Bosnia and Herzegovina continues its commitment to implement agreed education reforms with the support of the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE), as reiterated during the first Advisory Board meeting of the new phase of the “Quality education for all” action, held in Sarajevo on 11 May 2023.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of beneficiary institutions including the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska, the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, Cantonal Ministries of Education, the Department for Education of Brčko District and the Institution of Human Rights Ombudsman as observer, as well as by the European Union Delegation and Council of Europe representatives.
The meeting was opened by Bojana Urumova, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo, Adnan Husić, Assistant Minister from the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH and Fermin Cordoba, Political Advisor and Team Co-ordinator from of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH and chaired by Sarah Keating, Head of the Division for Formal and Non-formal Education from the Council of Europe.
Referring to the tragic shooting in a Belgrade school, Urumova stressed the importance of cultivating a safe environment for children and teachers: “We will continue our efforts in supporting the development of competences for democratic culture in school communities as spaces where every child should feel safe and accepted and be supported to develop themselves.”
The action is implemented during a four-year period with the aim to further improve the quality of education in Bosnia and Herzegovina by fostering a culture of democracy and inclusion and combatting all forms of discrimination in the education system. It builds upon the results achieved during the previous phases of the programme and will continue to support the effective implementation of the Policy recommendations with a Roadmap for improving inclusive education adopted by the BiH Council of Ministers in September 2020.
“There is a need to change the existing narrative where education is not considered a cost but understood as a public good and an important investment in the future of our societies”, stated Keating adding that the action on quality education in BiH is strongly connected to the broader work of the Council of Europe in the education sector including a new CoE Education Strategy and the upcoming Standing Conference of Education Ministers in September.
This action is part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”.