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Education in Montenegro

Published on: Apr 28, 2021 1:05 PM
Table of Contents:
Education in MontenegroEducation providersEducation financingEquality in the Exercise of the right to EducationLanguage of InstructionCurriculumEducational LevelsEducation at theTtime of the Covid-19 Virus EpidemicSupport for Pupils, Students and TeachersRecognition of foreign educational documents

Education in Montenegro

Education is the cornerstone of a strong society. In order to build a society based on knowledge, the Government of Montenegro has placed education in the focus of its work, striving for a clear goal - ensuring accessibility, quality of education and appropriate educational infrastructure.

The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports is in charge of the overall education policy.

Education providers

Education and upbringing services are provided in preschool institutions, schools, educational centres, resource centres, by adult education providers, at universitities, faculties, art academies and higher vocational schools. Educational institutions can be public or private.

Education financing

Public financing of pre-university is obtained from the central level, while local governments contribute as well to a certain extent. When it comes to the financing of public institutions of higher education, the Government determines the amount of funds for the financing of these institutions, and their students, for each year.

Equality in the Exercise of the right to Education

Montenegrin citizens are equal in exercising their right to education, regardless of nationality, race, gender, language, religion, social origin or other personal features. Foreign citizens who have either temporary or permanent residence in Montenegro are equal to Montenegrin citizens in exercising the right to education. As regards higher education, a foreigner is entitled to enroll in a study program in Montenegro under the same conditions as Montenegrin citizens, in accordance with the Law on Higher Education and the Statute of the institution.

Language of Instruction

Language of instruction in educational institutions is the official, Montenegrin language. Classes are also held in other languages in official use: Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian.


Education and upbringing are provided on the grounds of educational programs adopted by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports at the proposal of the National Council for Education. In higher education, the accreditation of study programs is carried out by the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education, upon the proposal of a higher education institution.

Educational Levels

The education system of Montenegro consists of pre-school, primary, general secondary, vocational secondary, upper secondary and higher education. Adult education is part of the education system and is implemented at all levels of education.

Preschool education is part of a unique educational system, which involves the upbringing and education of children, taking care of children and providing assistance to parents in improving the quality of life of families and children. Preschool education in Montenegro is delivered in preschool institutions (public and private). Children up to the age of three attend nursery, while children between the ages of three and six attend kindergartens. They are classified into age-defined educational groups.

Primary education is compulsory and free for all children aged five to fifteen. Primary  education lasts nine years.

General Secondary education is delivered in grammar schools and mixed secondary schools. This education is not compulsory. Pupils who completed primary education and who are younger than 17 years can enroll in grammar schools, where education lasts four years.

Vocational Secondary education is not compulsory. It is delivered in vocational secondary schools and mixed secondary schools and can last two years, three years and four years. Vocational secondary education is also provided in secondary art schools.

Upper secondary education is provided as upper secondary non-tertiary education.  It can last one year or two years.

Higher education is acquired at the University of Montenegro, which is a public university, at a state independent faculty, as well as at private universities and faculties. Since the academic year 2017/2018 all first-year students enrolled in public institutions have been exempt from paying tuition fees. Students enrolled in the first year of master studies at public institutions in academic year 2020/2021  are exempt from paying tuition fees, as well.

The upbringing and education of children with special educational needs is part of a unified educational system and an activity of public interest. It is mandatory from the moment the child's special educational needs are identified. It should provide a level of education suitable for child's physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. The goals of upbringing and education of children with special educational needs are: providing equal opportunities, both adequate conditions and adequate educational technology, timely guidance and involvement, individual and continuous approach, continuity of education programs.

Art education is delivered by schools for primary music education and schools for primary and secondary art education. This type of education is voluntary. Children from the age of six can attend classes in these schools upon taking the entrance exam, in which they need to meet the basic prerequisites - to show talent for a certain musical instrument, ballet or singing. There are no tuition fees in public elementary music schools.

