Only 13.4% preschool-aged children in BH have access to preschool education, this being the lowest percentile in Europe. According to UNICEF BH the percentage of Roma children attending preschool is even lower – 1.5%.
The free of charge Compulsory preschool program in Canton Sarajevo children attend one year prior to primary school beginning in the total duration of 150 hours (2 hours per week). Since children in Bosnia and Herzegovina spend the extremely small amount of time in a structured program, it is not surprising that they exhibit lower academic achievement in school, and that they are at a greater risk from developing different socio-emotional difficulties in the school environment. The research suggests that children who have difficulties in the adjustment to the school requirements and have lower academic achievements at the beginning of their schooling are more likely to have similar or even greater problems later throughout their schooling years.
Association “DUGA” in cooperation with Caritas Switzerland started the implementation of three-year long project Preschool Education for all Children (PEACH) in Canton Sarajevo. This is to ensure that the quality preschool education brings equal start to all children, thus providing strong prerequisites for later academic progress.
– At least 300 children aged 4 to 6 from marginalised families will have an opportunity to enrol to preschool programs:
The integral development program or
The compulsory program one year prior to primary school beginning for children who were not previously included in some form of preschool education
– Three preschool institutions are to provide child-friendly and stimulating environment, while 10 locations are to be visited by a mobile preschool unit
– Preschool education will benefit from new programs to include contemporary methodologies, social inclusion, and children’s rights with a particular focus on vulnerable population