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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Bosnia and Herzegovina

9.Teachers and education staff

9.1Initial education for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Early childhood education and school teachers are educated through undergradute (ISCED level 6) and graduate university study programmes (ISCED level 7). The entry requirement for undergraduate ECEC studies is a graduation certificate from a four-year secondary school. The entry requirements for graduate studies are a completed university-level undergraduate study programme in preschool education.

Educators and teachers are educated with respect to an educational level, i.e. age of the children with whom they work. Teachers who work at pre-school level are called educators. Those who work in primary school (grades 1-5) 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 grades are 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.

Professional associates in the school who work with students with special needs are pedagogues, psychologists, experts in the educational and rehabilitation profile, and they all have the appropriate level of education.

Institutions, Levels and Models of Training

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) teachers are educated through undergradute (ISCED level 6)  and graduate university study programmes (ISCED level 7). Every public university (all eight of them) in Bosnia and Hezegovina has programmes of pre-school education. All undergraduate university study prrogrammes (ISCED level 6)   last for four years (240 ECTS), only at the University of Banja Luka the undergraduate preschool education programme lasts for three years gaining 180 ECTS. Some universities, like the University of Mostar (SUM), offer professional preschool education studies (ISCED level 6) which last for three years (180 ECTS).

Undergraduate university programmes (ISCED level 6)  prepare students for the graduate university programme (ISCED level 7), which lasts for a year (60 ECTS) in each university except for the University of Banja Luka and University in East Sarajevo in which it lasts for two years (120 ECTS).

The aim of the graduate preschool education university study is to improve the competencies acquired at the undergraduate level and gain competencies to continue their education in postgraduate studies.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirement for undergraduate pre-school education studies is a graduation diploma from a four-year secondary school. The number of enrolled students is determined by each Ministry of Science, Education and Sports in each region of Bosnia and Herzegovina (10 cantons, Republika Srpska and District Brčko). Each faculty sets its own requirements and specific entrance exams, usually testing speech, physical and musical abilities. The entrance exams are conducted by qualified university staff. The admission is based on the candidates grades from secondary school and the test level of the entry exam.

On the graduate level, the admission requirement is a completed university-level undergraduate study programme in pre-school education.

Curriculum, Level of Specialisation and Learning Outcomes

Although the curricula for pre-school education study programs are developed by educational institutions, the learning outcomes for these programs are common for most universities. The students of undergraduate university study program become qualified for: planning and writing the plan and program based on the principles of the integrated curriculum and children's developmental characteristics; acquisition of theoretical pedagogical and psychological knowledge; preparation for professional education of children of early and preschool age, usage of pedagogical documentation prescribed by legislation, application of different strategies, methods, forms and techniques of work, as well as materials and sources of knowledge that are in accordance with the set outcomes of development and learning; communication with parents. The graduate program sets learning outcomes that include: description of the nature of the child's cognitive, affective, social and moral development; analyzes the work with gifted children, for the application and creation of educational models that stimulate creativity, as well as for the research of creativity; acquisition of elementary methodologies needed for minor operational research and theory development.

The aim of graduate studies is to develop research competencies which could be useful for the postgraduate level.

Teacher Educators

Teacher educators are university professors who are employed according to the university¢s requirements. To become a teacher educator at the university level, it is required to have a PhD a certain number of published research papers and a public lecture for students which is assessed by the senior university staff.

There are three levels of university teaching positions: assistant professor, associate professor and full professors.

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

There are no alternative initial teacher education pathways.