Schooling is compulsory for children aged 6 to 15 years. Most children complete primary school, which is free of charge. A large majority also go on to high school. The education sector suffers from lack of money as well as suitable facilities and the quality of teaching is low.
The proportion of children completing schooling has increased over a number of years. Not least, the proportion of girls attending high school has increased, from just over half shortly after the turn of the millennium to 85 percent in 2015. A few more boys go to upper secondary school, which is subject to fees and consists of three to four years of university preparatory studies or vocational education.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Kosovo, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
More than 80 percent of children go to preschool at least a year before starting school. The goal is to introduce public pre-school and to extend the compulsory schooling to 12 years.
In 1990, all Albanian-language teaching had been banned in Kosovo, which was then a Serbian province, and the teaching was conducted only in Serbian. Teachers were dismissed if they refused to follow the Serbian curriculum or teach in the Serbian language. The Albanians then established a parallel, underground school system, which operated until the war of 1999, with tuition in Albanian and often in private housing.
Many schools were destroyed during the war, but most have been rebuilt or repaired. Still, school buildings are missing and many children are forced to attend school in shifts. Although the government emphasizes the importance of education, less than five percent of GDP goes to this sector, which suffers from a lack of resources. The quality of teaching is generally low and not adapted to the current demands of the labor market. Albanian children are taught in Albanian, Serbs usually follow the Serbian school system. This means that history education, among other things, is lacking when it comes to objectivity.
Among younger people, literacy is more than 95 per cent, but among older people, women and in the countryside the figure is lower.
There are two public universities – in Prishtina and in Prizren. In the city of Mitrovica, where there are many Serbs, there is a university that follows the Serbian curriculum. In recent years, several private universities have also been founded, many affiliated with foreign educational institutions, several however of questionable quality.
- Topmbadirectory: Offers information about politics, geography, and known people in Kosovo.
Haradinaj is acquitted in The Hague
Former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj is re-acquitted by the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. The judge notes that Serbian prisoners were abused at the UÇK guerrilla’s premises in Kosovo and that at least one prisoner died from their injuries during the time that Haradinaj was a guerrilla leader, but it is not possible to prove that he or his co-defendants participated in the abuse or participated in plan such activities.
Direct contact with the Government of Serbia
Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi and his Serbian colleague Ivica Dačić meet in Brussels for the first direct political contacts between the respective governments since Kosovo declared independence. The negotiations trigger unrest in Kosovo’s capital Prishtina and 20 people are injured when police try to resolve a demonstration. The protest has been organized by the Vetëvendosje party which opposes all talks with Serbia.
Steering group leaves Kosovo
The International Steering Group (ISG) completes its mission as supervisor in Kosovo. However, the NATO-led Kfor force of about 6,000 men remains, and Parliament decides that the EU law enforcement authority EULEX will remain until 2014.
Controversial media law controversy
Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuçi resigns in protest of a new law that makes it criminal for journalists not to disclose their sources. The law also provides for punishment for slander. The president vetoes the law, but Parliament is re-voting it. When the controversial points of the law are removed in a third vote, Kuçi returns to his post.
Kosovo Representation Agreement
With the help of the EU, Kosovo and Serbia will agree on how Kosovo should be represented in regional forums. The settlement is interpreted differently by different parties, but is seen as a success of the United States, Germany with several countries that have been sponsoring Kosovo’s independence.
Voting among the Serbs
The Serbs in northern Kosovo carry out a referendum on whether or not to accept Kosovo’s authorities. Nearly 100 percent of those who vote cast it, saying no to the proposal. The government in Prishtina rejects the vote as illegal and invalid.
Stone throwing against the President of Serbia
Albanians in the city of Dečani throw stones at Serbian President Boris Tadić’s car when he visits the Serbian minority in Kosovo in connection with the Orthodox Christmas celebration.