Education at theTtime of the Covid-19 Virus Epidemic

During a coronavirus epidemic, the education system functions in accordance with the epidemiological situation and valid measures adopted by the health authorities, with the aim of providing maximum knowledge in the given conditions and preserving the health of children and educators.

Classes have been conducted partly in school, partly online, depending on the current epidemiological situation, measures and the capacities of schools.

The Ministry has prepared and implemented the project „UčiDoma” within which classes are recorded and broadcast via TV channels TVCG 2 and MNE SPORT, according to the program scheme which is published on a specially designed website as well as on the portal for teachers www.skolskiportal For students who attend classes in Albanian, classes are broadcast on TV Teuta and TV Boin.

The content that is broadcast on TV channels is also published on the YouTube channel Uči Doma  and on the portal sorted by levels of education, subjects and classes.

Classes have been broadcast continuously since the beginning of the epidemic, and will continue to be broadcast up to the end of school year 2020/2021.

In the first semester of the school year 2020/2021, classes were conducted according to the following model: pupils of I, II, III, IV, V and VI grade of primary school and pupils of I grade of secondary school (grammar schools and vocational schools) attended classes in schools, while pupils of VII, VIII and IX grade of primary school, as well as pupils of II, III and IV grade of secondary school (grammar schools and vocational schools) followed classes online.

In the second semester of the 2020/2021 school year, schools were given the opportunity to choose between two models, depending on their spatial capacities. The first model implies that all children go to school, with the necessity to respect epidemiological measures. The second model implies that pupils of the first, second and third grade of primary school have to attend classes at school, while pupils of other grades  go to school alternately. When it comes to the implementation of the second model in secondary schools, the recommendation for fourth-graders is to go to school without exception, while pupils from other grades take turns in school. Practical teaching is obligatory, both at school and with the employer. Classes for general education subjects are held alternately - in schools and online.

Support for Pupils, Students and Teachers

The state provides various types of support to pupils and students, in the form of scholarships and loans. Talented pupils, the best students, pupils studying for a deficient qualification, as well as pupils and students of the Roma and Egyptian populations are awarded scholarships. Additional support is provided by international partners , through cooperation and mobility programs.

In addition to granting loans and scholarships, the state provides support to pupils and students who are users of student dormitories in Montenegro by providing them with accommodation and food, as well as by participating in transportation costs in urban and interurban traffic, covering the area of pupil and student standard.

Moreover, the State has established a Reward Fund, through which awards are given at the end of the year, for the results achieved in the previous school year.

Each year, the Ministry announces a competition for the State Award "Oktoih", which is granted to a citizen of Montenegro or a legal entity based in Montenegro, for outstanding results accomplished in the field of education, as well as in the field of pupil and student standard. A total of three prizes per year can be awarded.

It has been planned to provide free textbooks for all primary school pupils, starting from the school year 2021/2022.

Recognition of foreign educational documents

The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports recognises a foreign educational document on the acquired, that is to say - commenced or part of primary, secondary general or vocational education. Recognition of foreign higher education documents for employment purposes is carried out by the Ministry, through the National Information Center (ENIC), as a special organisational unit of the Ministry.

The procedure of recognition of a foreign educational document is initiated at the request of the holder of the document – a parent, a guardian or a person authorised by them. The process of recognition of a foreign educational document for employment purposes includes the assessment concerning: the recognition of the institution that issued the diploma - specifically whether it was accredited by the competent authority in the country where the educational document was obtained; the duration and the degree of education; the field and the level of education; the information about the study program; the credibility of the educational document and other circumstances relevant to the recognition of the document for employment purposes.

Educational documents issued in the republics of the former SFRY are not subject to the procedure of recognition of documents in accordance with the provisions of this Law if they were acquired up to the day of the international recognition of those republics.

The law also stipulates that educational documents acquired in the Republic of Serbia until January 25, 2008 are not subject to the procedure of recognition of documents.

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