SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS AND THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA, WITH A SPECIAL FOCUS ON RURAL MUNICIPALITIES
The period of transition in the Republic of Macedonia was followed by a number of reforms and intensive changes in all society spheres, as economy, science, health, and other, including education. The effect of these reforms in education was mostly felt in the changes of the number of primary schools and the number of students, especially in the number of students enrolled in first grade in the now days, nine-year primary education. The permanent trend of reduction in the number of pupils in
... ber of pupils in primary schools, especially in schools that are within the territory of rural municipalities, caused a decrease in the number of classes, which often was the reason for the complete closure of schools. The total number of primary schools in the country, which in the school year 1998/99 was 1040, decreased to 986 primary schools in the school year 2014/15, while the number of students decreased by 64467 in the same period. This is due to the declining number of children that are forming the school contingent, as a result of the lower birth rates and the migratory movements of the population, primarily from rural to urban areas, but also, outside the country. Following the number of pupils and the number of primary schools in terms of space is of great importance because that way we can plan future activities that would contribute to the demographic and overall development in a particular area.