In Serbia 600 companies interested in joining the dual education system

Majo Micovic

Teaching at 84 secondary vocational schools in Serbia is realised through at least one of the total of 32 dual educational profiles, which means that currently 23% of schools are involved in a dual education system, whose full implementation starts from the school year 2019/2020. It was concluded at the conference “Dual education in Serbia 2018: current results and future challenges” organised by the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

In the current school year, 12 new profiles were introduced in accordance with the needs of the labour market, in the fields of information technology, mechanical engineering, construction, production and processing of food, hotel and tourism and other areas. Another important step is the Rulebook on Student Cooperatives, by which the school can establish a student cooperative with the aim of encouraging the development of a positive student attitude towards work and professional orientation, linking classes with the world of work, developing awareness of responsibility for the undertaken obligations, and developing a positive relationship to teamwork and entrepreneurship.

“When creating the National dual education model, the Swiss system was a model for formulating a model adapted to the conditions in Serbia, and we have great support from Switzerland in the implementation of this system, in the form of joint projects. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, in cooperation with domestic and foreign partners, is currently working on the development of a methodology for the implementation of dual education and the monitoring and evaluation framework. All education profiles are in line with the standard of qualification and curriculum of teaching and learning, “said Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Mladen Šarčević.

Dr Ursula Renold, Head of the Department of Educational Research of the Swiss Economic Institute at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the only international honorary member of the Commission of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for dual education.

“With the experience, I have gained working in 20 countries, I can say that the progress in Serbia is swift. One of the contributing organisations is the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and the core of our plan is to determine the responsibilities of each stakeholder in the process. We need well-organised institutions, ready for cooperation, and we need to understand the role of companies and what they bring to them. Institutions, employers and their associations must cooperate in this process,” said Dr Renold.

The total number of students in dual education is 4,500, while 3,500 pupils are enrolled in dual educational profiles this year. Also, this year around 600 companies expressed interest in conducting their learning through their work for pupils who enrolled in dual educational profiles.

“By introducing an autochthon model of dual education, and considering the models of recognised leaders in Europe, the systems from Switzerland, Austria and Germany, finally, as a country of otherwise requested personnel, we have completed the completion of profile capacities. This will enable the quality of employability of Serbian young people, the opportunity for foreign and domestic businessmen to find collaborators better for their projects and, certainly, give the opportunity for young people not to go into waves in the world, but stay in a country that gives them more opportunities for professional development and existence than earlier. The Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce is satisfied with the previous role of the active associate of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the Swiss Embassy and all other important actors of this extraordinary project,” explained Majo Mićović, President of the Swiss-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

Ambassador Phillip Guex, the ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia, expressed his satisfaction that the topic of dual education was launched, as it is essential for relations between Switzerland and Serbia. “Switzerland will remain committed to promoting youth employment in Serbia, with about nine million euro investment in the next four years. In addition to these funds, Switzerland makes available its expertise and know-how to support reforms in Serbia. We are very committed to being part of positive changes in Serbia.”

The conference was supported by Marko Čadež, President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, who pointed out the undemanding role of the experts from Switzerland in this venture.