Montenegro: NEET in COVID19/ POSTCOVID19 situation

Has anything changed?

Neet rate in Montenegro was 21 %, according to our research from 2018. At this point, has anything changed? We survived to lock downtime of Corona pandemic, and now we are not running home at 11 pm, we are not afraid of virus chasing us, but also getting back to our daily schedules and normal life? Did this widespread danger had Its influence on the life of regular Youngsters?

We are talking to Young people in Montenegro about COVID19 effect to their education, training and work.

Elvis Berisha, executive director of Phiren Amenca, Roma Youth organization pointed out that:

„At this moment nobody knows how many Young people from Roma community have dropped out from education or work due to COVID19. In my opinion this situation affected all young people-the moment of socialisation that is essential for becoming active part of society is missing. In our community, Senior High school students have been provided with electronical devices for following school curriculum, after one and a half month of online classes. I think it is too late, and besides that, not all of Young people have access to Internet, or even electricity. Hopefully we will have official data next year, in order to create more inclusive policies and plan how to react immediately in times like this.“

In further conversation, Milica, aged 24, told us abouth her experience:

„When I was a high school student nobody ever gave me information on how to learn something useful – manual work, practical life skills, anything without advanced science that requires many hours in front of a book. I am aware that some of these training exists because of my friend, but still, none of that information ever, like ever came to me, nobody ever asked me what do I want or need. I would love to gain some skills that I could use to work in my country, but it does not seem like reality. This whole situation just makes me feel like I am more stuck.“

  • In 2018 5.8% of Young people in Montenegro were self-employed.

On the other hand, we have experience of Serdjan Baftijari, who had a great support system from his family: „I believe what motivated me to continue with education and later on become an activist happened in secondary school when the principal did not want to enable me to enroll in certain school because, as he said at the time: ”You won’t make it even the first three months, you will be expelled”. I decided to enroll in that school and I proved him wrong. I was one of the best students at the end of secondary school. Along the way, I had full support from my parents, which many young people from the Roma community didn’t have, or simply they didn’t have the possibility to go to school due to lack of financial resources. And now at the moment, these young people don’t have many opportunities to make their life better-to earn money for a decent living. I think it is necessary to make programs for this group of young people to be able to gain skills and find a job that will provide them a living wage – to include them in everyday life in Montenegro, without stigma and prejudices.“

  • Montenegro has the highest percentage of young people who dropped out of secondary education comparing to Western Balkans countries and Turkey (4.6% in 2018).

Program coordinator at NGO Prima, Jelena Jovanovic, says that this current situation has many challenges, for Young people but also for educators in formal and nonformal education: „ COVID19 is motivating us as Youth workers to reach as much Young people as we can, especially NEET Youth and minority groups. We are giving our best to adjust our programs to the current needs of Young people, but also to create recommendations for decision-makers in order to have more active Youth and inclusive practice for all Young people in our society.“