The school system and the education


At the time of the First Uprising, there were two elementary schools in Belgrade, and the teachers mostly came from Vojvodina. School was attended by pupils of various ages, often young men as well. There were no female pupils.

After the establishment of the Ministry of Education (1811) and its founding act, data was collected on the schools, the curriculum was standardized and teachers were supplied with work instructions.

In the period between 1815 and 1830 there were three little schools and there were schools established by the foreigners for their children (Jewish, Greek, Turkish, German). The foreign schools operated in Belgrade throughout the 19th and 20th century, with shorter or longer interruptions.

In 1830 a Great school was founded, which was moved to Kragujevac in 1833. Beside the already existing city small school, in 1838 Palilula’s school across from Tasmajdan was also opened. A decision on opening a High School (Gymnasium) in Belgrade was made on June 1839, by an act of the Regent, and in 1838 another school was opened – the Lycée.

After the St. Andrew Assembly, general reforms of the educational system were carried out. In the period between 1863 and 1870 a few laws were introduced along with other school-related acts for all types of schools. That trend continued until 1903. The Main Board of Education (1880), The Association of Teachers (1881) and the Society of Professors (1889) greatly contributed to the overall development of education.

On December 1882, at the time when Stojan Novakovic was minister of education, an Elementary Schools Act was adopted. For the first time in Serbia, elementary education was officially proclaimed mandatory. This act was in effect until 1898, when the National Schools Act was adopted. National schools could be lower (preschools and elementary schools) and higher (public, or boarding schools for young men and women), main and private. Elementary schools were mandatory for all male and female children.

A Women’s high school was opened for the first time in 1905. Beside high schools, as general education schools, schools continued with their operations or new specialized schools were opened in Belgrade, including the Women’s College, Women’s Teaching School, Seminary and the State Business Academy.

Following the creation of the state of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, subsequently Yugoslavia, and by adopting the St. Vitus Day Constitution, elementary schools were defined as a legal obligation. A large number of elementary and specialized high schools were built. Following the liberation of Belgrade in 1944 until the ninth decade of the 20th century, Belgrade underwent an extremely powerful expansion in the field of education. It became the educational metropolis for the entire region of Yugoslavia.

In July 1958 the Federal National Assembly adopted a General Education Act, which united all of the previous laws and decrees. By this act, education was acquired in a unique system (preschool institutions, elementary schools, high schools, specialized schools and colleges, departments, universities). Elementary education as mandatory; it lasted for eight years and was free.


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