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At the beginning of the new millennium, Montenegro was poised for significant political and societal changes. After experiencing an economic decline during the 1980s and 1990s, changing its political status from one of the former six republics of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia to one of two republics in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992, participating to some extent in the ethnic violence that swept the Balkan region in the 1990s, and witnessing the movement of thousands of IDPs and refugees through its territory, Montenegro had an educational system that was ripe for revision by the year 2001. Efforts to improve the quality of instruction in the vocational area and to upgrade adult education offerings appeared to be among the most needed reforms, along with democratization of school management and the conduct of classes and the reformation of course content to more accurately depict historical events and to reflect the multicultural, multilinguistic nature of Montenegro and the other Balkan states. By June 2001 a large conference of international donors was meeting in Brussels to discuss an international package of financial assistance to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Montenegro. Much of the US$1.2 billion in funds pledged at the conference would be directed to the educational sector to address such problems as teacher salaries being so low that qualified persons often declined the opportunity to teach and school facilities so in need of upgrading and sometimes outright reconstruction that few laboratories or technological equipment were available to serve the basic educational needs of Montenegro's upcoming generations of students.

At mid-year 2001 Montenegro itself was considering holding a referendum to determine its own status as an independent republic or a continuing member of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. No matter how the referendum would turn out, it was clear that significant reforms—political, economic, and social, including in the education sector—would need to be made to satisfy the Montenegrin public, many of whom had grown weary of state-centered direction and overbearing governance from Belgrade with a Serbian flavor. The possibilities for significant, publicly responsive educational reforms appeared promising for the second half of 2001, with former Yugoslav president Slobodan Miloševic out of power and new, more democratically minded government officials at the helm both at the federal level and in Serbia, the long-dominant republic in Yugoslav affairs. Montenegro's own president, Milo Djukanovic, appeared increasingly willing to resist Serbian attempts to exert control over Montenegro's internal affairs and eager to address the needs, interests, and sentiments of Montenegrins. This included the desire of many Montenegrins to improve their educational system so that graduates of all levels of instruction would be better prepared to meet the demands of a rapidly changing labor market, to contribute to their country's economic development, and to take their part in a more locally responsive, democratic society where greater decision-making authority would rest in the hands of the Montenegrin people.


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—Barbara Lakeberg Dridi

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