Thursday, 9 September 2021

Scope Project: Višnjan Observatory on STEM Popularization Mission

September 9, 2021 - The Višnjan Observatory and other relevant institutions are enrolled in the Scope Project. Under the motto "Science connects people", the goal is to popularise and improve the STEM area in Croatia.

When it comes to astronomy in Croatia, the Višnjan Observatory in Istria holds the top place as the best location to gaze up at the stars, and both the Croatian and international public seems to recognise that.

The work undertaken there speaks for itself, especially when it comes to events like discovering new asteroids, and people's willingness to support the cause is evident in a successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this year.

Since the end of October 2020, the observatory has been enrolled in the Scope Project, which under the motto of ''Science connects people'', aims to promote the STEM area.

''The goal of the project is to create a network of cooperation for all relevant actors in the goal of making encouraging the creation of an environment for the development and progress of the STEM area in the sense of strengthening capacities and cooperation of the civil society organisations, as well as common cooperation in shaping STEM area public policies,'' says the Višnjan Observatory's website.

Others the Višnjan Observatory cooperates in this project with include the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB), several faculties from Zagreb University (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Faculty of Architecture), the Carpe Diem Association for the creative and social development of kids and adults, the Croatian Interdisciplinary Society and many more. The project will last until October 28, 2023, on a budget of 3,599,107 kuna.

''The latest data clearly showcases the lack of students and experts in the STEM area. The need for activities in the STEM area is recognised in the National Strategy of education, science, and technology,'' says the Višnjan Observatory website, highlighting the need for this project.

With the already mentioned networking and collaboration in making policies, the plan of the Scope Project is to also survey public opinion, which will provide data for the higher scientific institutions to conduct research and to guide propositions for public policies.

Despite Croatia lacking experts and general interest in the STEM area, it is comforting to know that those interested in the area are indeed quite successful. Croatian scientists represented Croatia during the G20 summit as they participated in the first quantum communication, students achieved fantastic results during the informatics competition, and IRB scientists frequently make international scientific news with the dedicated work of their scientists (just to mention few examples).

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Croatian Teachers Under Pressure: Angry Parents Behind Straight A Pupil Epidemic?

September 8, 2021 - The flood of straight-A pupils in Croatian elementary schools sadly isn't a sign of brilliance but of Croatian teachers being put under pressure by parents who want their kids to go to the best high schools in the country. The newly launched Facebook group wants to get to the bottom of fake A's, offering Croatian teachers a place for anonymous confessions.

Parents naturally want their best for their children and want to see them succeed and have the best life possible. The smarter the child, the better things will be for them, many would conclude. If a child is like that middle child from the show ''Malcolm in the Middle'', bright enough to be the master of everything you throw at him, be it maths, language, physics, or history, he should be able to sail through life worry-free, right? Well, maybe.

In reality, such gifted individuals, if actually real, are truly rare. However, you wouldn't think that if you were to see the grades of some Croatian pupils, with a large number of them getting straight A's. Unfortunately, this is a distorted picture of reality.

''I teach the youngest kids, and the criteria is owed to the parental pressure. I'm there just to hand out A's. Nothing else is good enough. I was even reported to the inspection because I gave one pupil a B (she was a C, but I knew there would be a problem so I gave her a B, and then chaos began). I justified giving her that grade for weeks with the threat of inspections hanging over my head. The grades are perfect, the knowledge not so much, the kid and their parents are happy, and the teachers crapped all over,'' reads a thread from one of the increasingly pressured Croatian teachers on the recently launched Facebook group ''Why Does it Itch When it's Not 5.0?'' (Zašto žulja kad nije 5.0?).

teacher_thread_fb_group.jpg

FB thread translated above, screenshot / Zašto žulja kad nije 5.0?

