Friday, 23 October 2020

Croatian Dejan Nemcic The Best Geography Teacher In The World

ZAGREB October 23, 2020 – Croatian professor Dejan Nemcic is the best geography teacher in the world. He was awarded the status in the annual Global Teacher Awards for the vivid and imaginative way he engages students

Croatia has the best geography teacher in the world. Dejan Nemcic from Ivo Andrić Elementary School in Sopot, Zagreb was on Thursday 22 October named as the winner in his class by the annual Global Teacher Awards. He is one of the few winners this year from this part of Europe.

After he was named a recipient of the award, Dejan Nemcic was interviewed by Croatian media outlet 24sata. In the interview, he dedicated the award to his students.

Dejan Nemcic, who is originally from Garešnica in the south of Bjelovar-Bilogora County, was nominated because of the vivid and imaginative way he engages students in geography. Using online communications and multi-media he places students directly within the environments they're learning about.

IMG_8617.jpgIvo Andrić Elementary School in Sopot, Zagreb, where Dejan Nemcic teaches his inspired geography lessons © Ivo Andrić Elementary School

“I tell sixth-graders about the disappearance of the Amazon rainforest,” Dejan Nemcic detailed to 24sata as an example of his methods. “Then, my colleague Ana is waiting for us in a boat on the Amazon and we see everything as it really is. It’s the same with the favelas in Rio de Janeiro.” Using such collaborations and techniques he has allowed his students to travel the world from their classroom. He teaches everything that is included in the official curriculum but, with the blessing of the school administration, is free to teach it in his own inspiring way.

Around 150 members of the Croatian diaspora, located in the four corners of the earth, assist as part of the extended network of collaborators Dejan Nemcic has built over the last decade.

Educators from all over the world are included in the annual Global Teacher Awards. Teachers are nominated for inclusion by those who respect and admire their work. Dejan Nemcic was nominated by the EduBalkan platform.

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Sunday, 2 August 2020

Following Lockdown, Changes Coming to Croatian Schools as of Autumn

Lockdown saw Croatian schools across the country bolt their doors and kids took to online ''distance'' learning at home, but as things gradually return to some sort of normality, or the ''new normal'' as it has become known, there are some changes in the works for Croatian schools on the horizon...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of August, 2020, Minister Fuchs sent an amendment to the Ordinance on the manner and procedure of determining the conditions for the beginning of the school year for public discussion.

In all two-shift schools, which is the norm in the Croatian compulsary education system, the school hour could well be shortened from 45 to 40 minutes, as 24sata unofficially found out.

This will provide the necessary time between those two shifts for disinfection to be carried out and for the cleaning of the school premises and classrooms. Among other epidemiological measures that need to be in place in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, these shifts in Croatian schools will serve to maintain distance between groups of students.

The competent ministry says that they are satisfied with the proposals from the City of Zagreb so far, but the principals of the schools that will accept the return of students still have many questions hanging above their heads. From what exactly the limitations of the number of students per one class will be, to how the issue of teachers who will naturally have their health endangered by the move will be solved. Thinking ahead, questions about their replacements when and if an epidemic breaks out are also necessary to ask.

As stated, last week on Thursday, Minister Fuchs sent an amendment for public discussion to the Ordinance on the manner and procedure of determining the conditions for the beginning of the school year. A part of the rulebook is being changed, according to which the expert commission belonging to the competent ministry should check whether there is a school that students from another school might go to, and provide that school with a work permit.

According to the proposed amendment, "a decision approving the continuation of work in [these] changed conditions may be issued by the Minister without prior appointment and the direct inspection of the expert commission".

For more on Croatian schools, follow our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Young Croats Have The Best Digital Skills In Europe

July 16, 2020 - Young Croats have the best digital skills in Europe

Figures released by the European Union show that young Croats have the best digital skills in Europe. 97% of 16 to 24-year-olds in Croatia have basic or above basic digital skills.

The amazing result by young Croats is notably superior to their closest competitors Estonia, Lithuania and the Netherlands (all three 93%). By contrast, some neighbouring countries in south-east Europe observed the lowest shares; Romania (56%), Bulgaria (58%), Italy (65%), Hungary (68%).

Education in Europe was moved entirely online in recent months in response to the closure of schools. It seems Croatian students were the best-placed to deal with the switch to digital.

