s included reductions of 10 to 30 percent in the subject contents and reductions in the number of classes taught weekly in specific subjects in the first three grades of basic education. Additionally, instruction in a first foreign language was added in grade 3 of the lower primary level for two 45-minute class periods each week.

Additional topics

Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceMontenegro - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education