The flood of straight-A students (or, in Croatian terms, those kids with an average of 5.0, meaning they passed all subjects with a 5, Croatian for A), has been sporadically addressed in the Croatian media over the past few months as elementary school pupils were heading off to their high schools. So many straight A pupils have their results rated as unrealistic and the parental pressure placed on Croatian teachers and professors is seen as what's to blame.

A grades given as a gift and not as a true measure of a child's knowledge was something that was even addressed in the curriculum reform and is waiting to be fully implemented. With high school admissions coming to a close, the situation has since gone rather quiet.

But, then, famous Croatian investigative journalist Ivana Paradžiković published a Facebook thread expressing dissatisfaction that her ''4.8 son'' didn't managed to get accepted into high school in any of the six gymnasiums he applied for, as they were accepting only those kids with a grade of 5.0 in the new school year. She stated that her son was good enough for the European Film Academy but apparently not for the Croatian education system.

''He had the misfortune of going to a school where an A grade wasn't given away, and it was important to the professors that instead, they actually teach kids something. Over there, 4.4 is a B and not an A, and to me, that was always normal and acceptable (...) several classes with 30 pupils each with a straight A grade and nobody finds that unusual nor alarming... The education system is the foundation of the society,'' wrote the rightfully unhappy Paradžiković, as reported by Jutarnji List.

Paradžiković's thread, as well as the previous media coverage of the straight A epidemic across many Croatian schools, triggered freelance journalist Matina Tenžera to start a Facebook group which discusses the matter. The group consists of 249 members at the time of writing this article.

''I want to survey public opinion about this issue. Some say it's the fault of the system, but that's a bit too abstract. I want to find out how much parents really do push their children, is it truly such a big issue or maybe it's blown out of proportion?''  Tenžera said to TCN.

The group invites Croatian teachers to share their inside stories on parental pressure and generally what stands behind this unrealistic picture of the success of Croatian pupils on paper. The response so far is small, but Tenžera hopes that interest will grow. As TCN previously reported, Facebook groups that share anonymous confessions played a crucial role in revealing sexual harassment in the Croatian higher education system, mainly at the acting academy in Zagreb and other parts of the wider region.

Still, the small amount of threads gathered by Tenžera's group already reveals some true horror stories about how teachers in Croatia are perceived more as slaves than as valued individuals tasked with properly preparing the next generation for adulthood out there in the big wide world.

''My mother works as a teacher, and the situation in which someone came to school to attack and threaten to sue her because she gave a low grade to the child of someone famous has happened more than once. She literally had to remove the grade under the threat of getting fired,'' reads one anonymous confession.

teacher_thread_fb_group_2.jpg

FB thread translated above, screenshot / Zašto žulja kad nije 5.0?

Tenžera wants to learn just why Croatian schools and their headmasters don't take a stand and explain to parents that a good grade needs to be worked for and earned.

''I'm just a layman, but I hope that experts and experienced teachers will join the group and provide some of their solutions,'' says Tenžera.

Zagreb's Vladimir Prelog Science School and Mathematical Gymnasium (MIOC) has already taken to the practice of having entrance exams to settle the difference between talented pupils on paper and actual talented pupils.

Introducing and valuing entrance exams more than elementary school grades is one solution Tenžera believes could work, but as she points out, she isn't an expert. So, she hopes the Facebook group will encourage discussion for those who are educated, trained, and qualified to discuss education issues.

The following days will reveal whether or not this Facebook group grow into a bigger voice protesting against unfair and unethical practices in the Croatian education system and the abuse of Croatian teachers.

Meanwhile, in the first week of the new school year in Croatia, pupils are back in their classrooms learning about the world around them. However, the lesson of honesty and getting only what you work hard for is a lesson only their families can teach. Not threatening teachers for giving grades that are a realistic, professional evaluation of knowledge is lesson number one.

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

For more about education in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Croatian School Museum: 120th Anniversary Clouded by Earthquake Damage

 September 4, 2021 - The Croatian School Museum, despite marking 120 years of existence, isn't really in a celebratory mood as it remains closed to the public and awaiting earthquake reconstruction.

