Analysis of Key Factors and Recommendations to Increase the Efficiency of Primary Education in BiH

Monday, September 16, 2013

As a result of declining birth rates since 2004 the number of enrolled students at primary education of Bosnia and Herzegovina was reduced by almost 20%. In the same period the number of teachers involved in the education process increased by 10%. This means that the average class-size was reduced from 23.7 to 19.7 students per class, leading to an increase of unit costs i.e. cost per student. As the education expenditures are distributed by a 90:10 ratio (90% wages and 10% all other expenses) the efficiency of educational investment is significantly reduced.

While smaller class-sizes are usually considered a prerequisite for enhancement of teaching quality and often enjoy support from parents, teachers and public, the goal of this analysis is to consider the real effects of smaller classes, point out possible limitations and suggest more efficient measures to enhance the teaching quality.

The two most prominent international student assessment studies – TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) – as well as numerous scientific studies, came to the conclusion that there is no correlation between class size and student achievement. Further on, these studies highlighted teacher quality as crucial factor of student achievement. 

As a result, this analysis suggests few steps aiming to halt the decrease of the average class size in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and points out the necessity of shifting the focus on teachers' competencies and qualities as a precondition for better education. 

According to the TIMSS 2007 results, Bosnia and Herzegovina is among the countries with low and middle international education quality. Accepting the recommendations from the attached analysis would create the foundation for the improvement of the education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The analysis can be downloaded here

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