School Interest for Curricular Reform Exceeds Expectations

By 19 March 2018

Far more schools than needed have applied for the test phase which starts in autumn.

The Ministry of Science and Education is exceptionally pleased with the expressed interest in the implementation of the experimental programme “School for Life”, a test phase of the curriculum reform. By the end of the week, it will select schools that will enter the programme, reports tportal.hr on March 19, 2018.

Minister of Science and Education Blaženka Divjak presented on Monday the results of a public call for schools to submit applications for the experimental programme “School for Life”, stressing that the continuation of the curriculum reform was a necessity.

“The most important thing is that we must bring our schools into the 21st century in such a way that students become competitive at least within the European Union, and globally as well. They should develop skills for the 21st century;” she said.

It is planned that the experimental programme will include some 6,000 students, but more than 25,000 have applied. The Ministry will, therefore, have to choose among 143 primary schools and 72 secondary schools, and select a maximum of 50 primary and 30 secondary schools. The minister said that the final selection would be made by the end of this week.

The selection criteria are the fulfilment of prescribed conditions, geographical distribution, number of students in each school, a combination of urban and rural regions, and the motivation to participate in the experimental implementation.

“We have secured the funds, partly in the state budget and partly through the European Social Fund – about 200 million kuna in total for equipment and training,” explained Divjak.

The experimental programme will be conducted in the 1st and 5th grade of elementary schools in all subjects and in biology, chemistry and physics the 7th grade. In secondary schools, the experimental programme will include the first grade of grammar schools in all subjects and the first grade of four-year vocational schools in general subjects. It is expected that at least 30 percent of the teaching materials will be used in digital form.

When it comes to appointing members of the Expert Working Group (ERS) to implement the broader curriculum reform, the minister pointed out that things were proceeding as expected. “You know that the Prime Minister's Office is in charge of this. He is supportive of this initiative, and I am sure we will see certain results soon,” said Minister Divjak optimistically.

Translated from tportal.hr (reported by Iva Anušić).