With this weekend being the final one for the summer break before the 2021/22 school year begins in Croatia, families in Zagreb could've ideally used the weekend to introduce the kids to the importance of education by taking them to the Croatian School Museum. However, with the building still undergoing reconstruction after 2020's earthquakes, it would be wise to wait a bit longer before going to see the collection of items and historical evidence that tell the story about the development of education in Croatia.

What is interesting to note, however, is that with 2021 marking 150 years since the first Croatian teacher congress that shaped the course of the education system in the country, it is also the year that marks 120 years of the Croatian School Museum.

The museum first opened its doors on August 19, 1901, marking the 30th anniversary of the Croatian Education and Literary Assembly (the oldest association of Croatian teachers, which is still active today). The museum is located at Trg Republike Hrvatske 4 (Republic of Croatian Square), near Zagreb's Croatian National Theatre (HNK).

''The basis of the museum material was made up of objects from the teaching exhibition that was held in Zagreb back in 1871 and 1892, and materials were also donated by various teachers, schools, publishers, and education material manufacturers,'' explains the museum's website.

The new and current permanent exhibition was refreshed back in the year 2000 and many visitors have become interested in visiting the museum since then. With occasional exhibitions, we deal with topics from the history of school and education, and we represent the materials from the museum's collection,'' the site adds. Hrvatski_Školski_Muzej_iap.jpg

© Hrvatski Školski Muzej

The museum has gone through two world wars, one regional war and four different political systems. Štefka Batinić, the museum's headmaster, wrote for the Croatian School Museum blog site about the history of the museum and teaching in Croatia using historical sources from these periods. She noted that during that past, which, in Croatia, much like today, saw society divided owing to various ideological conflicts, teachers were also not spared discussions and different views on how society might move forward.

Still, one can assume that despite reading up on these conflicts which were of paramount significance, teachers were still united in putting their students first despite disagreeing with each other on what the best way to provide them with the most quality education and future was.

It is also interesting to note from Batinić's writing how teachers in charge of teaching new generations of pupils were perceived during the times of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, when events and reforms which were the cornerstone of the current Croatian education system started to unfold.

''Croatian teachers (class teachers, working with the youngest among us) were denied the epithet of Croatian intelligence (in the education community, the term was reserved for the academically educated high-school and university professors), but their tendencies and goals were directed towards the finest practice examples of the teachers' community in Austrian and German lands,'' wrote Batinić.

Batinić's blog also cynically wrote in the caption underneath the photo of a damaged chimney on the museum that ''hopefully, it won't collapse before reconstruction begins.''

''We don't feel like celebrating. We'll celebrate when the reconstruction begins. Some important people from the city visited us recently. We're thankful for that,'' concluded Batinić in her blog post.

With faculties and higher educational institutions seeing progress in the reconstruction process following 2020's earthquakes, other educational institutions and, as we can see, museums, still await their turn for reconstruction as the bitter taste in their mouths grows. It isn't surprising, given that in the eyes of many, this government prioritises neither reconstruction nor education in general.

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

For more about history in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

First Croatian Teacher Congress: 1871 as the Start of Modern Education

August 31, 2021 - The first Croatian Teacher Congress that took place in Zagreb in August of 1871 and is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2021. TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac brought more details from the historical event that paved the way to the modern Croatian education system.

Scheduled to start on September the 6th, the new school year for Croatian pupils is edging closer and closer. The pandemic is still lurking around dark corners as healthcare workers fear the new wave due to the inadequate vaccination rate among Croatian teachers. In addition, schools in Zagreb and Banovina/Banija region are still dealing with various earthquake reconstructions and many complain that the process going forward is way too slow.

Challenging times, no doubt, but education is one of the fields that has always gone through challenges through history. Looking back through history, 2021 is marking the 150th anniversary of the biggest conference of Croatian teachers known.

