A child born in Bosnia and Herzegovina today will reach only 58 percent of his or her productive potential when he or she grows up as compared to a benchmark of complete education and full health, says the latest update of the World Bank’s (WB) Human Capital Index (HCI), which measures pre-pandemic human capital outcomes around the world, WB's report published on Thursday said.
This is lower than the average for Europe and Central Asia Region but higher than the average for upper-middle-income countries, the Bank said.
“Human capital is the most important resource for Bosnia and it is essential for the development of the country. Unfortunately, the country is rapidly losing its human capital as people, especially the youth, emigrate seeking better opportunities elsewhere. But even for those that stay, deficiencies in education and healthcare mean that almost half of their lifetime productivity will be lost, due to education that does not equip them with the skills that are needed in the market, and healthcare that does not enable them to have healthy and productive lives”, said
Emanuel Salinas, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the urgency to act to stop the loss of human capital. Our dream is to see that people in BiH live healthy lives and can achieve their full potential. That is achievable, but we need to act now to reverse this negative trend.”
When assessing education in Bosnia, the report shows that on average children can expect to complete 11.7 years of schooling by age 18. However, this is only equivalent to 7.8 years of effective education when taking into account the quality of learning.
According to the WB report, the quality of learning matters most for developing quality human capital. This means that improving the quality of teaching and learning in classrooms and schools around the country is the pathway to increasing human capital and unlocking the growth potential of all students in Bosnia. Therefore, it is important the country prioritizes education development.