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Teaching and learning in single-structure education

Republic of North Macedonia

5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

5.2Teaching and learning in single-structure education

Last update: 27 November 2023



1 Curriculum, Subjects, Number of Hours

The Minister, upon proposal by the Bureau for Development of Education define the Concept of Primary education and training, on the basis of which the national plan and programs are adopted. The Minister, on a proposal from the Bureau, prescribes the national standards for students in primary education, based on the competences that students need to acquire and adopt at the end of primary education. National Standards for primary school students determine the first level of the National Framework of qualifications.

In accordance with the Law on Primary Education the teaching plan and individual subject programmes are prepared by the Bureau for Educational Development and approved by the Minister of Education and Science. The teaching plan specifies compulsory and elective subjects, the number of each subject classes per year and week by grade, as well as additional and extra classes. The teaching programme for each subject sets goals and objectives, contents, basic concepts, activities and methods as well as pupils’ assessment based on expected outcomes. They also contain didactic recommendations for teachers, as well as norms for teachers who teaches the subject.

Compulsory subjects are: Macedonian language, Albanian, Turkish, Serbian and Bosnian language for children from these ethnic communities, mathematics, English language, art, music, science, society, physical education, work with computers in 3rd till 5th grade, informatics in 6th and 7th grade, geography, history and second foreign language starting from 6th grade, ethics in 7th grade, biology starting in 7th grade, chemistry and physics starting in 8th grade.

Total compulsory subjects for students are 8 in first and second grade, up to 14 (15[1]) till ninth grade.

Elective subjects are introduced in the 3rd grade as: Language and Culture of Roma, Language and Culture of Serbs, Language and Culture of Vlachs, Language and Culture of Bosnians, Language and Culture of Turks, and if these are elected should be continuously attended by the 9th grade as a second elective subjects. Other elective subjects are introduced in 4th grade and 5th grade: creativity, than Ethics of religions, or History of religions, or Classical Culture in European Civilization in 6th grade, than other elective subjects from 7th till 9th grade. Students are obliged to choose one elective subject minimum from 3th to 9th grade.

In addition, starting form second grade, students attend compulsory classes of school community in which they learn about the personal and socio-emotional development according to a program set by the Minister, at Bureau’s proposal. Starting from second grade extra classes are organized for students who need extra support for specific subjects to achieve the expected results, that is, at the request of a student, his or her parent, or guardian or at the discretion of teacher. Additional classes are organized for students who achieve significant results by individual subjects as well.


2 Teaching Methods and Materials

In line with the aims and contents stipulated by the specific subject curriculum, teachers are autonomous regarding planning and implementing teaching methodology and adapting the curriculum to the particular circumstances. Specific subject programmes issued by the Bureau for Development of Education include didactic recommendation that encourage teachers to implement teaching methodology that promote active learning, critical thinking and use of new technologies in class. The subject programmes also include suggestions for classroom set-up, assessment of students, as well as norms and qualifications needed for the teacher for the respective subject.

The textbooks are developed according to the curriculum for the respective grade and subject and according to the Concept for textbooks which the Bureau proposed and is approved by the Minister of education as stipulated in the Law on textbooks for primary and secondary education. The concept for textbooks defines the scientific and expert methodological foundations of the textbook, the developmental educational functions, the basics of motivation and self-learning, didactical and methodical standards for selection and systematization of content, additional texts, visual attachments, and language suitability according to students’ age and respecting the language and culture.

Only one textbook is approved for use in one teaching subject. For teaching subjects for which adapted textbooks from abroad are approved, one textbook with associated didactic and working textbooks can be used if the Ministry of Education and Science procures it for usage in accordance with the law. Textbooks for students in public primary schools are free with an obligation to students to return it to school at the end of the school year.

Children's literature and magazines can be used in primary schools upon proposal of a commission established by the Minister and issued consent for the use of professional literature, i.e. children's magazines in primary schools.


[1] Children who follow teaching in Albanian, Turkish, Serbian or Bosnian language have one additional subject: Macedonian language