From August 23-25, the first Croatian Teacher Congress was held in the City of Zagreb, gathering over a thousand teachers from modern-day Croatian territory and the wider region (with Croatia at the time being part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy). That same year also saw the establishment of the Croatian Education and Literary Assembly (Hrvatski pedagoško-književni zbor), the oldest association of Croatian teachers, which is still very much active today.

''It was the beginning of a new era for Croatian teachers. It was an important event for the teacher's community that greatly influenced on the perception of teachers and their ideas as important elements in building the modern Croatian education system. The first Croatian Teacher Congress took place in the then theatre hall (which is the Croatian Natural History Museum today) during the summer break when teachers, as the following years also show, were very active in undertaking professional activities that could've been organised while the schools were closed,'' wrote Štefka Batinić for the Croatian School Museum's blog.

The leading organiser of the first Croatian Teacher Congress was a teacher by the name of Ivan Filipović, and many teaching-related objects and material proof, as well as memories of that big event, can be seen at the Croatian School Museum in Zagreb on permanent display.

With 80 topics suggested for the discussion, only 12 were selected for the first Croatian Teacher Congress. This indicated both how many challenges were there to address in Croatian education at the time, and how needed it was to continue with such professional events.

Indeed, as Batinić continues, the need for frequency of these types of meetings was recognised by the profession but sadly, and rather unsurprisingly, obstructed by politics.

''A general Croatian Teacher Congress was supposed to be held every three to four years. Another two were held, in Petrinja in 1874 and in Osijek in 1878. None of those, however, broke the attendance record of the first one. The fourth congress was supposed to be held in Dalmatia in 1881, which would also mark the 10th anniversary of the first congress, but with the government at the time forbode the further holding of such congresses,'' explained Batinić.

Despite further congresses being in decline, 1874 saw important reforms made by one of the most respected Croatian bans (leaders and representatives of Croatian territories in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy), Ivan Mažuranić. As the Histedu website writes, Mažuranić brought Croatian education to the jurisdiction of the state, taking it away from church, he introduced PE (physical education) as an obligatory part of education, and he also made school more available to the general population, working also on ensuring better conditions in the school buildings (which in some saw pupils inhale dangerous gases from furnaces used to heat the buildings).

In that regard, 1871 is one of the most crucial years for Croatian education, with the first professional congress and foreshadowing changes Mažuranić introduced three years later. It was a year which, for any teacher that cares about their pupils, should serve as a goal to strive to and a basis on which we might find the same courage and strength to answer the modern issues which plague education in Croatia.

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

For more about history in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 30 August 2021

Digital Activism Solidarity School: Teaching Young People Digital Literacy

August 30, 2021 - If you want to learn more about navigating fake news and contributing to the battle against misinformation, you might want to apply for the Digital Activism Solidarity School in Kaštel Kambelovac. Here's how you can apply by September 10, 2021.

Summer education programmes aren't unusual in Croatia, as TCN reported earlier in May, the five-day Summer Business School organised by Step-Ri Science-Technology Park and the American Embassy in Croatia in June attracted business enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to Rijeka to learn more about the field.

In the final rays of summer 2021, from September 24-26, another education programme will bring its students to learn in the cozy Mediterranean environment of Kaštel Kambelovac. The Digital Summer School, organised by the SOLIDARNA Foundation, aims to promote digital and media literacy to combat the spread of fake news and misinformation.  

As the SOLIDARNA Foundation website states, the three-day workshop will teach the participants to recognise and fact-check fake news. It will also teach people to actively participate in content produced on social media, creating and launching a content alternative to fake news. Finally, the participants will also learn how to use satire in the promotion of human rights and how to communicate their values effectively.

''This workshop is intended for students, socially active individuals and to everyone else under 30 years of age who are interested in manufacturing digital content promoting human rights and fighting against fake news,'' says the public call on the website.

