Bosnia and Herzegovina Children and School

By | June 26, 2021

Differences in the country

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, teaching is characterized by great differences, depending on the region in which you are staying. This is due to the division of the country into the two parts of the “Bosnian-Croatian Federation” and the “Republika Srpska” (Serbian Republic). There is a further division into cantons within the Bosnian-Croatian part.

The two areas each develop their curricula independently. In the Bosnian-Croatian part, Croatian and Bosnian children are also taught separately. Sometimes classes take place in the same building, but in different rooms and at different times.

The school system

However, most schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina have adopted some of the characteristics of the former Yugoslav school system. For example, children up to three years of age can attend a day nursery and then go to kindergarten up to the age of six. Check topmbadirectory to see schooling information in other European countries.

The subsequent compulsory schooling applies until you are 15 years old. The first school stage lasts eight years, that is the elementary school. Then you can choose between several educational paths. There are vocational schools, high schools or subject-related technical schools. Depending on your degree, you can then study.

Separated from the start

By dividing the classes into ethnic groups, the children of the different ethnic groups are separated from one another at the beginning of their lives. This automatically leads to the fact that the children do not see themselves as a community, but as different and strange.

The children maintain this way of thinking and, even in adolescence and adulthood, usually remain of the opinion that they are different from other ethnic groups and should therefore live separately from one another. Unfortunately, this stands in the way of an unification of the country and at the same time prevents the people who live in Bosnia and Herzegovina from seeing themselves as members of a common state.


Fortunately, the number of children working in Bosnia and Herzegovina has fallen sharply in the years after the war. Nevertheless, it is estimated that around four in 100 children help their parents in the fields, go begging or sell themselves. Unfortunately, this is a result of the incomplete social policy in the country and the many people who cannot find work. There are many unemployed in the country. In addition, around 18 out of 100 people live in poverty, which is why the children try to support their families and earn some extra money with their work.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Children and School


Weak cohesion

In the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995 it was decided that the Republic of Srpska and the Bosniak-Croatian Federation should jointly form the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unfortunately, especially in the Serbian sub-area, many see themselves not as Bosnians but as Serbs, and are striving for an independent Serbian state. Nationalist politicians are becoming increasingly popular in the partial government of the republic.

Against the will of the central government of the whole country and against that of the EU, a separate holiday was even set on January 9th. On this day in 1992 the “Republic of the Serbian People” was proclaimed by Serbian nationalists. That was just before the start of the Bosnian War. There were also many war criminals among the founders, who murdered many people in the course of the fighting and who brutally attacked Bosniaks and Croats. So to a certain extent, the day stands for the separation of the ethnic groups in the country and for the beginning of the war, but a majority of all Serbs wanted it as a national holiday. This example unfortunately shows once more that there is great disagreement between the population groups in the country.

Political separation

Since the Dayton Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been formed by the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska. Even if the country has a kind of central government in which representatives of the ethnic groups take turns and govern together, there are also separate parliaments in the two sub-areas.

On the Serbian side, nationalist voices are repeatedly heard in politics, who want to make the Republic of Srpska its own independent state. In order to develop further politically and one day even to be able to join the EU, the country would have to think more as a common state, which is not yet sufficiently the case.

Symbols of cohesion

During the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the different ethnic groups Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats fought. They accused each other and emphasized the differences. One such difference was primarily religion. The Bosniaks are traditionally Muslim and the Croatians and Serbs are Christian, albeit with different denominations.

The country and cities were often divided into Muslim and Christian areas, for example in the city of Mostar there was a Muslim and a Christian district. This was connected by a bridge. In 1993 this bridge was destroyed in the war. Since it was rebuilt after the war, it has stood as a symbol of the reconciliation of the ethnic groups in the country.