European, global and intercultural dimension in curriculum development
The content of education for sustainable development and global citizenship education, as defined by the UN Agenda 2030 (education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity) is incorporated in compulsory subjects, elective subjects, cross-curricular topics and extra-curricular activities at all levels of education (preschool, primary, secondary general and vocational education).
Within the general education, the curricula cover the global dimension through elective subject Citizenship Education and cross-curricular topic Education on Human Rights, at all levels of education.
In addition to general education at primary and secondary level, as well as in vocational education, the new modularized education programmes incorporate eight key competences, in line with the recommendations from the document “Key Competences for Lifelong Learning - European Framework”. The key competences can be found in every module of the curriculum, both in general and vocational education. Special emphasis is placed on citizenship and social key competences, cultural awareness and expression and entrepreneurship. Teachers are trained to carry out professional modules in which they need to acquire key competences.
In secondary vocational education in Montenegro, key competences are acquired in three ways: through general education subjects, through vocational/elective modules and through extracurricular activities. The first qualification development document referring to key competences is the Standard of Professional Qualification which contains a list of key competences that are achieved in each unit of qualification. The next document referring to key competences is educational programme which, at the very beginning, includes as compulsory point a description of qualifications for the relevant education level, i.e. learning outcomes related to achieving professional and key competences.
Programmes for all foreign languages have been developed in accordance with the Common European Framework for Languages, which, as a project of the Council of Europe, has experienced the greatest application in Europe. The Framework represents a common basis for the development of programmes, textbooks and foreign language teaching in Europe. In cooperation with the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe, a model of the European Language Portfolio has been developed, and followed by training of foreign language teachers necessary for the preparation of foreign language tests in accordance with the Common European Framework for Languages.
Partnerships and networks
Montenegro has been a member of the EUROPEN, a European network connecting virtual training companies, since 2017. Among other things, the network facilitates organising international trade fairs for virtual training companies in some of the member states. Montenegrin representatives have been participating for 10 years at these fairs, which also have a competitive component.
The Bureau for Education Services coordinates cooperation with the European Centre for Modern Languages from Graz, which functions as one of the activities carried out by the Council of Europe’s Language and Education Sector, with the aim of improving language teaching in Europe. Montenegro has been a member of this institution since August 7, 2008. The work of the European Centre for Modern Languages has concrete results, designed to be of practical use to language teachers, language policy creators and curriculum developers. The main objective of the Centre’s projects is to support the promotion of language teaching (mother tongue, language of instruction and foreign language) and the establishment of a cooperation network among the experts in the field. The Centre encourages the promotion of language teaching by exchanging good practice, promoting innovative changes and training of trainers at thematic seminars.
ERI SEE - Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe is a regional platform for cooperation in the field of education and training. It supports national reform processes in education and training through capacity building and knowledge transfer, and by linking these processes to the European framework for education development (EU “Education and Training 2020”, Bologna and Copenhagen Processes, Berlin Process). Another priority of this network is cooperation improvement in these areas in South Eastern Europe. The activities focus on the priorities defined by multi-annual strategic documents of the participating countries, as well as on the findings of the Economic Reform Programme.
ERI SEE currently supports the following networks and platforms in the field of education and training:
- Western Balkan Alliance for Work Based Learning (WBA 4 WBL) was initiated within the Berlin Process in cooperation with the South East Europe Vocational Education and Training Network (SEEVET NET), which brings together regional VET centres and regional chambers of economy. The main objective of WBA 4 WBL is to strengthen the elements of the dual education system and other forms of work-based learning and to strengthen the overall cooperation between the public and the private sector in the field of VET. The planned WBA 4 WBL Platform should serve as a library of existing documents on the topic of work-based learning in the region, a knowledge-sharing centre on frameworks, formats, mechanisms for implementing work-based learning in the region, a source of information for users and a channel for communicating members of this alliance.
- A regional group of experts in the field of quality assurance in general education was established in April 2018, comprising the representatives of the relevant ministries and agencies responsible for external evaluation of knowledge and institutions. The recognised priorities of the group include quality management of all institutions involved in the quality assurance system, as well as schools, and institutional external evaluation.
- SEE TET Network - Teacher Education and Training Network for South East Europe was also established by ERI SEE in cooperation with the European Training Foundation (ETF), in June 2018. It gathers the representatives of regional institutions in charge of teacher education and training at the system level. The purpose of this network is to facilitate the exchange of existing practices and identify areas of common interest where regional cooperation can contribute to development in this area at the national level.