Experts from both Croatia and the wider region will share their knowledge on the subject. The experts include Tijana Cvjetićanin, a journalist at the Bosnian fact-checking site Raskrinkavanje.ba, Emina Bošnjak, executive director of the Sarajevo Open Centre (SOC), Borna Sor, a Croatian satirist (no stranger to TCN) and digital communication expert, Luka Kerečin.

Participation in the workshop is free, with both secured transport, accommodation, and food, but with a limited amount of places. Participants need to bring a laptop with them. Those who want to apply need to send a brief motivation letter about their interests and their past aexperience in activism toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by September 10, midnight at the latest. The title of the mail must be “DIGITAL YOUTH ACTIVISM” and for all additional questions, you can send an inquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Founded back at the end of 2015 and guided by the teachings of Eleanor Roosevelt, the SOLIDARNA Foundation says it wants to return human rights home ''to the hearts, minds, and lives of ordinary people.''

''The SOLIDARNA Foundation for Human Rights and Solidarity creates new opportunities for all citizens to act in solidarity, in our common effort to protect human rights and meet fundamental human needs, reduce inequalities and expand freedoms in all spheres of society,'' explains SOLIDARNA on its website.

With digital nomads and the digital industry being a more and more recognisable source of income and business in the country, digital literacy and being able to differentiate between facts and lies on the internet is ever more important.

Learn more about digital nomads with our TC guide.

For more about education in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Women and Technology Program: Gender Inclusive Museum on the Go

Aug 27, 2021 -The Women and Technology Program aims to raise awareness of women's contribution to science and technology through a virtual exhibition for the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum.

Established in 1995, the Centre for Women’s Studies in Zagreb is the first non-institutional educational center in Croatia.

Founded by a group of feminists, theorists, scholars, peace activists, and artists, the goal is to provide an interdisciplinary program and expert knowledge on women’s issues, becoming a meeting point for academic discourse, artistic practice, activist engagement, and more.

One example of this non-institutional research and education is the project „Women and technology – Towards the Gender Inclusive Museum“which encourages young people (under 25) to engage in the promotion of the gender-inclusive approach at the museum. Cultural and artistic content, as well as active participation on webinars, have a goal of allowing young people to co-create virtual museum displays with respect to a gender-inclusive approach.

The Nikola Tesla Technical Museum (TMNT) is the partner of the program, as the participants are creating a virtual display for this particular Zagreb museum. The project, as the museum informs, will last until March 2022.

„The project is focused on reinterpreting displays that will acknowledge women's contribution to science and technology and open new perspectives and curator practices. It is important to enroll young people in the process to raise awareness of the need, as well as the possibility of changing the dominating narrative. To do this, they need basic knowledge and skills on museology, design, and art," says the Centre for Women’s Studies in Zagreb website.

The website adds that the question of gender inclusiveness has become more and more relevant in museum practices. Last year's edition of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) magazine, which deals with research, conservation, continuation, and communication to society of the world’s natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible, made „Gender and Museums“ the main topic. With ICOM's panel of experts prescribing professional and ethical standards for museum activities on an international level, the topic is an agenda for any museum that wants to uphold its reputation to address.

The virtual display will be connected to the current, physical one of the TMNT's, with QR codes being the connecting point. Webinars and workshops, apart from teaching skills to make the virtual display, will also provide historical education on the women contributing to science and technology.

Marking International Women's Day 2021, TCN earlier this year published an article on Croatia's most influential women. In addition, as women's rights in Croatia, as well as in the world, still face challenges (which includes the USA), American-Croatian psychology professor specialized in women issues, Mala Matacin, gave an interview to TCN referring to the issues women face in Croatia and the US.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Croatian Broadcast Exhibition: Zagreb Technical Museum Hosting Event Until October 12

August 26, 2021 - The Croatian Broadcast Exhibition hosted by Zagreb's Nikola Tesla Technical Museum (TMNT) offers visitors a chance to learn more about the rich history of radio and television in Croatia which led to the diverse multimedia world of today.

