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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Main types of provision

Bosnia and Herzegovina

8.Adult education and training

8.4Main types of provision

Last update: 12 June 2022


Provision to raise achievement in basic skills

The Strategic platform of development of adult education in the lifelong learning in the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the period 2014 to 2020,  was adopted at the end of 2014.

Strategic platform of development of adult education in the lifelong learning B&H includes all ages, from early childhood to senior citizens belonging to different target groups. It relates to all forms and levels of education:

a)   the primary education of adults who were not covered by formal education;

b)  adults who have left the formal education - primary, general or professional, it is necessary to get a second chance;

c)  continuous education of adults of various professions in order to improve the knowledge, skills and competencies, retraining and additional training;

d) education of adults who have previously out of the formal system of higher education and want to continue their education;

e)  education of the unemployed fore more employment possibilities;

f) professional education of the rural population in order to improve agricultural activities (training for organic agricultural production, development of rural tourism in the domestic handmaking, restoration of traditional crafts, etc.);

g) education of adults in order to acquire the key competences defined by the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF);

h)  education of adults for the role of active citizens and

i)   education for the Third Age.

A new approach to adult education, founded on common European principles and objectives and their own values and experience in B&H was mostly missing until 2009. Later projects and programs started to implement and mostly financed by international organizations and institutions, as well as the entity responsible authorities.

Provision to achieve a recognised qualification during adulthood certification

In Bosnia and Herzegovina adults are included in various forms of education, training and learning on voluntary bases and by their own choice.

Formal education programs include:

a)      programs for the acquisition of basic education;

b)     programs for acquiring secondary education;

c)      additional training programs;

d)     retraining programs;

e)      advancement programs and

f)      qualification programs.

The number and types of adult education programs are directed towards the needs of communities and individuals, in the context of labor market and employment opportunities, as well as the specific needs of regional or local environment where the program is running. The number and types of adult education programs are also focused on the needs of employers for certain profile of occupations, the needs of employers and employees for training or education because of the introduction of new technologies or work processes, the needs of adults to gain new and improvement of existing knowledge, skills and abilities in order to provide themselves better employment opportunities, maintain employability or start their own entrepreneurial activity.

Provision targeting the transition to the labour market

Education of adults in Bosnia and Herzegovina takes place in the context of social transition, which is carried out on two key fields and to the democratization of civil society and the transition from a planned to a modern market economy. These processes progress slowly and can be monitored in several social areas.

It is clear that adults in Bosnia and Herzegovina represent large, but still insufficiently recognized and activated potential. Poor focus of various sectoral policies and negligible investment in the development of adults through their appropriate education during the whole life, indicate a serious lack of understanding of the importance and role of this segment of society in transition, of the Bosnia and Herzegovina  society in general.

At different levels of government it have been established institutional structures responsible for the formulation, management, coordination and monitoring of policies of adult education in the lifelong learning context in BiH.

Management of education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is implemented by a polycentric model (centralized in the Republic of Srpska entity and Brcko District entity  and decentralized in the Federation where cantons / counties centrally manage education). Full and undivided jurisdiction in education have RS the ten cantons/counties in the Federation and Brcko District. Each of the constitutional unit has established institutions and facilities for the organization and management of education and therefore adult education.

Ministry of Civil Affairs is the only institution of the executive authorities at the state level that in a wide range competencies has education. The Ministry is responsible for carrying out tasks and discharging duties which are within the competence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and which are related to the coordination of activities, harmonization of plans of the Entity authorities and defining a strategy at the international level.

Existing key professional institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina responsible for monitoring of adult education and quality improvement:

a)    The Agency for Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education;

b)    The Agency for Work and Employment;

c)    Institute for Adult Education of Republic of Srpska;

d)    Pedagogic institution the Education Department of Brcko District;

e)    Republic Pedagogical Institute of Republic of Srpska;

f)    Cantonal / County pedagogical institutes of Education in the Federation;

g)    Institutes and the Public Employment Services.

Educational programs available through these institutions are usually free for the unemployed.

Provision of liberal (Popular) adult education

Recently experience of Non-formal adult education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is growing. A large number of different institutions and organizations in the public, private and NGO sector offers various programs of informal education.

Programs of informal education include a variety of programs focused on the acquisition and improvement of general and professional knowledge, skills and abilities that are strengthening adults for labor market opportunities, facilitate their social integration and contribute to their own development and "self-realization". These programs, among others, include:

a) programs of acquisition or improvement of key competences;

b) programs of acquiring additional competencies in the profession;

c) programs of environmental and labor protection;

d) educational programs on health and improving the quality of life;

e) educational programs of the Third Age;

f) training programs in order to satisfy specific educational and cultural needs of specific social groups and

g) programs of acquisition of other knowledge, skills and abilities.

The cost of all forms of non-formal education are mainly carried out by participants and other interested parties.

In addition to the informal adult education it is necessary to highlight and informal adult learning that takes place in everyday situations and in different learning contexts such as family community, workplace, leisure, experience and so on. There are no reliable data on this form of learning because there were not conducted any researches in Bosnia and Herzegovina in this area. In addition to the Examination Center under the Institute of Adult Education of the Republic of Srpska who is authorized to organize the verification of knowledge, skills and competencies, regardless of the manner of their acquisition (including informal), there are no specific data on other similar institutions.

Other types of publicly subsidised provision for adult learners

Education programs: retraining, additional education, improvement and training of adults as a regular activity or one that follows the regular, deal besides public and private educational institutions and other specialized institutions such as workers' universities, centers for vocational education and training, auto- school, foreign language schools, schools for computers employment agencies, professional associations, non-governmental organizations, correctional institutions, religious institutions, trade unions and others. These programs can be subsidized by the relevant institutions.