Digital skills of young people.jpg
Croatia's 16 to 24-year-olds lead in digital skills across the whole of Europe

To obtain the figures, European authorities assessed young people in four specific areas of internet and software use; information, communication, problem solving and software skills.

Information skills include the ability to identify, locate, retrieve, store, organise and analyse digital information. Communication skills include using emails, social networks, online communication software such as video calls and uploading content online. Problem-solving skills included transferring files between devices and the installation and management of software and apps. Software skills are considered the ability to use and manipulate content such as spreadsheets, photo, video or audio files and the use of word processing software.

Not all of the proficiency displayed by young Croatians can be attributed solely to studious work at their home PCs or laptops; many of the skills young Croatians possess are accessible on and learned from mobile phones. However, education in Croatia does play a significant role in the country's amazing digital literacy.

In addition to the good standard of digital education available in Croatian schools, one contributing asset is the Croatian Makers programme run by Nenad Bakic. It is the largest non-governmental educational programme in the EU, has assisted in the digital education of over 200,000 children in Croatia and has educated over 3,000 teachers in Croatia for free so that they may pass on vital digital skills to future generations. The programme has been so successful it has extended beyond Croatia's borders and now also educates young people and their teachers in countries like Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Kids from Croatia, Norway, Turkey and Romania Against Plastic Pollution

September the 10th, 2019 - Earlier this year, a small school from Baranja, the Popovac primary school, hosted 24 students and 8 teachers from Norway, Romania and Turkey as part of the international Erasmus+ project, ''Kids Against Plastic Pollution''.

Their days were filled with many activities and they did so much great work, but still had time to gather together and have a lot of fun. During the workshops, the students were very creative. By using recycled plastic
materials they made jewellery, fashion items, toys, pots for flowers, furniture for the school library and even bird houses. Cotton bags, made from recycled old sheets, were painted with eco-motifs and inspiring messages.

Liliana Solomon, a young educator from New York, taught the students about the importance of activism and shared her experiences from the USA. To bring their newfound knowledge into the real world, the Croatian students and their guests organised a silent march in Osijek where they warned the public about the huge problem of plastic bags and single use plastics. The media interest was high, and the student’s voices were heard far and wide, reaching long past this Drava river city.

The Baranja city of Beli Manastir hosted the “Plastic Horizont” exhibition, which featured the student’s photos. Their art highlighted the huge problem of plastic pollution not only in Croatia, but also in Norway’s fjords, in the Danube Delta in Romania, and and in the biggest Turkish summer resort in Antalya.

During their day-long trip to Zagreb, the students and their teachers admired the beauty of the Croatian capital city and had fun in the Museum of Illusions. Thanks to Petra Andrić from Greenpeace Croatia, the students learned about the problem of microplastic, which makes up 80 percent of all of the trash in the Mediterranean sea.

The students attended workshops where they used microscopes to analyse water samples from each country in the project, showing the problem of polluted water each place has. Afterwards, the pupils discussed the issue and suggested solutions for how each of them could solve this huge environmental problem in their own local communities. No stone was left unturned as all the students participated and lent their thoughts to the issue at hand.

An eighth grade Croatian student, Lana Herceg, said these are five days she'll never forget. She added: ''So many cultures and customs from different countries was great to see in a small village like Popovac. We really connected in such a short time and formed some great friendships. I only wish it could last much longer. I'm really happy that we all have opened our eyes to plastic pollution and I truly wish others would realise how huge this eco problem is,''

''This first meeting between pupils from Norway, Romania, Turkey and Croatia fills us with a lot of hope for the future. The pupils did excellent work and were engaged in the workshops and discussions that happened during the week in Popovac. The problems related to plastic are vast, but the engagement and enthusiasm of these pupils shows that a solution can be found,'' said one of the teachers from Norway, Maren Christine Fredriksen.

Lastly, the students planted a tree of friendship in the school's yard as a nice reminder that they all have decided to choose the planet instead of plastic.

Next week, six students from Baranja are travelling to Romania where they will meet again with other kids and keep working on this important project.

Follow Kids Against Plastic Pollution on Facebook here, and on Instagram here.

Follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more. If you're interested in how Croatia protects its environment, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

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