Protest for Educational Reform to Take Place on 1 June

By 25 May 2017

One year after the last major protests in favour of reform of the educational system, protesters are getting ready for another one.

“Waiting for a tram called educational reform” is a name of a major protest which will be held on 1 June in Zagreb in support of the curricular reform, reports on May 25, 2017.

“It will all start at Ban Jelačić Square, and then we will walk from the square to the Main Train Station, because we want to focus on another major problem in Croatia, and that is the emigration of young people who are leaving the country,” say the organizers.

The protest action will start at 6 pm on 1 June, and will last until about 7.30 pm.

250517 6 Protest2

Daniel Martinović, one of the organizers, said that the protest had been planned even before Jasminka Buljan Culej was recently appointed as head of the expert group for curricular reform implementation, which has been met with criticism from a large part of the public.

Martinović added that, in the morning, a round table discussion would be held at the premises of the Croatian Journalists’ Society in Zagreb, and that Buljan Culej has been invited to participate. Asked what they expected to come out of it all and whether they think that tens of thousands of people will come to the protest like last year, Martinović answered it was difficult to say. “The fact is that many people have been contacting us with the question of whether there would be any protests. Regarding the number of people that will come, it is hard to say,” said Martinović.

Jasminka Buljan Culej, an advisor to Education and Science Minister Pavo Barišić, has recently been appointed as the head of the expert working group for the implementation of the curricular reform. Boris Jokić, who led the reform efforts until last year, applied to the public competition, but was not elected this time. Buljan Culej was also the head of the Research and Development Department of the National Centre for External Evaluation of Education. Her appointment has been criticized as an attempt to prevent modernization of Croatian educational system.

On 1 June 2016, major protests with tens of thousands of people took place in Zagreb and other towns, with people protesting in support of the curricular reform and Jokić as its leader. Since then, the reform has been completely stalled, which is certainly nothing unusual when it comes to reforms efforts in Croatia.