• 2022-01-24

CDF Announcement: International Day of Education

To commemorate International Day of Education, the CDF points to the importance of providing inclusive and fair quality education for all, as an important precondition for achieving sustainable development, gender equality and poverty eradication, in accordance with the United Nations SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

It is vital to secure support for those belonging to vulnerable groups so that they too have access to quality education at all levels. The least number of children receiving a preschool education come from families with a lower socio-economic status: the poor, those with lower levels of education, from rural communities and the Roma national minority. It is precisely them who need the encouragement of early development the most.

Data provided by the UNICEF Survey on Multiple Indicators, shows, inter alia, that in Serbia the coverage of children aged three to five with preschool education is worrisome - 10.5% of children from the poorest areas and 5% of children from Roma settlements.

The percentage of primary school enrolment for children from Roma settlements stood at 69.1% (general population 97%); the net primary school attendance rate for Roma children stands at 84.9% (general population 98.5%); and the primary school completion rate for Roma children is 64% (general population 97.1%). Further, data indicates that in rural areas, the dropout rate among primary school children increases significantly at the start of fifth grade, most often due to travel distances and the lack of accessible public transportation to school.

Children from socio-economically disadvantaged categories attend secondary school in much lower percentages compared to peers from families with better socio-economic status: 79% of children whose mothers do not have a primary education or have a primary level education only (compared to 97% of children whose mothers have higher education); 79% of students from the poorest of households (compared to 98% of children from the richest); 22% of children from Roma settlements.

The Center for Democracy Foundation presses for additional efforts to be made by all relevant actors in society to ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education for all and to build sustainable future and development. The 2030 UN Agenda proclaims free preschool, primary and secondary education as well as more accessible university level education. It further insists on raising the level of inclusion, in particular of the most vulnerable groups, in the education system and access to lifelong learning. 

Center for Democracy Foundation