The Ministry of Education has the overall responsibility for developing and implementing education policy in Serbia. According to the Law on Ministries, the Ministry of Education performs activities of the state administration relating to:
- research, planning and development of the preschool, primary, secondary and higher education as well as student standard;
- supplementary education for children of Serbian nationals abroad;
- administrative supervision in pre-school, primary, secondary and higher education and student standard;
- participation in the construction, equipping and maintenance of facilities for preschool, elementary, secondary and higher education and student standard of the interest for the Republic of Serbia;
- expert-pedagogic supervision in pre-school, primary and secondary education and student standard;
- organisation, evaluation of work and supervision of the training of employees in education;
- validation and equivalence of public documents obtained abroad; improvement of social care for gifted students;
- improvement of social care for students with special needs;
- creating the conditions for access to and implementation of projects within the competence of the Ministry funded by the EU IPA funds, donations and other forms of development assistance, as well as other duties specified by law.
The National Education Council and the Council for Vocational and Adult Education, appointed by the Parliament and by the Government, provide support to the promotion and development of education. These bodies are of national importance and they design, monitor and coordinate the development of education and training, as well as monitor and coordinate the interests and needs of all social partners.
The National Council for Higher Education is, according to the Law on Higher Education, responsible for ensuring the development and promotion of the quality of higher education.
The Institute for Education Quality and Evaluation is a body established by the government with the aim of evaluation of education and providing recommendations for the provision of the system of quality education. Key activities of the Institute are defining standards in education, evaluation of education and training participants in the education system.
The Institute for Improvement of Education is a body established by The Republic of Serbia with the aim of monitoring, ensuring and improving the quality and development of the educational system, for the purposes of performing development, advisory, research and other expert activities in the area of preschool, primary and secondary education.
The Commission for Accreditation and Quality Assurance oversees ensuring the quality of higher education. Its aim is to contribute to maintaining and improvement of the quality of higher education as well as the compliance of the education system with internationally recognised standards.
Educational system in Serbia includes:
According to the Law on Preschool Education, Early Childhood Education and Care is intended for children from 6 months old to the age of 7, when they start with Primary education. It consists of eight grades and is compulsory. After elementary education students attend secondary education either through general schools (four years) or vocational schools (2-4 years). Higher education system has two types of study: academic study realised at universities and vocational profession-oriented study realised at colleges of applied studies, and they can also be realised at universities.
The governing body in the school is the school board and the governing body in the preschool institution is the managing board. It is appointed at the local level and consists of representatives of employees, parents and local self-government.
The governing body has the following responsibilities:
- it adopts the statute, general acts, the education programme (preschool, school and pedagogic work) and planning documents including a financial plan and professional development plan;
- it reviews and adopts reports on their implementation, on business operations, on evaluation and self-evaluation, on field trips and retreats;
- announces competitions for the Headmaster elections;
- monitors the adherence to general principles of education, attainment of prescribed goals of education and standards of achievements;
- reviews and takes measures for improving the working conditions and implementation of the educational work;
- decides on appeals or complaints launched against a decision of the Headmaster.
The Headmaster of the school/preschool institution is responsible for the legality of work and successful operation of the institution. He or she is appointed by the Minister based on competition, following the receipt of opinions given by the pedagogical and educational council, teachers’ council or teachers’ and pedagogical council attended by all employees who vote for candidates by secret ballot. The Headmaster is responsible to the governing body and the Minister for his/her work.
Higher education institutions are governed by councils of higher education institutions and managing bodies elected by the councils. The executive officer of a university is the Rector; of a faculty the Dean; of a college and college of applied studies, the Headmaster.
The election of the Rector is performed in accordance with elaborate democratic procedures based on the statute of the university. Candidates for rectors, deans and headmasters of colleges are proposed by a professional body - the Senate, and elected by the council of the higher education institution.