Montenegro in the PISA Study
Montenegro, a country that has been in transition for the last two decades, is trying intensively to restructure its socioeconomic system and reform the main social systems, such as the education system, health care, the judicial system, the social welfare system, etc. Numerous strategic documents have been adopted in the past decade emphasising the importance of making the country’s abundant natural resources functional, and of making the utilisation of human resources in the country significantly more effective. In order to achieve improvements in one of the key areas of Montenegrin development, human resources, a reform of the entire education system was launched in the first years of 21st century. The processes of joining the European Union, whose fundamental principles are the free movement of people, goods, services and capital, have also significantly increased the need to raise the quality of the education of Montenegro’s citizens and to improve the competitiveness of the Montenegrin workforce in the labour market. However, we believe that the results of PISA testing in 2006 and 2009 suggest that Montenegro is far from the proclaimed goals of reform in the field of education, and that for the coming years and decades considerable attention should
be devoted to improvement of the education system. PISA tests should be understood in a much wider context, not only as a reflection of curricular reform and standards of verification and assessment of students’ knowledge, but rather as a set of guidelines that indicate the direction in which to develop and improve the education system, so that society can really ‘invest’ in the education of young people. It is a very problematic fact that from the time of testing in 2009 until April 2011, nobody in Montenegro published any technical or scientific
analysis of the success, or rather failure, of Montenegrin students in PISA testing. We believe that the use of this study should be significantly increased; not for comparing academic achievements with those of students from other countries, but primarily for improving educational policy and defining the strategic orientation of the development of the education system in Montenegro. Therefore, the absence of analysis implies an absence of certain professional activities focused on training teachers and improving the quality of students’ knowledge.
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