Initial teacher education varies according to the level of education in which future teachers will work. Educators and teachers are educated with respect to educational level, i.e. age of the children with whom they work. Therefore, teachers who work at pre-school level, teachers working in primary schools and those who work in secondary school attend different education. Teachers who work at pre-school level are called educators. Those who work in primary school (grades 1-6) are called class teachers (class teachers), teachers in primary school (grades 6-9) are called subject teachers, and those who work in secondary schools are called professors (subject specialists). The first five grades are organized as a classroom teaching, and the sixth to ninth grade ae organised as a subject teaching. Classroom teaching is run typically by one teacher (the same teacher from first to sixth grade), while subject teaching involves more subject teachers, depending on the curriculum for each grade level.
Teachers who work with children with disabilities are educated in schools with programmes for that purpose (speech therapy, behavioral disorders and rehabilitation). Students from other social sciences or humanities majors are also able to continue their education at the college level (after completing their undergraduate studies at college and taking the necessary examinations in subjects they did not have) in order to acquire qualifications for working with children with disabilities.
Professional staff in schools working with pupils with special needs include pedagogues, psychologists, experts in education and rehabilitation with an appropriate level of education. The quality of education is directly determined by the quality of teachers' work, to invest in the development of the teaching profession is the most important prerequisite for achieving high educational results. One of the most important steps in this process is to set clear expectations for teachers in terms of competencies they need for the implementation of quality teaching practice. Defining competencies is the basis for the development of an efficient system of pre-service education and professional development of teachers, to enable them to acquire the competences and continuously develop.
Institutions, Levels and Models of Training
Primary school teachers are trained in the philosophical, pedagogical and natural and mathematical higher education institutions, and subject teachers, except at those universities, can also attend natural-science faculties.
Simultaneous model of education of class teachers (from first to fifth grade) and subject teachers (from sixth to ninth grade)
Different faculties for teacher education offer various opportunities to study. Successive model of education of subject teachers (from the sixth to the ninth grade of primary school and secondary school)
Students who have selected one or two study subjects at certain universities, and during the study do not have the possibility to choose or do not choose education major themselves, can, however, opt for the teaching profession after graduation (teacher of sixth to ninth grade and teacher in secondary school). Namely, they are given the opportunity to enroll in professional development programmes i.e. programmes of pedagogical-psychological and didactic-methodological training that enables lifelong education and training through additional education with the aim of mastering the knowledge, abilities and skills necessary to work in the teaching profession. The programme is intended for those who in the course of their initial education did not acquire teaching competence, and intend to be employed in educational institutions and those who are employed in educational institutions and have a legal obligation to complete pedagogical-psychological and didactic-methodological education. Such programmes are offered by faculties of teacher education.Initial teacher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is being implemented in eight universities in 28 educational institutions.
Teachers in public pre-school and school education are public servants. They are employed in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law. Candidates for educators, teachers and professors apply under the contest published for kindergartens and schools. The school board is involved in selection of candidates. Conditions of work in kindergartens and schools are defined by the general labour legislation and legislation relating to public servants and education. Specific aspects such as internships, professional examination and promotion are determined by the executive acts of the competent ministry of education. The area of individual rights is subject to negotiations between the ministry and the union of workers in education. Institutions or bodies responsible for matters relating to conditions of service of teachers are the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, local government, educational institutions. Conditions of service are governed by the applicable labour regulations, education, wages and civil service, collective agreements.
An educator and associate who is employed for the first time in pre-school and school education is employed as a trainee. The internship work is carried out in cooperation with the mentor and lasts for one year. After completion of internship, the intern takes a professional exam.
Curriculum, Level of Specialisation and Learning Outcomes
The professional state examination is taken according to the programme adopted by the competent ministry. The special part of the professional state examination for the teachers of religion is adopted by the competent ministry upon the proposal of the religious community. The purpose of the professional examination is to determine the competences of trainees for independent educational profession, or profession of a professional associate. The professional state exam is taken before a board of examiners. Examination commission numbers, their composition and members, and a list of schools in which the professional examination is to be taken is set by the Minister of Education. A record is made on a professional state examination and signed by the president and members of the board of examiners. Interns to work at the school who passed the professional state examination receive a certificate of professional examination, and interns in kindergarten receive confirmation of the professional state examination.
A classroom teaching is organized in the first five grades and a subject teaching is organized from fifth to ninth grade. Classroom teaching is run typically by one teacher (the same teacher from first to fifth grade), while subject teaching involves more subject teachers, depending on the curriculum for each grade level. Teachers who work with children with disabilities are educated in schools that have programmes for that purpose (speech therapy, behavioral disorders and rehabilitation). Students from other social sciences or humanities majors are also able to continue their education at the university level (after completing their undergraduate studies at college and taking the necessary difference subjects) in order to acquire qualifications for working with children with disabilities. According to the laws on education in primary and secondary school, special needs in educational work in schools relate to: work with pupils with disabilities, working with gifted children, working with pupils - members of national minorities or other specific conditions. Professional staff in schools working with pupils with special needs include pedagogues, psychologists, experts in education and rehabilitation with an appropriate level of education.
Qualifications, Evaluation and Certificates
In order to work in preschool education, educators, teachers, instructors or professors must have completed the first cycle of higher education, 180 or 240 ECTS credits. In addition, after a period of internship, they must pass a professional state examination in order to receive a certificate or license to operate. If a subject teacher is a person who had completed a faculty where there was not a pedagogical group of subjects, then s/he must subsequently take them in order to be qualified to work at school.
Alternative Training Pathways
Those who did not acquire teaching competences within their initial education and intend to be employed in educational institutions and those who are employed in educational institutions have a legal obligation to complete pedagogical-psychological and didactic-methodological education.