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Vitomir Jovanovic: The Institutional Conditions of Adapting to Future Challenges in the Serbian Education System

The last country study of our Future Challenges to Education Systems in Central Eastern European Context project, written by Vitomir Jovanovic is available now.

The project focuses on the ability of the Central-Eastern European education systems to adapt to disruptive future challenges, such as technological changes and their impact on labor markets, demographic changes (ageing, migration, etc.), climate change, populist politics and autocratic governance, old and new inequalities, or changing gender roles.

The paper presents the analytical study of the contemporary Serbian educational system in the relation with two past decades and continuous challenges expected in the societal, economic, technological, demographic and political environment in the nearest future. These future changes are already imposing serious adaptation challenges to individual schools and school systems.

The paper aims to create a case study of Serbian educational system that could be compared to other educational systems in Eastern Europe with a joint framework of a country that witnessed dramatic social change from communistic to “neoliberal” societies based on free market economy.

It starts with a broad overview about historical and social changes in the last 30 years important to understand current changes and anticipating future challenges. It continues with a more in-depth view of major and broad social changes in the last five years that had impact on education policies interpreting also the signals from the political and social system. It addresses the preparedness for adaptation to the growing and changing skill demands on the labor market due to the technology innovation, economy changes and fluctuating and unstable labor markets as well as a more centralized political system. It also describes the school level and government level of capacities for future challenges through the lens of the recent policy changes.

At the end, the study tries to anticipate the future adaptation capacity of the Serbian education system in facing strange and unseen crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, seeing this unfortunate event as some kind of experiment in vivo that can depict the flexibility and capacities of the teacher and students, as well as policy makers to cope with stressful and unexpected circumstances.

Download the study here.

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