Protesters to Support Educational Reform in Six Towns on Thursday

By 30 May 2017

The protests will take place on 1 June.

Protest actions for educational reform will be held on 1 June in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Zadar, Poreč and Karlovac. The protesters will request the dismissal of Education Minister Pavo Barišić, as well as the removal of newly-appointed expert councils for the implementation of curricular reform, reports 24sata.hr on May 30, 2017.

The protests will be organized by the GOOD Initiative, which states that education reform is in the Croatian public interest and that Croatia can do better. The GOOD Initiative brings together about 50 civil society organizations from all over Croatia.

Marko Kovačić from the Initiative explained the demand for the dismissal of Minister Barišić, accusing him of “favouring various marginal groups which did not obtain electoral legitimacy, as well as of amending the law so that he would not be prosecuted and that current rector of the University of Zagreb Damir Boras could remain at his post even after turning 65,” when he was supposed to retire.

The GOOD initiative also calls for the dismissal of Dijana Vican, the chairwoman of the Special Expert Commission for Educational Reform, because it considers her responsible that the selection process of members of the expert working group (ERS) was not transparent. They also seek the repetition of the public competition for ERS members, with higher standards of transparency and independence.

The protest with the motto “Waiting for a tram called education reform” will begin 6 pm, at Ban Josip Jelačić Square in Zagreb, and in other five towns.

Before the protest, citizens are invited to produce videos describing their experiences with education, as well as the employment and quality of life in Croatia. Citizens can take part in the campaign by publishing content with hashtags #jerHrvatska and #Hrvatskamorabolje. The messages can be posted on social networks or posted on the website hrvatskamozebolje.org.

A year ago, on 1 June 2016, about 50,000 people came to the streets under the slogan “Croatia can do better”. It was a protest against politicians and in support of education reform. However, one year later, we have not progressed much in the implementation of comprehensive curricular reform, the GOOD Initiative representatives say.

They warn that the implementation of the Education, Science and Technology Strategy has been compromised and that curricular reform is not being implemented, although the education budget has been increased by 14 percent. They also believe that education has become a target of various interest and ideological groups, wishing to impose their views, contrary to constitutional ​​and civilized values.

In addition to the protest march which will start at the Ban Jelačić Square and end at the Main Train Station, the GOOD Initiative will organize a series of educational and cultural-artistic activities, as well as a forum on educational reform.