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Quality issues in general in education and training Is quality an issue in education and training? At policy level?

? In the public debate? Vocational education and training is characterised by a stiff structure, mainly obsolete curricula, inadequate or insufficient equipment as well as non-existence of the concept with regards to adults education. Link with the labour market is also poor. A regular cooperation has not been provided with employment bureaus which also have to change their role and provide sufficient information on change of trends on the labour market by their active approach. It needs be said for your information that much effort in the post-war period was directed towards overcoming and resolving problems in the area of vocational education and training. International community had a leading role in this process being the coordinator and providing the major part of funds. A coherent system in BiH has not been developed and established as yet, that is, there is no Common Quality Assurance Framework in VET (CQAF). Efforts are present at the policy level aiming at quality assurance in education (established Framework Law on VET and Strategy for VET Systems Development, established Agency for VET within the joint Agency for PrePrimary, Primary and Secondary Education, devised proposal of the NQF document). There is a discussion in public debate on this issue and occasional variety of measures is undertaken for quality improvement. To which definition of quality does it refer?

The focus is at the Agencys role as the key actor in the process of coordination with stakeholders at different levels, establishing efficient partners network as well as possibility of assessment, measurement and revision and improvement of VET at system and provider levels. Are international indicators/surveys used in order to assess quality? What about PISA, TIMMS, PIRLS?

Yes, international indicators are used. The Agency was involved in an international study TIMMS 2007 and currently it is involved in preparations for PIRLS study. Has a national agency for quality in education been set up? With which mandates? And what actions have been already done and foreseen?

Agency for VET was established with tasks related to the quality in education. The Agency is in charge of setting knowledge standards, assessment of achieved results and development of joint curricula core in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, as well as for other specialist work in the area of knowledge standards and assessment of quality defined by special laws and other regulations.

Evaluation Are there any mechanisms for evaluation of VET policies? There are mechanisms defined by the Law on the Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education (VET Agency) and Framework Law on Secondary Vocational Education and Training in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but these mechanisms are not fully operative as yet. Is there a national agency for evaluation in VET? Or a department of a national agency for evaluation in education? How does it work?

There is an Agency for VET which operates within the joint Agency for PrePrimary, Primary and Secondary Education. The Agency for VET is in the phase of establishment initial development. Are any indicators used? Are there any performance indicators for the system?

At present there are no valid indicators at the country level and indicators from the entities/cantonal level are used. Within the Agency for VET, there is ongoing work on establishing VET information system which will be the source of required indicators in the future. What about examination of students?

Internal evaluation of students achievements across schools is in operation. External evaluation of students achievements was carried out by the Agency for Standards and Evaluation only in primary schools and common gymnasiums, through a few pilot projects between 2000 and 2008, but not in the VET schools. Is there any internal and external evaluation methodology such as licensing, evaluation and accreditation? Could you describe them?

A full methodology for accreditation, licensing and evaluation has not been developed as yet, but presumptions for establishing these components of the quality systems have been created through legislation. At the moment there is a methodology for licensing schools and teachers at the entity and cantonal levels. This is within the competence of the ministries at the entity and cantonal levels. What is the role of the inspection? Has it changed?

Inspection supervision over implementation of the Law, organization and operation of educational institutions is carried out by the services of educational inspection within the competent ministries of education. In Brko District the inspection is separated from the Department for Education and it is located within the Public Safety Department. Due to the lack of capacity and overlapping supervision functions the existing educational services for inspection mainly do administrative supervision. Therefore, the status and competencies of the inspection at this point in time are not compliant with the requirement for the 2

inspection to be a significant factor in quality management in education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it is the case in major number of countries across the European Union. In one BiH entity (Republic of Srpska) reform and change of the inspection operation system has been carried out. An Inspectorate was established as an independent institution which also includes an educational-pedagogic institution within itself. Are self-assessment procedures developed? At which level? Could you describe them?

There are no such procedures at the level of VET schools. Are the ISO standards, TQM or other models used? And to what extent?

They are used in a small number of schools which were involved as pilot schools in GTZ or EU VET projects. At present, there is a growing trend of implementing ISO standards in commercial establishments (small and medium enterprises). Who are the stakeholders involved in the evaluation process and what is their role? Is it clearly described?

At present, this is within the competence of the ministries of education, pedagogic institutes and inspection services at the level of entities/cantons. Leading role in creation and supervision over the educational policy belongs to these very ministries of education. Are there any methodologies (tracing studies for example to measure the employability of the graduates) to collect the data to measure success and identify areas of improvement, could you describe them?

There is no knowledge on the existence of determined methodologies or tracing studies at the country level. There are appropriate occasional attempts to relate data on requirements of the labour market and workforce offer or data on graduates and employed graduates, but they are limited by territorial unison (for example, only for the level of RS or a canton in the BiH Federation). Newly established Agency for VET operating within the Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education is trying to resolve this issue through the project of VET IS development at the level of BiH.