Country information for Serbia - Financing of inclusive education systems

The Serbian education system includes pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher education. Primary education is compulsory and lasts eight years. It enrols learners aged between 6.5 years and 7.5 years for the first grade. A nine-month pre-school preparatory programme is also part of compulsory education. It enrols children from 5.5 years to 6.5 years. Both primary and secondary education are free. In addition, pre-primary education is free for children in hospitals, without parental care or with disabilities. Access to higher education is available for all citizens (Eurydice, 2017).

From 2007 to 2014, government expenditure on education decreased from 4.5% to 4.18% of gross domestic product (GDP) (UNESCO, 2017). In 2014, it followed the average trend of most European Union Member States which reported rates between 3.5% and 6.0% (Eurostat, 2017).

In 2017, a new project on Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), approved by the World Bank Board of Directors (World Bank, 2017), brought in EUR 47 million to create about 17,000 pre-primary education spaces for children. It supports an increase in pre-primary facilities, training for improved professional capacity of pre-primary teachers and more learner-centred curriculum and teaching approaches. Measures to enhance access among vulnerable groups through a targeted grant scheme for participating municipalities are also planned (Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, 2018).


Last updated 13/04/2018

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