9 April 2013 The participants of the public hearing

9 April 2013 The participants of the public hearing

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Public Hearing Held on Investing Into Early Childhood Education

Today, the National Assembly House hosted a public hearing on Investing into Early Childhood Education, organised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.


In her opening address, the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Ljiljana Lucic, stressed that the public hearing aims to draw attention to the importance and improvement of pre-school education. She deemed that early childhood education makes children more successful at school, has an impact on children’s health status and is especially significant for children from vulnerable categories. One of the goals of the Education Development Strategy is to include 70% of children aged 3 to 5.5 into pre-school education by 2015, added Lucic.

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic stated that Serbia has a very well-developed network of pre-school institutions whose goal and purpose have changed significantly from the concept of child-minding to that of children’s education and upbringing. Improving pre-school education, according to Obradovic, means increasing the scope of children included into the system, ensuring quality within the system, as well as the system’s relevance. The Minister also listed the biggest obstacles to the improvement of the pre-school education system such as lacking capacities and unequal regional distribution of pre-school institutions.

Judita Reichenberg, Director of the UNICEF Serbia Office, outlined the ample research which confirms that investing into early childhood development is one of the most profitable investments with a high rate of return, meaning that it has a very significant economic and social impact. Reichenberg stressed that the system should provide quality pre-school education and upbringing, accessible to children from all socio-economic groups in all geographical areas in the country. The UNICEF Office Director also drew attention to the considerable progress achieved by the provisions of the Education Development Strategy which envisage the expansion of the scope of children aged 4 to 5.5 included into the system via free half-day programmes.

Aleksandar Baucal of the Institute of Psychology presented the study on Investing into Early Childhood Education. Baucal stressed that supporting early learning and development is the basis of future education and development. In the course of the presentation he listed the main reasons for the low scope of children included into the pre-school education system such as lacking capacities, remoteness of pre-school institutions and parental opinions.

Zorica Trikic of the Centre for Interactive Pedagogy – CIP deemed that the main pre-requisite for the increase of the scope of children included into the pre-school education system is raising the parents’ awareness of the importance of early childhood education and the purpose of pre-school institutions.

In the debate, the MPs, representatives of non-governmental organisations and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development spoke of the pre-school education system, inclusion of children with developmental difficulties into the pre-school education system, funding at the local level, legislative framework and supervision of the implementation of the laws, then the health aspect of children’s attending per-school institutions and the need to improve communication between teachers and parents.

In the conclusion of the public hearing, the moderator and Committee member Milica Vojic Markovic stressed that pre-school education is the state’s strategic interest and duty, that the responsibility of local self-governments as regards funding pre-school education needs to be examined, and an additional analysis of demographic trends is necessary.

The public hearing was organised with the support of UNICEF, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)as part of the project Strengthening the Oversight Role and Transparency of the National Assembly, conducted in cooperation with the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.


Committees related to this activity



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monday, 6 december
  • 10.00 - public hearing on the Presentation of the Draft Trade Strategy of the Republic of Serbia by 2025 (National Assembly Building, 14 Kralja Milana Street, Grand Hall)

  • 12.00 - the National Assembly Speaker meets with the Egyptian Ambassador to Serbia (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, diplomatic salon of Prince Pavle Karadjordjevic)

  • 13.00 - continuation of the sitting of the Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy (National Assembly Building, 14 Kralja Milana Street, Grand Hall)

  • 14.00 - sitting of the Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 2)

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