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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Secondary education (or upper secondary education) and post-secondary non tertiary education

Republic of North Macedonia

6.Secondary education (or upper secondary education) and post-secondary non tertiary education

Last update: 27 November 2023




In the Republic of North Macedonia lower secondary education is integrated with primary education (ISCED 1 and 2) organized in a single structure. Upper secondary education (hereafter secondary education), as a separated organizational structure, links primary and lower secondary education with higher education in the single education system of the Republic of North Macedonia. Secondary education is compulsory and free of charge in the public secondary schools.

The basic law related to this level of education is the Law on Secondary Education (Official Journal of RM 44/1995, 24/1996, 34/1996, 35/1997, 82/1999, 29/2002, 40/2003, 42/2003, 67/2004, 55/2005, 113/2005, 35/2006, 30/2007, 49/2007, 81/2008, 92/2008, 33/2010, 116/2010, 156/2010, 18/2011, 42/2011, 51/2011, 6/2012, 100/2012, 24/2013, 41/2014, 116/2014, 135/2014, 10/2015, 98/2015, 145/2015, 30/2016, 127/2016, 67/2017 и 64/108). More precisely the Upper vocational education is regulated in the Law on Vocational Education and Training (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” No. 71/2006, 117/2008, 148/2009, 17/2011, 24/2013; 137/2013, 41/2014, 55/2016 and 64/2018) and post-secondary non-tertiary education is regulated in the Law for Adult Education (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia” 7/2008, 17/2011, 51/2011, 74/2012, 41/2014, 144/2014, 146/2015, 30/2016 and 64/18).

The secondary education realized teaching curricula for secondary general and vocational education. General secondary education lasts 4 years and vocational secondary education from 2 to 4 years.

According to the Law on Secondary Education, the secondary education is realizing through plans and programs for:

  • gymnasium education (general upper secondary education);
  • vocational education (vocational upper secondary education);
  • secondary art education (vocational upper secondary education); and
  • secondary education for students with special educational needs.

Key institutions involved at this level of education are: Ministry of Education and Science as an institution with the main role of planning, implementation and improvement of overall education policy, concerning all levels of education; Bureau for Development of Education as an administrative body within the Ministry of Education and Science with a status of a legal entity focused on the development and promotion of education; Vocational Education and Training Center carries out activities in the field of monitoring, evaluation, promotion, research and development of vocational education and training; State Examination Centre is institution in charge of preparation and conducting the final graduate examine at the end of four-year secondary education.

Post-secondary non-tertiary education and training is an education that finally prepares personnel for certain professional duties for certain segments of the labor process. After the completion of the post-secondary education students attain IV level of professional qualifications. Students with completed post-secondary education can continue their education to higher vocational education. Post-secondary non – tertiary education is realizing into the Centers for Adult Education where the vocational and vocational training programs for part time students are implementing.

During 2021 the Ministry of Education and Science is preparing new Law on Secondary Education.