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publication October 28, 2019

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Review of Efficiency of Services in Pre-University Education

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  • Phase I
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The Review of Efficiency of Services in Pre-University Education - Phase I summarizes the findings of a stocktaking exercise about the state of the pre-university education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a focus on efficiency, access, and quality. Increasing the quality and efficiency of public education is vital for boosting BiH’s human capital and economic development.

The most valuable resource Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has is its people; this is its real wealth and the main engine for prosperity that any country can have. But in order for the country to reach its potential, people there need to have the skills and education required by the labor market.

It is unfortunate that deficiencies in education undermine the future of the population - and of the country as a whole. It is particularly unfortunate, given that the Governments spend a significant proportion of their budgets on education. Unfortunately this does not translate into high-quality services for its population. This report aims to help focus the attention of the new governments on priorities for the country going forward.

Investing in people helps develop human capital. The skills, knowledge, and capabilities of the population formed through the education system are the key drivers of economic growth. However, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, human capital contributes less to national wealth than in neighboring countries or across the Europe and Central Asia region as a whole.

Quality of learning—not quantity of schooling—is key to human capital development. The majority of children worldwide are now in primary school. But learning is not guaranteed. This is also the case in BiH. In the context of a declining population and workforce, there is an even more urgent need to raise the quality of learning in BiH.

BiH has very low rates of participation in early childhood education. Access to early childhood education is only about 14% in BiH, compared to over 60% in Serbia and 95% in the EU, as an average. BiH’s gross enrollment rates in primary education (90%) and secondary education (77%) are fairly high. 

Staffing costs represent 90% of total spending, leaving little room for improving the quality of education. The number of education sector workers, rather than their salary level, is driving the high share of spending on staffing. This high spending means there are fewer resources for learning materials, teacher training, technology, and other learning inputs.

Read full report.

Also available in Bosnian.