Upper secondary education (general and vocational upper secondary education) and post-secondary non-tertiary vocational education in Montenegro are governed by the General Law on Education, Law on Vocational Education and Law on Gymnasium.
The mentioned laws regulate the competences of bodies and institutions in the procedure of gaining an upper secondary education diploma that confirms the acquired qualification of the education level.
Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports is in charge of planning, implementation and improvement of overall education policy, concerning all levels of education. The Ministry supervises the implementation of provisions of laws regulating the field of education. The work of institutions is controlled by education inspection.
Bureau for Education Services defines and ensures the quality of education at preschool institutions, primary and secondary schools. It carries out developmental, advisory and research activities in the area of pre-university education. It is also responsible for the preparation of syllabuses of general education subjects taught within vocational education.
Centre for Vocational Education carries out developmental, advisory, research and professional tasks, as well as quality assurance and evaluation of educational work quality in the area of vocational education and adult education. The Centre is in charge of the development of vocational education qualifications and curricula, advisory support and research within the vocational education of young people and adults.
Examination Centre is in charge of external assessment of knowledge, skills and competences at the completion of certain cycles of primary education and for conducting examination at the end of four-year upper secondary education.
Institute for Textbooks and Teaching Materials is in charge of editing and printing textbooks and other teaching materials for pre-university education.
For the purpose of decision-making in matters of professional nature, as well as to provide expert assistance to the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports in the decision-making procedures and preparation of regulations in the field of education, the Government of Montenegro has established a National Council for Education, in line with the General Law on Education.
For the purpose of upgrading the system of qualifications, approval and classification of qualifications into the Qualification Framework at all levels, including those acquired by completing upper secondary education curricula, the Government of Montenegro has established a Council for Qualifications in accordance with Law on National Qualification Framework.
The objective of vocational education is to enable students to acquire knowledge and develop skills, as well as vocational and key competences that can respond to the demands of the modern society and market economy, and allow them to participate as equals in the labour market. Vocational education is also aimed at enabling young people and adults to acquire knowledge and skills necessary for life and work, professional development of personality, further education, as well as raising awareness about the necessity of lifelong learning, etc.
General upper secondary education - gymnasium education – is aimed at enabling students to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, competences and habits that are based on the accomplishments of science, technology, culture and art, in order to continue their education, develop critical opinions, independence, responsibility, support understanding, tolerance, solidarity and respecting differences, etc.
Institutions at which qualifications of upper secondary education are acquired can be established as either public or private. A public institution may be founded by the Government, municipality, capital or royal capital. A private institution may be founded by a national or foreign legal entity or natural person, in accordance with the General Law on Education.
Upper secondary education can be acquired at:
- secondary vocational school
- combined secondary school
- educational centre
- art school
In Montenegro, secondary education is carried out in 53 schools. Public institutions make 49 of them, one is public-private and three are private (2 of which are international).
Education of children with special educational needs is carried out by schools providing secondary education and resource centres, in accordance with the Law on Education of Children with Special Educational Needs.
Educational work at upper secondary education institutions is carried out by teachers of individual subjects, professional associates and other educators, whose level of education and educational profile is prescribed by the Law on Gymnasium, Law on Vocational Education and the relevant curriculum.
Quality assurance and improvement of educational work is conducted by institutions (self-evaluation) every year for certain areas, and every two years altogether. Quality assurance and improvement of educational work of institutions is conducted by Centre for Vocational Education and Bureau for Education Services (evaluation), at least every four years. The methodology for quality assurance and improvement of educational work at an institution (self-evaluation and evaluation) is prescribed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports following the proposal of Bureau for Education Services and the Centre.
Upper secondary education is not compulsory. Education at public institutions is free of charge.