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Process of decentralization in Republic of North Macedonia is still ongoing and it remains one of the main priorities of Macedonian government. The governance in the education sector is divided among the Parliament and the Government through the Ministry of Education and Science and the Local Self Government through the municipalities.
The management of the primary and secondary schools is under responsibility of the municipalities, except for the secondary schools in the capital Skopje which are under responsibility of City of Skopje. There is also one more exception when the Government is establishing primary school for the realization of a curriculum and basic education programs for certain students for whom the state has a special interest (schools for students with special educational needs).
The State provides financial resources for the education in the municipalities in a form of Block Grants. According to Art. 153 of the Law on Primary Education (Закон за основното образование), i.e. Art. 101-a of the Law on Secondary Education (Закон за средното образование), the Municipality can supplement the received block grant, i.e. a dedicated grant for education with own resources, except for the salaries of the employees in the schools
The most common mechanisms for cross sector cooperation in the education are Working groups for development, implementation and evaluation of the strategies and programs. Also, the Ministries, Departments and Agencies cooperate on joint projects by establishing mixed project teams.
Independent Syndicate for Education, Science and Culture (Независен синдикат за образование, наукаи култура) is an autonomous, democratic, independent organization of workers where they participate on voluntarily basis for advocating, implementing, protection and promotion of their economic, social, legal, professional, educational, cultural and other individual and collective interests. According to Art. 7 of the Statute of the Independent Syndicate for Education, Science and Culture of the Republic of Macedonia (Статут на Самостојниот синдикат за образование, наука и култура на Република Македонија), the aim of which this union exists is: raising the socio-economic status of the members; protection of their working rights; social dialogue in accordance with international standards; collective negotiating and contracting branch and employer collective contracts; participation in creating the educational, scientific and cultural policy in the process of promulgation of laws; continued improvement of work conditions; higher rights for social, health, pension and invalid insurance, higher rights of daily, weekly and annual leave; more efficient preventive health protection; realization of international syndical cooperation.
CSO sector – There is quite a big number of CSO’s in North Macedonia that are specialized in youth and education, either as an exclusive area of their expertise or as one of the areas that they cover with their activities. The youth CSO sector includes: youth organizations, organizations of different fields with youth target group, youth lead organizations, student associations and student unions and cultural and artistic youth associations.
Main public actors and their responsibilities
Ministry of Education and Science (Министерство за образование и наука) is the main governmental authority responsible for education and training, mandated with the realization of education. It is responsible for structuring and financing of education, founding of public institutions, preparation of the legislation governing education and science, implementation of laws, bylaws and other regulations, adoption of syllabi and curricula, approval of textbooks, development of science and research, enrolment policies, and control over the work of education institutions and quality of education. Ministry of Education and Science also performs the activities related to verification of professions and profiles in education, student standards; technological development, informatics and technical culture; the information system; international scientific and technical cooperation; the supervision of his competence and perform other activities determined by law.
Bureau for Education Development (Биро за развој на образованието) is integral part of the Ministry of Education and Science as a legal entity and conducts expert work of importance for the development and promotion of education in the Republic of North Macedonia. The Bureau is responsible for monitoring, research, promotion and development of education in the area of pre-school, primary, secondary education, art education, general education subjects in vocational education, specialized education and education of adults, education of children with special education needs, education activities in the dormitories and education of children of the citizens of Republic of North Macedonia living abroad learning their mother tongue and culture.
Municipalities – With the adoption of the Law on Local Self-Government, Art.22, (Закон за локална самоуправа) the municipalities gained authority for founding pre-school institutions, primary and secondary schools, their funding and administration (in collaboration with the central authorities) and also for the organization of transportation, nutrition and accommodation of students in student dormitories.
Adult Education Center (Центар за образование на возрасни) is a public institution for adult education in the Republic of North Macedonia, as a separate legal entity established by the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia. Main task of the Center is harmonization and integration of public interests and the interests of social partners in adult education in North Macedonia. It also coordinates the cooperation with international institutions and organizations in the field of adult education. In addition, the role of the center is to provide a quality education system for adults in accordance with European standards and practices through the establishment of standards and criteria that will provide formal and informal adult education and creating high quality and competitive workforce in the labor market with support of social partnership.
Centre for Vocational Education and Training (VET Center) (Центар за стручно образование и обука) is established as a public institution that should harmonize and integrate public interests and the interests of the social partners in the vocational education and training and to coordinate the cooperation with the international institutions and organizations in the area of vocational education and training. The VET Center conducts expert work in the area of monitoring, evaluation, examination, promotion, exploration and development of the vocal education and training.
State Examinations Centre is an independent institution whose responsibilities are determined by the Law on State Examination Centre (Закон за Државниот испитен центар): to support the process of external examination of the achievements of students and teachers in primary and secondary education; to prepare a national program for external evaluation of primary and secondary education in accordance with the European standards; to collect, process and analyze the results of the testing for verifying the achievements of students in primary and secondary education; to prepare rank-order of teachers from primary and secondary schools in accordance with the results of the external examination, self-evaluation and integral evaluation; to prepare rank-order of professional associates from primary and secondary schools in accordance with the results from the professional records, to develop and sustain the information system for evaluating the achievements of students in primary and secondary education; to participate in the preparations of the concept for graduation and final exams in secondary education; to prepare texts for external examination; to conduct training for the members of state subject graduation commissions and school commissions for external evaluation of the achievements of students in primary and secondary education; to secure protection of secrecy of preparation, printing, distribution and storing of the examination materials; to conduct training for the candidates for principals of primary and secondary schools and to conduct the exam and issue certificates for the candidates with passed exam.
The National Agency for European Educational Programs and Mobility (Национална агенција за европски образовни програми и мобилност) is a public institution with an aim to promote and implement the European educational programs in Republic of North Macedonia. By implementing the programs, the agency contributes to development of knowledge-based society, with sustainable economic development, more and better jobs and bigger social cohesion, at the same time providing environmental protection and especially exchange, collaboration and mobility into the areas of education and training. Program beneficiaries are: learners, students, teachers, professors, educators and other personnel engaged in any stage of educational process, enterprises and other legal bodies including commercial entities, chambers of commerce and other associations of legal bodies in the field of industry, research centers and bodies, as well as citizen associations and foundations.
State Education Inspectorate (Државен просветен инспекторат) is a legal entity, with its own budget account as a first-line budget user, independently implements recruitment procedures in accordance with the law and decides on the rights and obligations arising from employment. The carrying out of educational inspection shall include monitoring the quality of the educational process and the effectiveness through evaluation of the work of the educational institutions in primary and secondary education and supervision over the application of laws, other regulations and general acts in the field of education and upbringing. Educational inspection is carried out in: primary schools, secondary schools, kindergartens, adult education institutions, educational institutions and training of students with special educational needs. In higher education and scientific institutions, inspection supervision is carried out over the application of the laws regulating higher education and scientific activity.
Directorate for Development and Promotion of Education in Languages of Members of Communities – The Administration operates as part of the Ministry for Education and Science. There are two departments in the Administration:
- Department for Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, Roma, Vlach and Bosnian language and
- Department for peace and children’s rights of all communities