With a new legislative framework making pre-primary education compulsive in Kosovo starting with 2015, KOMF (the Coalitions of NGOs for Child Protection) assesses what the real options are with regard to the inclusion of all children in preschool and the implementation of this legal provision in line with institutional capacities. Find bellow the full position paper issued by KOMF.
Education is one of the fundamental child rights guaranteed by the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 28) – right adopted by the Republic of Kosovo in its Constitution and further amended through various laws and regulations. The education system in Kosovo is organised according to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED UNESCO), with 5 pre-university education levels. The pre-school education (classified as level 0) is targeting children aged form 0 to 6 years – within this level, the education of children aged between 5 and 6 is called pre-primary education and is subject of additional regulations. Currently, the Law on Pre University Education in the Republic of Kosovo (no. 02 / l – 52) has made pre-primary education compulsory starting with 2015.
Under this new legislation, pre-primary education will be undertaken in the following ways: (1) within the school, in a preschool class where pupils can stay 2-3 hours a day at – given that it’s within a public institution, this education would be free of charge; (2) within kindergartens and day care centres for which parents are expected to pay a certain amount of the educational costs; (3) in private institutions; (4) within the Community Based Centres funded by the community, by various donors or by the municipalities. Numbers show that in Kosovo, during the 2013/14 academic year 21,383 children were included in public pre-primary education, of whom 1,480 children in kindergarten and 19,903 children benefitted of preschool classes. Furthermore, gross enrolment rate in preschool education in 2011/12 was74%, in 2010/11 was 71.2%, whereas in 2009/10 was 69.6%. Nonetheless, this new piece of legislation should enable all children to attend pre-primary education without creating disparities among them. This would involve a detailed analysis of the overall needed costs, according to the needs of each municipality (capital investment, wages, goods and services).
In the context of this new compulsory pre-primary education legal framework, so that all the children in Kosovo rejoice of their fundamental right to education and inclusion in preschool structures, KOMF makes the following recommendations:
- The Minister of MEST should conduct an overall analysis on the situation of pre-primary education, the latest by the first half of 2015 envisaging detailing: the exact number & location of children who are not enrolled in pre-primary education; measures to include these children in preschools; an accurate financial analysis of the cost of inclusion of these children and of the allocation of funds proportionately with the number of children per Municipalities.
- All legal frameworks in the field of pre-primary education should be supported financially, involving sufficient human resources for an overall effective implementation.
- Municipalities should be supported in exercising their responsibilities that fall in line with the current education legislation, so that the pre-primary education gets to be apriority of local policies in education.
- METS and the municipalities should create infrastructural conditions there were none is available in order to create the opportunity for inclusion of all children in the pre-primary education
- Where there is no sufficient infrastructure to open preschool classes, alternative forms of the pre-primary education should be organized by the MEST and by the municipalities. Public-private partnership should be stimulated in this context.
- Quality monitoring and inspections should be provided by the MEST and the municipalities throughout the pre – university education system.
- Parents should be better informed about the importance of pre-primary education for children’s development since the positive attitude of parents to pre-primary education is a key factor for the inclusion of all children in pre-primary classes.