Education Ministry: Curricular Reform is More Important than Individual Interests

By 24 May 2016

The Ministry of Education reacts to yesterday’s ultimatum given by the head of the expert group for curricular reform.

The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports on Tuesday reacted to Monday’s ultimatum which was issued by Boris Jokić, the head of the expert group for comprehensive curricular reform, reports Index.hr on May 24, 2016.

The statement was issued after Jokić announced that members of the expert group were willing to step down if Minister of Science, Education and Sports Predrag Šustar does not reject the conclusions of the Parliamentary Committee on Science by Wednesday at 10 am. One of the conclusions of the Committee was that the expert group should be expanded to include ten new members from different scientific areas.

In the statement, the Ministry says that the expert working group is a body which was given a mandate to conduct expert discussion and improve the proposal of curricular documents for the purposes of public debate and draft a report on the expert debate. “We believe that they are going to complete these tasks, respecting the agreed deadlines and confirming the continuity of cooperation. After a public debate, there will be a harmonization of curriculum documents in line with the comments received from the public, and ultimately a review process that these documents will have to undergo before the final adoption”, reads the Ministry’s statement.

The Ministry pointed out that the curricular approach was adopted in 2005. “Today, after more than ten years of work done in this direction, for which we sincerely thank all those who contributed to it, we do not intend to lose sight from those for whom we started this process, the students. The comprehensive curriculum reform is above all groups and individual interests. With that in mind, we invite all stakeholders to a respectful dialogue and to a national consensus on the content of curriculum documents”, concludes the Ministry

The initiative for Civic Education (GOOD) announced its opposition to the conclusions of the Parliamentary Committee on Science and demanded that Minister Šustar supports the current work on the expert group. GOOD called on the Minister to prevent a “hostile takeover” of the expert group or to resign. “In contrast to the political takeover of the professional body responsible for the overall curricular reform, the only hope for its salvation comes down to previous promises made by Minister Šustar and Prime Minister Orešković who in April claimed that without new curricular reform there is no future”, said GOOD.

The participants of the panel discussion “Creativity and Knowledge for Better Croatia”, organized on Tuesday by the Croatian Employers’ Association, agreed that it was necessary to continue with the curricular reform, noting that there were mistakes done in the process, but adding that standing in place and not doing anything was the worst option.