Works start on the first school under WBIF-supported education programme in Montenegro
A significant milestone in Montenegro’s comprehensive plan to renovate pre-university schools was marked on 26 August as the foundation stone was laid for the "Vladimir Nazor" elementary school in Podgorica. The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović, Minister of Education Miomir Vojinović and school director Ljiljana Marković. The construction of the school is expected to be completed in 17 months.
Montenegro's educational institutions face particular challenges due to insufficient funding and maintenance, impacting the quality of education. This comprehensive programme supported through WBIF to renovate the pre-university school system involves building, renovating, and equipping educational facilities and kindergartens in Podgorica and nine other municipalities. The focus is on increasing the country’s schooling capacity by creating 2,100 new places and around 530 full-time jobs, mostly for teachers. Planned developments will help alleviate overcrowding in schools and increase children’s access to better learning tools, thereby enhancing youth employability. By 2026, more than 10,000 students per year will benefit from innovative learning environments due to these investments.
More than €64 million is expected to be invested in education infrastructure through the programme with half of this coming from the Montenegrin national budget. Bilateral Donors and the EU contribute with €11.4 million through a WBIF grant, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) with an €18 million loan and a further €2.5 million in grant. The EIB grant will cover technical and advisory support for project preparation and procurement, and for developing a national monitoring and evaluation standard for use in similar projects. This investment package will fast-track the modernisation of public education school infrastructure in the country.
Prime Minister Dritan Abazović said: “After overcoming all the administrative hurdles, we are finally ready to answer the request of the children, parents and teachers. We will go above and beyond to complete it before the scheduled deadline. I thank everyone for their cooperation, especially the Minister of Education, Miomir Vojinović, the director and management of the school, as well as the Administration for Capital projects. Let's keep moving, build new schools and improve infrastructure in education. The most valuable capital of any country is its people."
The director of the school, Ljiljana Marković, extended her gratitude to the students for their resilience during the period when "rental education" was in place. She also expressed appreciation to parents, children, and the schools that generously accommodated these temporary classrooms.
The programme is co-funded by the WBIF Bilateral Donors and the EU under the EU's Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.