Sunday, 12 September 2021

Teachers Appeal for Protection Against Opponents of COVID Restrictions in Schools

ZAGREB, 12 Sept, 2021 - Two Croatian Facebook teacher groups have asked Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs to protect school staff from opponents to coronavirus restrictions in schools and to punish the anti-maskers who invaded the primary school in the northwestern spa town of Krapinske Toplice.

"We demand a strong reaction and all the necessary steps so that things like this would not happen again," the Facebook teacher groups Školska Zbornica (Staffroom) and 45 Minutes said in an open letter to the minister on Sunday.

They said that schools must be safe places for all students and staff, and that Minister Fuchs is responsible for ensuring safety for teachers in schools, especially during the implementation of the required epidemiological measures.

The two groups bring together abut 20,000 teachers and other educational staff. 

About 20 people held a protest outside Krapinske Toplice Primary School on Friday because an eight-year-old pupil, who refuses to wear a face mask, had been banned from entering the school. The protest was organised by the boy's father, who says a mask makes it difficult for his son to breathe and that the school does not allow him to use common areas without it. In that way, he said, his son is being denied the right to an education.

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Sunday, 28 March 2021

Horizon Europe Programme Presented by Science and Education Ministry

ZAGREB, 28 March 2021 - The framework program for research and innovation Horizon Europe for the period from 2021 to 2027, worth €95.5 billion, was presented at a video conference at the Science and Education Ministry last Tuesday.

Horizon Europe is the leading EU program for research and innovation that will provide support in creating and expanding new high-quality knowledge and technologies, strengthening the impact of research and innovation on developing and supporting innovative solutions in industries and society for the sake of dealing with global challenges.

All types of innovation will be promoted, including revolutionary innovations, the introduction of innovative solutions on the market, and the optimizing of program results to enhance their impact in the strengthened European research area. EU policy implementation will be supported as well.

Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs believes the new framework program is a good opportunity for Croatia to strengthen its research community. He says his ministry will support by implementing the necessary reforms and making the necessary investments.

Supporting research excellence, quality research, connecting the academic community and the business sector are some of the key tasks in Croatia's national development strategy, he says, calling for investing additional effort to increase the absorption of available funds.

Speaking of the program's prospects from the point of view of Croatia as the youngest EU member, Fuchs said that it was his ministry's duty to create favorable conditions for the development of research and innovation, stressing that the ministry had enhanced the capacity to implement the Horizon 2020 program and would do the same for Horizon Europe.

European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel told participants in the online presentation that during its presidency of the EU in the first half of 2020, Croatia had contributed to negotiations on the Horizon Europe program, which resulted in an agreement with member states and the European Parliament in December 2020.

The EU now has an ambitious program for the next seven years which will enable the establishment of a pan-European network of researchers who will work together to create new ideas and enable their implementation, which will have an impact on Europe's development, she said.

She called on the competent institutions in Croatia to study the program thoroughly and actively participate in informative events on the program, such as one to be held in June.

Gabriel said the event would provide information on the first pillar of the program, called Excellent Science, which aims to reinforce and extend the Union's science base's excellence and enable investment in world-class research infrastructure.

Gabriel said that the meeting would also discuss researchers' mobility, a topic important for the Croatian academic community as more than 60 Croatian research organizations participate in Horizon 2020.

She recalled that the second pillar of the program, called "Global challenges and European industrial competitiveness," encourages programs that will result in concrete solutions to EU citizens' benefit in areas such as digital technology, environment, and energy.

The third pillar, "Innovative Europe," is geared towards encouraging new, advanced solutions needed by Europe. Gabriel said she believed that Croatia's efforts to increase its presence in the European research network would be fruitful.

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Monday, 18 January 2021

Ministry: Seventeen Schools in Quake-Hit Area Postpone Start of 2nd Term

ZAGREB, 18 January, 2021 - At the start of the second school term in Croatian schools, slightly fewer than 180,000 pupils are attending face-to-face classes according to model A, while 17 schools in Sisak-Moslavina County have been given approval to postpone the start of classes.

According to the data from the Science and Education Ministry, a total of 150,636 pupils in lower grades of primary school and about 29,000 students in the fourth grade of secondary school are attending classes in schools.

Students in higher grades of primary school and in the first, second and third grade of secondary school have online classes.

The start of the second term has been postponed for sixteen primary schools in Sisak-Moslavina County and the Glina Secondary School.

There are 53 schools in Sisak-Moslavina County -- 37 primary schools, 13 secondary schools and three music schools, there are 14,704 pupils and 2,754 school workers. There are also 21 kindergartens attended by 3,489 children.

Following the devastating earthquake that struck the county on December 29, nine of those buildings are unusable, 12 are temporarily unusable, 12 are usable with certain parts of buildings still posing a risk, and 23 are usable without limitations.