Friday, 28 December 2018

Curriculum Reform Get a Solid B from Education Minister

ZAGREB, December 28, 2018 - The first term of the pilot phase of the curriculum reform, the largest ever project launched in Croatian primary and secondary schools, has received a grade of a "solid B" from all stakeholders and has justified its implementation, Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak told a press briefing on Friday.

The grade is based on two visits by advisers to the schools involved, five regional conferences attended by 2,058 teachers, and anonymous surveys. They showed that 95 percent of the participants were completely or mostly satisfied with changes to the subject curriculums.

Some 83 percent of 53 school heads polled agree that the learning outcomes of the subject curriculums are feasible in their schools. Also, 75 percent of school heads completely agree and 96 percent mostly or completely support teaching according to the pilot programme as of next school year.

Among over 3,500 students interviewed, 86 percent noticed that classes were different and more interesting.

Of 1,121 teachers polled, 75 percent completely or mostly agree that the pilot programme encourages continued feedback on students.

Teachers mostly asked for additional training in areas relating to assessment and grading, the use of digital technology in the classroom, and learning outcomes.

More than two-thirds of teaches completely or mostly agree that learning outcomes are feasible in their school, the survey showed.

"We have also received a large amount of feedback which we are now incorporating to make this large project a success," Divjak said, adding that everything was ready for the comprehensive implementation of the reform.

More news on the Croatian education system can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Coalition Partners Agree on Key Law for Curriculum Reform

ZAGREB, December 1, 2018 - The leader of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said on Saturday that the deadlines for the implementation of the full curriculum reform in the next school year (2019-2020) were not jeopardised, and that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reassured him that the relevant legislation would be adopted by the national parliament on 14 December.

After a few meetings of the HNS leadership with the party's lawmakers on Friday afternoon, we clearly presented out position to the coalition partner, and that there would be any more reason for us to be a part of the ruling majority if the educational reform might be anyhow undermined, the HNS president, Ivan Vrdoljak, said at a news conference in Zagreb on Saturday.

The legislation on school textbooks is a prerequisite for the comprehensive introduction of the reform in schools, Vrdoljak said.

He went on to say that after the final bill on school textbooks had not been added to the agenda of the government during its meeting on Friday morning, he asked the coalition partner – the governing Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) – that it should be made clear that the educational reform was not put at risk.

"The deadlines are not jeopardised. I wanted yesterday to get clear assurances from the partner that the educational reform will not be put at risk."

Vrdoljak said that later he received assurances twice: first, during his conversation with Prime Minister Plenkovicć and later Plenković reiterated assurances in his public statement.

Education Minister Blaženka Divjak talked about the road map for the reform, explaining that the law should be enacted soon for a tender for school textbooks to be advertised in timely fashion in January.

The president of the GLAS party, Anka Mrak Taritaš, said in the northern Adriatic city of Pula on Saturday, that there was no split in the ruling coalition, but that the present situation was "a cute muscle-showing performance." "If you enter a coalition that is based on trade-offs, there can be no split there, this is a cute performance in which someone wants to show their muscles," Mrak Taritaš told the pressed when asked if there was a split in the ruling coalition over the law on textbooks.

A little over a year ago, Anka Mrak Taritaš said she could not accept the HNS' "immoral trade" with the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and formed a new political party, the Civil-Liberal Alliance (GLAS).

For more on the curriculum reform in Croatia, click here.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

EU Praises Croatia’s Education Reform

ZAGREB, October 16, 2018 - The European Commission said in the Education and Training Monitor 2018, released on Tuesday, that Croatia had launched ambitious reforms in education and training after a period when progress was stalled by political disagreement.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Junior Coalition Partner Brags about Curricular Reform

ZAGREB, September 2, 2018 - Croatian People's Party (HNS) leader Ivan Vrdoljak told a news conference on Sunday, ahead of the start of the new school year and the curricular reform, that the reform had been delayed for 20 years and that its launch on Monday, September 3, was a result of "the synergy between politics and expertise".

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Curriculum Reform Pilot Project Ready for Launch

ZAGREB, August 25, 2018 - Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said on Friday that her ministry was ready for the new school year and the launch of the "School for Life" pilot project in 74 schools.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

“Education Reform Is Government’s Priority”

ZAGREB, April 22, 2018 - Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenković said on Saturday that the education reform was a priority for the HDZ and his cabinet, and that in the steps to come in that regard, various approaches and opinions would be included so that the education process has long term stability considering that it concerns children whose parents have differing worldviews and beliefs.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Education Minister and Education Reform Adviser Meet, Awkwardly

ZAGREB, April 16, 2018 - Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak and the prime minister's special adviser for curricular reform Radovan Fuchs met on Monday to discuss the schedule of obligations for the experimental "School for Life" programme and expressed their satisfaction with the talks and readiness to accelerate preparations.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Marches for Science Held in Split and Zagreb

ZAGREB, April 14, 2018 - A couple of thousand people rallied in downtown Zagreb on Saturday for a march for science, as did a large number of people in the coastal city of Split, warning that now was the eleventh hour for science and higher education in Croatia, which they said were not being invested in and were neglected.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

NGO Worried about Education Reform

ZAGREB, April 11 2018 - The nongovernmental organisation GOOD has described the appointment of former education minister Radovan Fuchs as a special advisor to the prime minister to coordinate the work of the Expert Task Force for the curricular reform as the latest political trade-off between the HDZ and the HNS, accusing Prime Minister Andrej Plenković of appointing his players to slow down the curricular reform.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Curricular Reform Head Will Not Be Appointed, Replaced by PM’s Advisor

ZAGREB, April 10, 2018 - The Special Expert Commission (PSP) for the implementation of the Education, Science and Technology Strategy appointed at a conference call on Tuesday 12 members of the Expert Task Force (ERS) for the implementation of the curricular reform and cancelled an earlier competition for applications for the ERS head, with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković appointing Radovan Fuchs as special government advisor on the coordination of the ERS' work.

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