Despite an overall increase in preschool enrollment, large equity gaps remain.
The Roma community in Bosnia and Herzegovina suffers from a legacy of discrimination that has contributed to widespread poverty, unemployment, homelessness and a lack of access to education. Currently, school attendance by Roma children is sporadic at best. Only 1.5 percent of Roma children and two percent of the poorest children are enrolled in preschool. In primary and secondary education, while overall attendance is high, at 98 percent in primary and 92 percent in secondary, for Roma children these figures drop to 69 percent and 23 percent respectively. The rate is 27 percent for Roma boys and 18 percent for Roma girls for secondary education. No attempt has been made either to enable the teaching of Romani language or to ensure that the content of curricula addresses the needs of children belonging to national minorities.
Access to education also remains limited for children with disabilities. Though pupils in some parts of the Bosnia and Herzegovina benefit from mobile expert teams, programmes designed to help parents and other pupils, as well as professional development programmes for teachers, do not exist. Rather, the education of children with special needs is still primarily carried out in specialized institutions. This haphazard approach means that programmes vary greatly in the learning outcomes they enable children with special needs to achieve. In addition, many children with physical disabilities cannot attend school or are restricted because of physical barriers to their access to school buildings.