Ministries of Education are in charge of the field of secondary education: in Republika Srpska, the Ministry of Education and Culture of the RS, ten cantonal ministries of education in the Federation of B&H and the Brčko District Education Department. The legal basis for the implementation of secondary education are the laws on secondary education of those mantioned institutions, together with by-laws and regulations.
In accordance with regulations, each school is obliged to draw up its development plan, school program and annual work plan. These documents regulate the organization of all school activities.
In addition to the competent ministries, there are pedagogical institutes that are either in the competence of the ministries of education or independent, but the role is the same. They are responsible for ensuring the quality of education, standards, textbooks and other aspects important for the functioning of the education system.
Secondary school is not compulsory and lasts from three to four years (grades). Students usually enroll in high school at the age of 15, after completing primary school.
Criteria for admission to secondary school are achieved in the primary school and the result of the admission exam.
In the framework of secondary education there are the following types of schools:
- Grammar school (the curriculum is conducted for a four-year duration, with the completion of which a student attains secondary school education and the possibility of continuing education)
- Art school (music, arts and other, determined according to the type of curriculum, for a four-year duration, the completion of which the student attains secondary school and the possibility of continuing education)
- Religious school (the curriculum is conducted for a four-year duration, with the completion of which the student attains secondary school education and the possibility of continuing education)
- Technical, economic, medical and other vocational schools, which is determined according to the type of curriculum, for a duration of: three years, which ends the program for acquiring secondary vocational education without access to higher education, and for a period of four years whose by attaining the student acquires a secondary school and the possibility of continuing education)
Schools are mostly public and free, although there are also private schools. Teaching is conducted in one of the three languages that are in official use in the country.
Education after finishing high school, and not higher education, today are vocational training programs, and according to the old education program, these were V degree programs or the acquisition of highly qualified vocational training (VKV).
They last one year after completing secondary technical education for acquiring the qualification of a "specialist" or 2 years after the completion of a secondary professional 3-year program for qualification "craftman".