The education system cannot tolerate any more delays. That is allegedly the opinion of Education Minister Pave Barišić who has expressed his dissatisfaction with the delays in implementation of comprehensive curricular reform. To speed up the process, Education Ministry has announced a public competition for the head and twelve members of the expert working group, reports Večernji List on April 19, 2017.
The deadline for applications is this Saturday, and elected experts will identify curricula which are ready to be implemented immediately. The implementation of the comprehensive curriculum reform is included in the strategy of education, science and technology which was adopted by Parliament in 2014.
The only applicant at the initial public competition for head of the working expert group was Boris Jokić, at the time an unknown scientist with the Institute for Social Research. Two years later, during the government led by Tihomir Orešković, he resigned together with all members of his team. He explained his move as a result of political pressure.
Now, almost a year after his resignation, Jokić plans to re-apply for the same position. “The valuable efforts of 500 professors who have participated in the project should be continued because that represents the basis for modern and scientifically based education focused on the potential of every child and the needs of the society and the economy. This reform is necessary if Croatia wants to keep up with the developed world,” commented Jokić.
The Ministry did not want to reveal how many applications they have received so far. After the new expert working group is appointed, it will continue to work on 55 existing documents. The process should lead to the adoption of curricular reform, with the final decision being made by the Minister. The expert group will decide whether the implementation of the new curriculum in schools will start as an experimental programme or immediately in all schools.
“The expert working group recommended that the curricula should be gradually introduced in primary and secondary education. If we were to continue with the process, it is possible that we would experimentally introduce some programmes in the school year 2018/2019, which would then be expanded to all schools in Croatia in the fall of 2019,” said Jokić.
The curricular reform was started during the government led by Zoran Milanović. Orešković’s Education Minister Predrag Šustar did not even meet with the members of the working group until Jokić resigned. On 1 June 2016, about 50,000 people protested on the streets in support of curricular reform and Jokić.