Sunday, 26 September 2021

Croatian Schools Do Not Offer Systematic Education About Climate Change

ZAGREB, 26 Sept, 2021 - Croatian schools still do not offer systematic education about climate change even though transition to a climate neutral economy will create more than one million jobs in the EU in the period until 2030, teachers interested in the topic of climate change have said.

Croatian students acquire most of the knowledge about climate change by participating in projects.

Sanja Turčić Padavić, a teacher at a Rijeka secondary school, says that young people are aware that the new time brings new challenges that will be easier to deal with with green skills but that school curricula make no mention of such education.

Teachers who consider the topic important find a way to include it in their work with students, but there has been no incentive from the Science and Education Ministry, Turčić Padavić says.

"I convey the knowledge I have acquired through the subject I teach. If I were not involved in projects, I would probably not know what to teach about climate change or how," she says.

A study on climate change in the EU, of which she is a coordinator and which is part of the Erasmus+ programme, will be conducted over a period of three years.

It will focus on 243 endangered animal and plant species in three countries. The focus in Croatia is on fauna and based on the study's results, an innovative plan of recovery will be proposed for each of the species.

Several Croatian schools regularly take part in a national reforestation campaign, which is designed to point to the importance of trees in mitigating climate change.

There are also other forms of education, including a workshop organised by the Tatavaka association in July, which also involved members of the Civil Protection who as part of the school curriculum, have been preparing a handbook on how to reduce disaster risks.

Italy is the first country in the world to have officially introduced education about climate change and sustainable development in the school system, owing to efforts by former Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti.

Education on climate change received a lot of public attention with the climate marches of  2019, organised by students.

A 2020 survey on climate education in Europe collected 1,101 responses, with 89% coming from education workers. Almost all agreed that school is responsible for climate education, however, 70% said climate education was insufficiently present in school curricula.

Lack of competence and training was cited as the most frequent reason why teachers could not include it in curricula, the second reason being lack of resources.

A small percentage of respondents expressed doubts as to the existence of evidence about climate change being a serious problem.

The importance of education for strengthening the European framework for green competencies has been underlined at this year's EU Green Week.

Today there are initiatives such as UNESCO's education on climate change, eTwinning, Erasmus+, the European Parliament Ambassador School Programme (EPAS), and others.

The Green Deal and the fight against climate change are among priority policies of the European Parliament and special attention will be paid to these topics through activities, seminars and programmes that are organised by the EP Office in Croatia, the Office has said.

EPAS has been implemented in Croatia since 2016 and so far more than 60 secondary schools have attended it.

The European Parliament in 2019 declared a climate crisis, calling on the European Commission to harmonise future legislative and budget proposals with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In June this year the EP approved a new regulation on climate increasing the target reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU in the period until 2030 from 40% to at least 55%.

It also adopted a position on the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 which aims to put under protection at least 30% of land and sea in the EU.

Transition to a low-carbon economy will create more than one million jobs in the period until 2030, which requires retraining and additional training for more than 120 million Europeans in the next five years.

According to OECD data, many countries have already included topics related to environmental protection in their school curricula, however, there is still no comprehensive strategy at the EU level.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Croatian School Pupil Weight Measuring: From Public to Private

September 25, 2021 - Croatian school pupil weight measuring will now be done in private instead of in front of the class. This is the result of the Centre for Eating Disorders (BEA) initiative, which the Education Ministry accepted by sending out a memo to Croatian schools.

When you were a pupil in school, did you feel shame or discomfort during PE when that dreadful day on which you were due to be measured appeared on the schedule? Whether over or underweight (believe it or not, some people are too slim, which is particularly awkward for boys who aren't as built as their jock colleagues), it's a matter many would prefer to do in private.

And that is exactly what this initiative launched by the Centre for Eating Disorders (BEA) tried to express to the Croatian education system.

As Srednja.hr wrote, the initiative started earlier this week and quickly became viral, as it was shared by almost every Croatian media outlet, social network influencers, and fitness enthusiasts. From the public to the institutions, as the Education Ministry heard the voice of the public and took it into account.

With great pride and joy, we'd like to notify you that the Ministry sent out this memo and instructions to Croatian schools to secure the individual measurement of children's height and weight for all elementary and high schools,'' Srednja.hr said, quoting BEA's Instagram post.

Still, how fast things will actually change for the better in practice is yet to be seen.

''We at the BEA Centre allow people to become visible, to have their voices heard and to identify their problems. Although we've been working continuously since 2012, we still lack the adequate space to carry out all of our activities on a day-to-day basis and provide support to people suffering from eating disorders and their families,'' explained the BEA website.

The website also adds that 40,000 people in Croatia are affected by eating disorders. One of the Croatian media outlets that wrote about the initiative is Telegram.

In their first article about BEA's initiative, Telegram presented to the Croatian public arguments that individual weight measurement would be beneficial as pupils are in an age where they are just building up their self-awareness and confidence. Having ''public'' weigh-ins results in an enormous amont of stress as it encourages stigmatisation and peer pressure isn't a good way of supporting that delicate development.

However, as Telegram wrote in a follow-up article, social media also saw the other side of the coin, where some of the commentators opposed the initiative with pretty derogative terms.

''It's a a lot of stress??? And being a fat pig is some sweet secret? Nobody knows until the number on scale shows,'' reads one of the many comments written ignorantly and in poor taste, as Telegram pointed out.

