Implementation of WBL in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Types of WBL
The Framework Law on Vocational Education and Training in Bosnia and Herzegovina stresses the significance of harmonization of education with the market needs. In spite of this, access to WBL and practical training of students in companies is not yet harmonized throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. In accordance with the theoretic basis, one can conclude that elements of WBL in the initial VET are present in the following forms:
- Learning about work– learning about the real world realized through visits to companies.
- Gaining experience– applying knowledge and skills gained in school in real working environment: ferial practice/ practical continuity.
- Work–based learning-gaining knowledge and skills on the job, alternate learning in school and company.
Apprenticeship as a specific form of alternate learning in school and commerce (apprentice employed in the company) is not represented in its full form in initial VET in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Practical lessons are being carried out in several ways in Bosnia and Herzegovina – in some places mostly in school workshops, for some occupations only in the companies, and for the majority of occupations a combination (in school and in the company). Schools which have their own workshops partly have practical lessons in their workshops (usually in lower grades) and subsequently in the higher grades, they send their students for practical lessons to companies. The number of classes which takes place in companies varies from school to school and makes 20 % of the practical lessons in total in general. Examples of exceptional cooperation between schools and companies with regards to practical lessons and ferial practice is still rare.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to law, VET schools sign contracts with companies for organizing practical lessons. The documentation is made in the schools, noting that the content and form has not often been uniform.
Bearing in mind the crucial importance of precisely defining the roles and responsibilities, especially in the field of safety and health of the students, with the help of Kultur Kontakt Austria, we have developed a manual “Guideline for practical education”, as well as the “Guideline for providers of practical lessons”.
Programmes and standards
In accordance with the Framework Law on Secondary Vocational Education in BiH, the curricula for secondary vocational education and training are comprised from the common core in accordance with the Framework Law on Primary and Secondary Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, curricula for vocational subjects and a part of the curricula designed in the school ( up to 30%).
The curriculum for secondary vocational education and training is provided by the relevant minister (Minister of Education of RS / Ministers of Education of the Canton Governments (10 Cantons) in FBiH / Head of Department of Education of Brcko District).
The curriculum specifically defines the purpose, goals and tasks of the program, subjects and contents, duration and basic forms of program execution, annual and weekly number of classes, practical training, number of hours per subject, didactic and other conditions for performing the curriculum and programs.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, secondary vocational education is taught in three-year vocational education schools and four-year secondary technical, art and other schools by curriculum leading to the acquisition of vocational qualifications.
A number of activities in BiH, with the assistance of EU projects through the reform processes since 2000 and the activities of domestic actors (Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education Agency – APOSO), modernize and introduce modular curricula based on learning outcomes qualification development by TOP / DOWN methodology through the development of standards of occupations, qualification standards and NPP. (see standard examples in the Dokuments menu, more information about modular NPPs and standards at: APOSO, VET department link: www.vetbih.org; on common core NPPs at APOSO link: www.aposo.gov.ba).
U BiH ne postoje posebni programi za WBL već iz jedinstvenog nastavnog plana i programa svaka škola, u dogovoru sa privrednim društvima, definiše dijelove praktične obuke koji će biti realizovani u privredi.
WBL contracts are concluded between the school and company or three-way contract between school – business – parent (less represented). In some education systems in BiH there are stipulated contracts used by all schools, but mostly, the schools and companies create their own contracts (see examples in the Documents menu).
Guidance and checklist
The basis for organizing WBL in BiH are the existing legal frameworks according to which there are no mechanisms for tracking and collecting WBL data at the level of education systems. At BiH level, within the framework of project activities, guidelines and manuals have been developed containing guidelines and all supporting documents (checklists and forms) for all actors in the WBL preparation, execution, evaluation, monitoring and improvement process. (see examples of supporting documents in the Documents menu).
Capacity building activities
Capacity building activities are aimed at strengthening the school’s capacity for cooperation with the economy. Primarily, the introduction of WBL coordinators in schools and mentors for student training in companies. Activities that focus on their positioning and training are underway.