Based on the Analysis of the education sector in cooperation with UNICEF the development of the Overall Educational Strategy has began.
With regards to the Strategy of digitalization of the education system 2022-2027, with the Action Plan for 2022 and 2023, the implementation is ongoing. The focus is on the improvement of teachers and pupils' digital competences, as well as schools equipment and development of a safe environment through the self-care skills of pupils. Workshops have been developed and organized in 5 schools.
A support program for pupils from Ukraine is being implemented, focusing on socio-emotional competences and support through the engagement of Ukrainian pedagogical workers as supportive associates, from the engagement of a special teacher. The Ministry of Education approved the increase in the number of classes in schools where a larger number of foreign students were enrolled. Support for learning the Montenegrin language as a non-native language according to the publicly valid subject program was implemented with two additional lessons per week financed from the Budget of the Ministry of Education was implemented. In cooperation with UNICEF, textbooks are provided for the Montenegrin language as a non-native subject. Bureau for Educational Services developed Guidelines for the inclusion of students from other speaking areas in educational institutions in Montenegro, as well as Guidelines for the evaluation and assessment of students from other speaking areas in educational institutions in Montenegro.
In December 2022, the Bureau for Educational Services and the Examination Center launched the PISA 2025 - Science in Focus program, which was supported by the Ministry of Education. The expert team of the Bureau for Educational Services compared the national curriculum in natural sciences and the PISA 2025 Science Framework. The general conclusion is that there are no significant differences in terms of content, but that there is a difference in the approach to science and the factors that affect it have been identified.
Based on that, a program was created with a focus on two aspects of teaching natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Physics): 1. developing scientific competences through experiments 2. changing attitudes towards science by encouraging a growth mindset.
In the first phase of the program, which lasted from March to June 2023, 95% of all elementary schools (students in grades 6-9) and secondary schools (grades 1-3) were included. Published PISA items which check the understanding and application of knowledge from the natural group of subjects were translated into the Montenegrin and Albanian languages and made available to schools. Most of the activities are devoted to knowing the stages of scientific research and interpreting data based on experiments performed at home (due to unequal conditions for conducting experiments in the classroom) with the use of teaching materials from the Digital Classroom. Schools organized Science Days and posted the reports on their website. It is planned to train teachers to write tasks in which scientific knowledge is applied to solve problems from everyday life, as well as to involve schools in environmental actions.
The education process in elementary schools started on 5th September, the duration of the school lessons is now 45 minutes as it was before the pandemic and the curricula is adjusted to that duration.
An Analysis of the education sector in cooperation with UNICEF has been finalized. This report presents a comprehensive analysis of the education sector (ESA) in Montenegro and serves as an input for the future development of a long-term evidence-based education sector plan for Montenegro to ensure quality education for all. ESA is a joint venture between the Ministry, UNICEF and a consulting team led by company Sofreco that supported the analysis. ESA focuses on preschool, primary and secondary education. The study presents a comprehensive analysis of the education sector that draws on a wide range of available secondary data, previous studies and research papers, as well as new evidence gathered through stakeholder interviews and job satisfaction surveys. The focus is on quantitative data covering the period 2015-2020, as the last complete reporting year for which data is available. Tertiary and private education are outside the scope of this study. The ESA is aligned with the Methodological Guidelines for Education Sector Analysis, developed by UNESCO, the World Bank (WB), UNICEF and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
The Strategy of digitalization of the education system 2022-2027, with the Action Plan for 2022 and 2023has been adopted. The Digitalization of the educational system should encourage greater use of ICT in teaching in order to improve the quality and inclusiveness of the teaching process, but also to influence the development of digital competencies of students and employees in educational institutions. In addition, it needs to improve and modernize all processes in the education system, from electronic pedagogical records to data exchange and the launch of a range of electronic services for citizens and other institutions. In this regard, three strategic goals have been identified:
- improvement of the Education Information System,
- development and improvement of the digital ecosystem and development and
- Improving digital skills and competences.
The Digital School Online Learning Platformhas been launched. The Digital school is a platform for learning, teaching, communication and cooperation in the digital environment. It is the basis for creating a secure, supportive, efficient and comprehensive digital education system. The digital school is designed to bring together learning resources for children and adolescents, parents, carers, educators, teachers and other professionals in the education system, as well as to support everyone in developing digital skills through the use of digital tools and distance learning services. Also, the Digital School includes an information portal and a web directory of educational resources on the Internet. It is designed to ensure continuity of learning and reduce the gap in access to learning resources through a sustainable, high-quality and long-term solution for digital learning, which is complementary to teaching and learning in the classroom and supporting children, educators, teachers and families.
156 teachers were involved in the recording of the teaching content in the second semester of the school year 2020/2021 year, for lessons in the Montenegrin language, and 47 class and subject teachers were involved for teaching in the Albanian language. About 3,100 lectures from 20 subjects were recorded.
Priority contents for primary and secondary schools for the school year 2020/2021 year were broadcast on television channels, YouTube channel #UčiDoma https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC07wVCV2n_Zpg3WFb9_9vew and on the portal www.ucidoma.me, sorted by levels of education, subjects and classes.
Enrollment in the first grade of primary school began on April 1, 2021, and can be done electronically, via the website www.upisi.edu.me or at school. Also, enrollment of students in primary music schools was done electronically.
On 27 May 2021, the Parliament of Montenegro passed the Law on Amendments to the Law on Primary Education, which stipulates the right to free textbooks for primary school pupils, at the expense of the state budget.
With regard to the educational process during the pandemic, the second meeting of the Working Group for the organization and monitoring of the educational process during the pandemic COVID-19 was held on 24 August 2021. The education process in schools started on 1st September, but the duration of the school lessons is 30 minutes, and the curricula is unique and adjusted to that duration. Temperature measurement and hand disinfection at the entrance of the schools are mandatory. Wearing masks is a strict recommendation of the Institute of Public Health and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, but the Ministry cannot return from school any child who does not wear a mask, due to their legal right to education.