Named after the famous scientist Nikola Tesla, the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum (TMNT) continues to showcase the history of invention and technology. Since June, all the way  up to October 12, the Museum has been and will continue to host an exhibition called ''Transmitter and connections – 95 years of broadcast in Croatia'', authored by TMNT's curator Goran Rajič. Marking 95 years of radio and 65 years of television in the country, the display is supported by Transmitters and Connections d.o.o.

''There is no doubt that broadcast, embodied in two iconic phenomena – radio and television, marked the 20th century and made way for today's dominance of multimedia, evident in the overall networking and convergion of communication technologies,'' reads the TMNT website.

They added that radio and television made significant contributions to society, from building democracy and pluralism to being symbols of mass consumer and pop culture.

''With a selection of representative objects from the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum and objects used in Transmitters and Connections d.o.o., we're paying tribute to the significant anniversary of broadcasting on Croatian soil, as well as the almost century-long effort of Croatian work and intellectual efforts in its quality,'' explained the TMNT website.

This selection includes various radio and television transmitters, televisions and radios used in Croatia, also accompanied by photos of the most significant locations across the country where transmitters are situated. In addition, the exhibition presents visitors with data that provides less known facts on the size and branching of the transmitters, as well as on the challenges of maintaining the broadcast network.

TMNT also reminds its readers that the first radio transmission in Croatia was achieved on May 15, 1926, by the hard work of the Radio Club Zagreb, and was produced by the German Telefunken company from Berlin. The same date, but this time in 1956, saw the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the radio on modern Croatian territory. Antennas placed on Sljeme, Medvednica's mountain top, saw the very first television broadcast. The most recent technological advancement in the Croatian broadcasting world was seen in 2017 when 16 radio stations started broadcasting on a digital signal.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Patriarch Porfirije Provides 10 Undergraduates From Croatia With Scholarships

ZAGREB, 25 Aug, 2021 - Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) is personally financing scholarships in the new academic year for students from Croatia via the "Vladimir Matijević" fund which is managed by the Serb Privrednik association, reads a press release issued by the association on Wednesday.

Underscoring that during his service in Zagreb, when he as Metropolitan ran the Eparchy of Zagreb and Ljubljana, Patriarch Porfirije supported and assisted the association's activities and scholarship holders and that he will continue to do so as the SPC head.

"In the last academic year, Privrednik provided scholarships for 80 students, mostly from underdeveloped areas in Croatia. Ahead of the new academic year, we are intensively collecting funds as we have until now, for scholarships for talented students and those of poorer economic status. Annual scholarships amount to HRK 5,000 for secondary school students and HRK 10,000 for university students."

Some of the distinguished persons from the creative industries have been engaged in the campaign to collect those funds: singer Momčilo Bajagić Bajaga, and actors Goran Bogdan, Voja Brajović, Svetlana Bojković and so on.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Monday, 23 August 2021

Science Faculty (PMF) Earthquake Reconstruction: Croatian Faculties Receive Aid

August 23, 2021 - The Science Faculty (PMF) Earthquake reconstruction money was received in July by the Croatian government and Education Ministry. The aid was given to other high-education and scientific institutes that suffered from the earthquake too.

With August concluding, the academic community is waking up after a summer break. Students are preparing for exams, and professors are grading those exams as both groups boldly look towards new wins and losses in October and another season of active higher education in Croatia. However, with faculties being low-key in the summer, one might have missed an important action in early July when prime minister Andrej Plenković and education minister Radovan Fuchs came to Zagreb's National and University Library. They delivered 42 contracts of assigning non-returnable financial aids to reconstruct infrastructure of higher education and scientific institutions hit by the earthquake. The total amount is 2,140,837,980 kuna, and Zagreb's University Faculty of Science (PMF) received a total of 160.988.403 kuna for its own reconstruction after the natural disaster first hit Zagreb on March 23, 2020, and later Petrinja on December 29, which was also felt heavily in the Croatian capital.