Nonetheless, with the memo sent out and accepted, things will look less stressful when it comes to weight for the newest Croatian generations.

With this initiative making a change, the hope arises for other challenges and issues in Croatian schools to be resolved. For example, as TCN reported earlier in September, the start of this year saw the problem of too many pupils having straight A scores due to various pressures placed on teachers to evaluate their performance unrealistically.

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

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

Friday, 24 September 2021

Andautonia For Everyone Programme: The Ščitarjevo Ancient Romans

September 24, 2021 - The Andautonia For Everyone programme in the Turpolje region archaeological park this weekend will present the life of the Ščitarjevo ancient Romans.

Give or take 24 minutes by car from Zagreb to the south-east lies the village of Ščitarjevo. Belonging to the nearby town of Velika Gorica, Ščitarjevo is the home to Andautonia, an ancient Roman town from (which existed from the first to the fourth century), and now a significant archaeological excavation site. Since back in 1994, it has also been an archaeological park and is quite the attraction for the region of Turopolje.

''Alongside the main street paved with stone slabs which are 27 metres in length, lie porches with preserved foundations for colonnades (iconic Roman columns). A larger part of the city has been excavated on the east side of the street with a semi-circle pool, halls, canals, and a hypocaust heating system. The west side saw the discovery of an access road followed by two monumental buildings,'' the Velika Gorica Tourist Board website stated when describing Andautonia.

As TCN previously reported, the park is known for organising various events that depict how Romans used to live in their old town in central Croatia, and this weekend, September 25 and 26, in honour of European Heritage Day, the Andautonia Archaeological Park will host the ''Andautononia For Everyone'' programme, the entry to which is free of charge.

''The goal of the programme is to present the site to the widest audience possible. All of the content will be free and adapted to those who are blind or otherwise visually impaired. The programme will present various workshops and games both children and adults used for entertainment back during Roman times. Visitors can also view the Roman scent exhibition, and an open-air exhibition will present the project of the further development of Andautonia Archaeological Park with an interpretation centre. Pets are welcome too,'' says the Škole.hr website.

The website also adds that the park has interpretation posts with various pieces of information on the development of the Roman settlement and more.

''Excavations also revealed that in the first century, there was a cemetery which was destroyed by floods and new construction,'' pointed out the Velika Gorica Tourist Board.

With Ščitarjevo being a village, you can learn more about Croatian rural tourism in our TC guide.

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

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Police File Reports Against Eight Anti-Maskers in Krapinske Toplice

ZAGREB, 15 Sept, 2021 - Police in the northwestern Krapina-Zagorje County have filed misdemeanor charges against eight persons protesting outside a primary school in Krapinske Toplice against the obligation for children to wear face masks in school. 

The police have filed 26 reports and they refer to an attempt to disturb the public peace, unreported public assembly in a place where public assemblies are not allowed, refusal to wear a protective mask indoors, and refusal to show police one's ID card.

Police also reported that a child's parents were reported for offences against the Identification Card Act and the Act on the Protection of the Population against Infectious Diseases, and that the competent social welfare service had been informed accordingly.

Police said that over the past few days, several people had continued rallying outside the school in Krapinske Toplice in violation of the Public Assembly Act, which was why police presence there was required.

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

 

Monday, 13 September 2021

Museum Practicum Project: Curator and Art Education by Zagreb Contemporary Art Museum

September 13, 2021 - The Museum Practicum Project by the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (MSU) will teach 30 selected young people aged 15-25 about the professions of curator and other museum jobs, as well as contemporary art while giving them a chance to promote their own work.

With the many good practices of additional education and popularising scientific and educational fields for young people (such as the SCOPE Project by the Višnjan Observatory), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU) in Zagreb is also making its contribution in line with their field. Their Museum Practicum project that started on September the 1st and will last until June the 30th, 2022, wants to introduce young people aged 15-25 to contemporary art, and to the basics of curator practices and other types of museum work. Thirty selected people will be mentored by the project team, partners, and hired experts and artists.

''The work with these young people will be held via online platforms, and it will include moderated conversations, mentorships, and co-creating virtual exhibitions from MSU holdings and exhibitions of their own work in the medium of photography created within the project,'' says MSU's website.

In this way, the project wants to provide young people with the opportunity to develop their own creative skills and knowledge through a virtual space and open space for both their expression and self-promotion.

''Even though curriculum reforms have already started, the need for young people interested in developing their social and creative skills is strong, as the education system does not provide that enough. Additionally, there is the insufficiency in regional representation and the limited participation opportunity of young people in art and culture activities due to the lack of extracurricular activities, all of which has been additionally worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic,'' says MSU, addressing the importance of the Museum Practicum Project in light of the many issues faced by Croatian schools.

The further recognition of the importance of the project is evident by the financial support of the EU from the European Social Fund, and the total budget of the project is 201,092.83 kuna.

The Museum Practicum Project and its wider goal of educating young people in preparing virtual exhibitions is similar and in line with the Women and Technology Program at the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, about which TCN previously wrote. Add in the overall challenges in the Croatian education system, from a lack of extracurricular activities to the previously mentioned problems of the straight A epidemic, and projects like these seem like welcome solutions to help young people recognise their worth and find passion in their lives.

Learn more about Zagreb on our TC page.

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

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.

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