Most children in Albania attend preschool. The compulsory schooling begins at the age of six and lasts for nine years. Then follows a voluntary three-year high school with both vocational and theoretical programs.
The tuition is formally free of charge, but sometimes parents are forced to pay for books and other equipment. This means that some children, especially in rural areas, do not complete primary school. Around nine out of ten children attend elementary school, and a clear majority go on to high school. Both compulsory school and upper secondary school are completed with degree projects that must be approved in order for the student to continue to the next level.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Albania, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
The Greek and Macedonian minorities have their own schools with teaching in their own language. However, this does not apply to the Roma. Many Roma children do not attend school at all, and the illiteracy within the group is very high. Almost everyone can read and write among the population at large.
Of the many universities and colleges in the country, around two-thirds are private. Tirana University is the largest and most reputable. Nearly one in six young people study at the university level and among them a clear majority are women. For college studies, students may pay fees that depend on family income. The standard of higher education is considered low and many therefore choose to study abroad.
The proportion of Albanians with a college degree is low. Many highly educated have chosen to leave the country for more attractive employment abroad. During the period 1990-2005, more than half of the country’s university teachers and researchers emigrated.
According to the World Bank, the relatively low level of education poses an obstacle to Albania’s economic development, as the companies find it difficult to find competent staff.
During the 1990s, education underwent a reform away from the Marxist-Leninist principles that previously characterized it. The entire school system suffered chaos during the economic and political crisis of 1991-1992. Almost a third of all schools were vandalized and thousands of teachers fled abroad. Many schools have since been renovated with the help of foreign aid. Despite this, there is still a shortage of school premises, materials and teachers, especially in rural areas.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Albania in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
96.5 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
97.2 percent (2012)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
7.5 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
7.5 percent (2017)
New refusal from the EU
Albania is again denied its request for a position as a candidate country for the EU. The Union Council of Ministers calls for clearer progress in the fight against corruption and organized crime, and for the country to make general choices of international standards.
Albania celebrates its 100th anniversary
Albania celebrates its 100th anniversary as an independent nation with festivities in Tirana, among others. The Greek Foreign Minister refuses to attend, citing Berisha in a speech that the Declaration of Independence in 1912 covers all Albanians, even in Greek territories. The Albanian government regrets that the speech did not express any territorial requirements.
Kung Zog’s dust is buried in Albania
The remains of King Zog were buried in a newly built family mausoleum in Tirana at a solemn ceremony in the presence of, among others, President Nishani. Zog left the country during the Italian invasion of 1939 and died in France in 1961. Parliament approved in October 2012 that the dust should be returned to Albania.
The criminal immunity of politicians is limited
Parliament is voting to limit the ability of suspected MPs and other high-ranking officials to avoid prosecution and trial;
The new garbage can is sharpened
Following harsh criticism of a law on waste management, the government decides to shorten the list of garbage that may be imported into the country, from 56 different types of garbage to 25. Thus, the government considers that it has guaranteed that no environmentally hazardous waste will enter the country.
Minister is elected new president
Interior Minister Bujar Nishani is elected president after negotiations between the government and the opposition over a joint, partyless candidate collapse. According to an opinion poll, a large majority of Albanians believe that the president should stand over party politics.
A new party for the middle class is formed
Defenders from PD form a new party, New Democratic Spirit (FRD), which says it will represent the emerging middle class who do not feel at home in any of the established parties.