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Education and VET System

The education system of the Republic of Macedonia comprises a mix of pre-school, primary (6-14 years) – lasts for nine years and is compulsory and free for all pupils, secondary (15-17/18 years) and higher education (Short – cycle, Graduate education, Master’s degree and Doctorate).

In the Macedonian Qualifications Framework there are eight levels and six sub-levels

Education system is organized around four languages of instruction in primary schools (Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish and Serbian) and three languages of instruction in secondary education (Macedonian, Albanian, and Turkish).

Since the school year 2008/09, the secondary education has been mandatory for each citizen under equal conditions. It is implemented through programs and curricula for the following:

  • general secondary education (gymnasium);
  • secondary vocational education;
  • art education; and
  • education for pupils with special educational needs.

Students with special educational needs can be included in the mainstream secondary schools on equal basis or in state schools for students with special educational needs.

Vocational education as a formal education can be realized as: vocational training (up to 2 years), vocational education for occupations (three years), technical education (four years) and post-secondary (specialist education and master of crafts exam) and education for adults. Part of the education system is the education of adults that can be realized in vocational schools for the purpose of acquiring qualifications in the formal system and as vocational training, realized by an accredited provider with a verified program.

Vocational training lasts up to two years and provides training for work with lower requirements and practical knowledge and skills. Students with completed primary education are eligible for enrolment. Following the completion of the vocational training, the students take exam to obtain a certificate.

Vocational education for occupations lasts three years and enables entry in the labor market or continuation of education. Students with completed primary education can enroll in the vocational education for occupations. Classes are held in vocational schools or in institutions for adult education. Practical training is delivered in schools and/or at employers. The graduates can continue with fourth year of technical education. They can be included in post-secondary education with at least three years of appropriate work practice. Following the completion of the vocational education for occupations, the students take final exam and obtain a Diploma.

The technical education lasts four years and prepares students for the labor market and for continuation of the education. Students with completed primary education are eligible for enrolment. The classes are held in vocational schools. Practical training is delivered in schools and/or at employers.

According to the Law on Secondary Education, the VET is realized in secondary schools with the status of public and private schools. Public schools can be state, municipal and schools of the city of Skopje. The public schools network is established by the Government from the proposal of the relevant minister.

Among the 124 existing secondary schools, 108 are public and the remaining 16 are private. From the secondary public schools, 23 are gymnasiums; 43 are professional; 33 also offer gymnasium and vocational education; 4 schools are for students with special educational needs; and 5 are art schools.

Depending on the characteristics of the work, that is, the characteristics of the similarity of the educational requirements, all education profiles for acquiring qualifications in VET, are deployed in 16 (sixteen) education sectors according to low of NQF.

Post-secondary education corresponding to specialist education, after secondary education and level 5, sub-level 5B in the MQF. Post-secondary education provides deeper knowledge and understanding, skills and competence for working with more complex technology, specialized top quality services, organization of work, managerial positions of first level, instructorship, mentorship, etc.

Post-secondary education is realized through curricula and programs for

  • Specialized education, and
  • Master exam.

More information…


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