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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Single-structure primary and lower secondary education


5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

Last update: 27 March 2024

Primary education is governed by the General Law on Education and the Law on Primary Education, as well as other regulations.

The objectives of the primary education include:

  • providing all citizens with primary education, developing creative personality, achieving internationally comparable standards

  • acquiring knowledge necessary to continue education

  • developing critical thinking, independence, curiosity

  • preparation for independent participation in social life

  • acquisition of knowledge that can be practically applied

  • developing personalities in accordance with their capacities

  • education for respecting national values, history and culture and respecting other people

  • education for tolerance, respect of differences, cooperation with others

  • developing abilities for life in democratic society

  • encouraging healthy lifestyles and responsible relationship towards the environment, developing work abilities, professional orientation, learning competences, social and emotional values and skills.

Primary education takes nine years and is divided into three cycles. It is acquired at primary schools, resource centres and educational centres.

It is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 15. A parent must ensure that their child meets the primary school obligation. A pupil has met their primary school obligation after attending school for nine years.

Pupils older than 15 exercise their right to primary education in accordance with regulations governing the field of adult education.

A pupil may acquire primary art education simultaneously with primary education.

Primary education of children with special educational needs is acquired at schools and resource centres, and is governed by the Law on Education of Children with Special Educational Needs, and Law Amending the Law on Education of Children with Special Educational Needs.

Schools adapt their methods of work to gifted pupils and allow them to take part in additional instruction and other forms of individual and group assistance.

Public institutions providing primary education include: 163 primary schools, two educational centres and three resource centres. Seven private primary schools have also been licensed.

Educational work is carried out by teachers, preschool teachers and professional associates whose level and profile of education is prescribed by Law on Primary Education and the Rulebook on the field (profile) of education of subject teachers at primary school.

Institutions carry out activities of quality assurance and quality improvement of educational (self-evaluation) – each year according to individual fields, and every two years in full. Quality assurance and quality improvement of educational work of institutions (evaluation) is done by the Bureau for Educational Services, at least every four years. The methodology for quality assurance and quality improvement in educational work at an institution (self-evaluation and evaluation) is prescribed by the Ministry of Education, Science and innovation following the proposal of the Bureau for Education Services.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Innovation is in charge of planning, implementation and improvement of overall education policy for all levels of education. The Ministry monitors the implementation of provisions of the laws in the field of education.

The Bureau for Educational Services defines and ensures the quality of educational work at institutions in addition to performing developmental, advisory, research and professional tasks, including from the field of primary education.

The Examination Centre carries out external assessment of the achieved standards of knowledge and skills of pupils.

The Office for Textbooks and Teaching Aids is in charge of editing and printing textbooks and other teaching aids.

For the purpose of decision-making on the professional matters, as well as for professional assistance in the procedure of decision-making and drafting regulations from the field of education, the Government of Montenegro has established the National Council for Education.