With the University of Zagreb being founded in the middle of the 17th century, teaching and research of natural sciences and mathematics, which led to today's PMF, can be found almost two years after the university was founded, on April 21, 1876. The faculty, in its current form of working, was established on June 8, 1946. Since then, PMF has worked on its educational and research contributions, whose excellence is recognized domestically and internationally.

„The Faculty designs and conducts relevant university studies and scientific research programs which are an integral part of the higher education process in the fields of biology, physics, geophysics, geography, geology, chemistry, and mathematics," says the PMF website.

Today, PMF has seven departments (Biology, Physics, Geophysics, Geography, Geology, Chemistry, and Mathematics), organized into 28 divisions. It has around 4000 students enrolled in undergraduate, integrated undergraduate and graduate, and graduate university studies within 35 study programs and about 1000 students at seven postgraduate studies and one postgraduate specialist study.

„It is less known that the PMF also comprises the Seismological Service and its seismological stations all over Croatia, the mareographic station in Bakar, the geomagnetic observatory in Lonjsko polje, and the green jewel located in the very heart of Zagreb – the Botanical Garden. And in the background of it all are nearly 500 scientists and teachers for whom you will not only be just another name on a sheet of paper but a truly personal and (hopefully) successful story about your future and ours“, explained PMF.

The earthquakes damaged PMF, particularly the buildings of biology and geography departments. Still, it is admirable that amidst its own trouble, PMF found a way to help students of the Faculty of Metallurgy in Sisak, which also took a heavy hit from the earthquake, by donating five new laptops for educational purposes.

As TCN previously reported, citizens of Zagreb had mixed feelings regarding how the city and the government handled the situation in Zagreb. However, Croatian Parliament MP Sandra Benčić from the Možemo Green-left coalition, while commenting on the victory of his party colleague Tomislav Tomašević on Zagreb elections, stated that the citizens he helped filling out paperwork for damaged homes needed to receive European funds for the reconstruction, for which Zagreb needs to apply by June 2022 to receive the aid.

With these moves by the new administration and the aforementioned aids for the high scientific institutions, the steps to recover Zagreb, the center of science, culture, politics, economy, and more in the Republic of Croatia are underway. But, it will still take time for citizens to recover fully from 2020's tragedies.

The results of education and science curiosity pay off. Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about education in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević Announces New Model For Appointment of School Boards

ZAGREB, 3 Aug, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević announced on Tuesday that next Monday, applications would be invited for the appointment of members of school boards, with around 400 members to be selected, plus 200 who are representatives of local government units. 

Speaking at a news conference, Tomašević said that under the new model, of the three school board members who are appointed as representatives of schools' founder, namely the City of Zagreb, one would be chosen from among representatives of local government bodies and two would be selected in an open competition.

Around 400 school board members will be selected in an open competition, around 200 will be nominated by heads of city district councils.

The boards of primary and secondary schools whose founders are local government units each have seven members, of whom three have so far been appointed exclusively by a decision by the mayor.

The Večernji List daily recently reported that the appointment of some of the school board members in an open competition would be introduced by Zagreb and Split, whose mayors, Tomašević and Ivica Puljak respectively, have said the new model is aimed at depoliticising educational institutions.

Tomašević today also noted that fees for members of school boards as well as for members of the management boards of city-owned kindergartens and cultural institutions would be cut. 

Amendment of criteria on lease of city premises

Speaking of waste management in Zagreb, Tomašević said at today's news conference that the situation in Zagreb was critical regarding the disposal of bio-waste and bulky waste.

A new public procurement procedure has been launched for the disposal of bio-waste while the public procurement procedure for the disposal of bulky waste is under way, he said.

The mayor of Zagreb also announced changes to criteria for the lease of city-owned premises, noting that by raising prices of lease, which are currently very low, the city's revenue could be increased.

"I do not see any logic in leasing commercial businesses that earn millions in revenue spaces of several hundred square metres at a price of several thousand kuna," he said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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