Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Zagreb Primary School Named the Most Active School in Europe!

December 15, 2020 – Thanks to the project "A walk around the Earth" designed by professor Juraj Horžić, Zagreb Primary school "Petar Preradović" won the European Commission's #BeActive award for being the most active school in Europe.

As the Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports, today, Minister Nikolina Brnjac received representatives of the Zagreb Primary School "Petar Preradović", professor of physical education Juraj Horžić, and the school principal Denis Žvorac. Their school is the first Croatian winner of the #BeActive award given by the European Commission.

The title of the most active educational institution in Europe went to this Zagreb school thanks to the project "A walk around the Earth", designed by professor Horžić. In the spring, during limited activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, this project encouraged the physical activity of students, their parents, friends, relatives, and other acquaintances.

"I saw the news on the TV that a marathoner ran a marathon on his balcony. I immediately took the globe. I saw how far it is to make a circle around the Earth, for example, and I started to recalculate how many students would need to be included for us as a school to make a circle around the Earth," professor Juraj Horžić told RTL.

The project consisted of two challenges – a walk around the Earth along the meridians and parallels. In a total of 31 days in 1996, participants from 8 Zagreb primary schools covered more than 148,000 kilometers, made more than 222 million steps, and consumed more than 7.5 million calories.

"At a time when we need to adapt to new circumstances, professor Horžić accepted the challenge and, in a unique way, encouraged the physical activity of 2,000 people. He showed by example, how little is needed for motivation and how everyone in their own way, in their time and space, can engage in the activity they choose and do so much for their health. Congratulations to professor Horžić and the school on winning the award. I look forward to your future projects. Encouraging children to engage in physical activity is an important task, and the "Walk around the Earth "project has shown that we combine the most important thing with a creative approach – the acquisition of knowledge and physical activity," said Minister Brnjac.

Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac with the Petar Preradović Primary School from Zagreb representatives, professor Juraj Horžić and the school principal Denis Žvorac / Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Sports

The educational component added value to this project, as the students learned about all the countries, cities, and other areas they passed on their way through the walk. Professor Horžić gathered kilometers of all participants and prepared interesting facts from the history, geography, celebrities, nature, sports, and culture of different countries on four continents.

As a reward for all the effort, the recognition of the European Commission arrived.

"The prize is 10,000 euros, which will certainly improve our school budget. We will invest in the school what we need for physical education, some props, and everything we need to make our physical and health culture richer in the future," said Denis Žvorc, the school principal.

And they seem to be just at the beginning of their journey. They are also planning a trip to the Moon and will virtually walk even to Jupiter.

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Monday, 24 August 2020

School To Start On Sept 7, School-Related Public Health Measures Presented

ZAGREB, Aug 24, 2020 - School starts on September 7, and the main rule is to keep one's distance, not to mix pupils from different classes and to step up hygiene, while face masks will be mandatory only for pupils in higher grades if there is not enough space for them to keep their distance, the Education Ministry said on Monday.

The basic rule is that those who are showing symptoms of a communicable disease, are self-isolating or have contracted COVID-19 do not go to school, and to curb the disease it is necessary to keep one's distance, reduce contact between different classes, and step up personal hygiene and that of shared spaces, said Ivana Pavic Simetin, deputy head of the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) and coordinator of the task force in charge of elaborating and proposing school-related public health measures for the start of the 2020/2021 school and academic year.

Pupils should come into contact with a few teachers as possible during one day or period.

"It is recommended to have two or three hours of classes, two shifts, to have lessons start at different times, as well as breaks," Pavic Simetin said while presenting epidemiological guidelines for the start of the school year.

It is also suggested that schools provide replacement rooms in case there are too many pupils in a classroom for them to be at a distance of 1.5 meters in primary and 2 meters in secondary schools.

If there are no other possibilities, it is suggested that the school operates in shifts. For instance, half of the classes could attend school one week, and the second half next week.

In the event of a child exhibiting symptoms, he or she is separated from others and parents come to pick up their child, but there is no need to panic, and an epidemiologist should only be contacted if several children start showing symptoms.

If a child tests positive for COVID-19, the entire class or kindergarten group will undergo self-isolation.

Pavic-Simetin underscored that children were not superspreaders and that they rarely infect their family members or teachers.

Lower grades of primary schools to function as "bubbles"

Education and Science Minister Radovan Fuchs reiterated that classes in lower grades of primary school would follow the "bubble" model so pupils will not leave the classroom, they will have controlled access to the toilet, their teacher will be with them all the time and they will not mix with children from other classes. They will not have to wear face masks, nor will their teacher.

Pupils in higher grades of primary schools will only have to wear masks if there is not enough space for them to maintain physical distance.

Asked about optional subjects, such as religion, foreign languages, and IT, he underscored that there would be no mixing pupils from different classes, so if that was not possible, such classes would be held online.

There will be online classes if any of these two scenarios occurs: an entire class or school is undergoing self-isolation, or a class is being split up to provide more space for physical distancing, Fuchs said.

"That should not be a big problem, the least favorable version is to have children stay home," he underscored.

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Thursday, 4 April 2019

NP Krka Providing Books to Local Schools Through Praiseworthy Project

NP Krka is another one of those ''must visit'' places when in Croatia, and yes, there are many such destinations to be found here. The whole ''must see'' thing has become a little saturated over recent years, especially with the rise of self-proclaimed travel bloggers and social media influencers, however, there is much more to this stunning national park than just the ability to take artistic Instagram pictures.

NP Krka is involving itself in the education of school children in the Dalmatian county in which the park is situated through a praiseworthy project aimed at increasing kids' overall awareness of both protected areas and nature and the environment.

As Morski writes on the 3rd of April, 2019, the highly visited NP Krka actually launched the project "Let's fill up the school libraries" (Popunimo školske knjižnice), for primary and secondary schools of the Šibenik-Knin County back in 2007.

The aim of the project is to make the books published within the framework of this educational scope available to school-age children and other young people, so that they can contribute to their own respective awareness of the country's numerous protected areas and the need to take care of their surroundings, including the importance of the proper preservation of the environment.

Since back in 2007, VHS tapes and later on, DVDs covering a wide array of topics related to NP Krka and its environment and native wildlife and birds have been shared around numerous local schools within the aforementioned county in Dalmatia. In February this year, a total of 49 books were distributed to thirty-six primary and thirteen high schools in the county.

NP Krka's administration and staff believe that this year's gift to local schools will be used by students and their mentors and teachers not only as an additional teaching aid for the classroom but that it will also encourage children to go out and get to know and further explore the rich natural beauty and the cultural heritage of the beautiful NP Krka.

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