Every girl and boy, everywhere, is entitled to high quality inclusive education.

Boy studying at school
UNICEF Serbia/2019/Pancic


Some children are more likely to miss out on education than others.

That deprivation has lifelong consequences that often mean that the next generation will start out at a disadvantage.

Only 50% of children aged from 3 up to 5 attend preschools.

The resulting cycles of inequality and deprivation thwart the potential of both individuals and societies.

  • Only 50% of children aged from 3 up to 5 attend preschools.
  • Only 9% of children from the poorest households and 6% of children from Roma settlements aged from 3 up to 5 attend preschools.
  • Primary school is completed by 66% of children living in poverty.
  • Secondary school is attended by 15% of girls from Roma settlements.

We work to increase capacities of institutions to include children from vulnerable groups and provide them with quality learning opportunities.

Our work is focused on enabling access to quality inclusive pre-school education that provides meaningful learning opportunities to all children.


  • Over 2,000 children enrolled into preschool education for the first time.
  • 186,260 pupils benefitted from improved capacities of teachers through direct support to schools.
  • Almost 96% of primary age refugee and migrant children are included in education in 38 primary schools across Serbia.
  • 4,200 education professionals supported to implement inclusive quality education.
  • Development and adoption of the For Every Child - New Preschool Curriculum Framework ensures continuity of learning from the preschool to primary school.


COVID-19 in Serbia

With over 1,000,000 children housebound because of preschool and school closures, UNICEF is providing advice and support to parents, caregivers and educators to support home and remote learning, and is working with partners to design innovative education solutions. UNICEF, together with the Ministry of Education, will continue to work to bridge the digital divide and keep children learning.

To ensure the continuity of education, UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Education to develop a national response plan of the preschool education system to the COVID-19 outbreak targeting preschool children and their families (including through access to relevant materials for learning through play through social media; TV and distance learning platforms; and through weekly activitybased parenting messages and tips).

Support is being provided for the development of a monitoring system for e-learning quality and the assessment and monitoring of students’ progress. This is especially important as school closures pose a real threat to a deepening inequality in learning for the most marginalized children who are already at a disadvantage. Remote and rural areas have issues with internet coverage, while the poorest households also lack internet access and cannot afford IT equipment.

National minorities, especially Roma students, already struggle with the language of instruction and often lack support for learning at home. Children with disabilities face serious barriers in education due to lacking accessibility and the inability to access critical services and support which would help them to participate.

UNICEF has provided assistance to the Ministry of Education to support teachers to develop interactive materials for the national platform for online learning and has contributed to ensuring that preschool and school teachers have the digital competencies to carry out remote teaching. 

With the support of the Ministry of Education, UNICEF and the Pedagogic Society of Serbia are designing a web portal with a repository of resources for psychologists and pedagogues to help teachers in preparing teaching materials for distance learning. 

  •  Supported national education authorities to provide distance learning, thus supporting over  790,000 children  
  •  Pedagogues supported nearly  22,000 children and over  1,600 parents 
  •  79 Camtasia software licences procured for recording distance learning lessons
Atila’s ordinary school day

Inclusive education

UNICEF Serbia develops inclusive education policies and supports all actors in the education process to realise the right of every child to a quality education.

> Read more

Dejana smiling at the camera while drawing with her peers

Kindergartens without borders

UNICEF provides a unique opportunity for children in remote areas to have access to early childhood education and development.

> Read more

Monika, Roma pupil, writes on a school blackboard.

How to be a caring school

UNICEF is combating drop-out, decreasing absenteeism and improving learning achievements and wellbeing of children at risk of dropping out.

> Read more