Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Zagreb Months Late in Paying Schools' Bills, Says Daily

ZAGREB, 27 Oct 2021 - Zagreb schools are in serious financial problems because the city has been late for months with the payments it owes them as their founder, Jutarnji List daily said on Wednesday.

Due to the budget deficit encountered upon coming to power, the new city administration is evidently at quite a tight stop, and schools are affected, the paper said.

Headmasters have confirmed that the last payment they received from the city for energy was in August to pay the bills for March, for food in September to pay the bills for April, and only this week to cover the material costs of the last month of the previous school year. 

Due to the months-long lateness in the payments, school headmasters fear shut-offs and enforcement procedures. For now, they are using school funds to pay the bills, they say, adding that payments were late in the past as well, but never this late.

"We don't have money even for emergencies... We understand that the city is in a difficult financial situation, but we have a hard time understanding that there is no information on when we will get the money," Suzana Hitrec, president of the Secondary School Headmasters Association, was quoted as saying.

She said secondary school headmasters had met with city officials but were not informed when the payments would become regular.

If some schools have money in their accounts, those are mainly funds for European projects which cannot be used to pay for toilet or printing paper, Hitrec said.

According to estimates, the city should give schools about HRK 10 million a month to pay utility bills as well as for material costs and food, Jutarnji List said.

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Thursday, 2 September 2021

Civic Education To Be Introduced as Pilot Project in 2nd Semester in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 2 Sept 2021 - Civic Education will be introduced in the second semester of this school year as a pilot project and an extracurricular subject, while in 2022 the programme is expected to be introduced in all schools in Zagreb, members of the city's ruling green-left coalition said on Thursday.

The first semester of the new school year will be dedicated to preparations for the project, adoption of the curriculum for the subject, and teacher training. All of that will be tested in selected schools as part of the pilot project in the second semester.

Schools to participate in the pilot project have still not been selected, they have two weeks to respond to the call and state if their pupils, their parents, and teachers are interested in having that extracurricular activity introduced.

The process will be coordinated by a new task force to be appointed by Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević.

The previous city administration adopted a programme for teachers teaching Civic Education but Damir Bakić of the We Can! party said that the programme was inadequate and that it would be improved. Bakić commended the Civic Education curriculum that is implemented in Rijeka, saying that Zagreb intended to copy it.

He also commented on a misunderstanding that ensued after the city department for education said that Civic Education would be introduced at the start of this school year, in line with the programme defined by the previous city government.

Civic Education topic that transcends ideology

"This was not communicated sufficiently clearly and it is possible that some statements were made by the department without sufficient coordination with the city administration," said Bakić.

He dismissed any attempt at turning the introduction of Civic Education in schools into an ideological topic, responding that way to warnings from right-wing parties for parents to be careful about what their children will be learning and to see if We Can! and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which run Zagreb in a coalition, will impose their party ideology on them.

Bakić said that Civic Education was a public good, social value, and a topic that transcended ideology.

Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said on Wednesday that he didn't see any special reason to introduce Civic Education in schools as a separate subject given that it was already taught as a cross-curricular topic.

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Thursday, 6 May 2021

Zagreb Students Returning to Schools Next Week, Proposal Awaits Decision

May 6, 2021 - The City Office of Education based its proposal for Zagreb Students to return to schools next week on the number of vaccinated students and teachers, and now awaits a decision from the Zagreb Civil Protection Headquarters.

According to, the Zagreb Civil Protection Headquarters should decide today whether all Zagreb students will return to school next week after they received a proposal from the City Office for Education that from Monday both primary and secondary schools will have classes according to model A.

Ivica Lovrić from the City Office for Education bases the request on the fact that a quarter of the citizens in Zagreb were vaccinated, but also that half of the educators were vaccinated and the epidemiological situation is more favorable.

This would mean, if the proposal is accepted, that all high school classes will go to school along with high school graduates.


Credits: Pixsell

Head Ivica Lovrić bases his proposal on a more favorable epidemiological situation and the fact that about 25 percent of the population in Zagreb has already been vaccinated. They also vaccinated half of the total of 8,000 educators, and the rest should be vaccinated next week.

Lovrić reminded that currently in Zagreb according to model C, i.e., online classes from Easter are attended only by students of the first, second, and third grades of high school, while Zagreb students of all grades of primary school and high school attend classes according to model A, ie live, writes N1.

Zvonimir Šostar from NZJZ Andrija Štampar also commented on the issue of opening schools last night in RTL Direkt. He said that school is also one of the ways of socialization and normal life and that he thinks that I can slowly release high school next week, but that he will watch and follow the numbers.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Zagreb School Implements UN Sustainable Development Aims

December the 17th, 2020 - One forward-thinking Zagreb school has aligned itself with the UN's sustainable development aims and has, as such, entered the finals of the World Registry of Private Schools.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Vedri obzori International Primary School is the only Croatian school to have entered the finals of the aforementioned registry, which awards a diploma for a top humanities school. Among a total of 5,000 nominated schools from 56 different countries around the world, this Zagreb school entered the top five finalists.

School founder and principal Milena Prodanic Tisma says that this is a confirmation of their seven years of hard work and effort, but also a confirmation of their vision and approach in which the emphasis is placed on an individual approach to each student and in which the student is an active participant in the entire teaching process. This Zagreb school was founded back in 2013.

Since September this year, it has run the famous British Mindfulness and Wellbeing programme for students to ensure the psychophysical protection of students from the consequences of the ongoing pandemic, as was said in an interview with Poslovni dnevnik back at the end of July.

''This year we decided to go one step further by launching the Mindfulness programme while the Wellbeing programme has been one of the core components of our school right from the very beginning. The Mindfulness programme aims to help students in their daily work through the development of concentration, focus and productivity, and is intended for all students of our primary schools, ie from the first to the eighth grade. The first phase includes students from the second to the fifth grade, which we plan to upgrade to more grades.

The need to implement this programme stemmed from a deep understanding of the context with which students are surrounded today in their educational process, which is characterised by the hyperproduction of information and the expansion of communication channels. In such circumstances, it's crucial for students to have full psychophysical support provided to them,'' said the Zagreb school's principal.

The programme is being implemented in addition to the regular programme to support students in their daily work to develop their concentration, focus and productivity.

The Mindfulness in Schools project, set up by teachers from the UK’s most successful schools and also the most recognised provider of mental health training and curricula for schools, aims to improve children’s lives by contributing to their positive mental health. More than 350,000 students worldwide are involved in the MISP programme, which develops their academic, social and emotional skills.

The Mindfulness in Schools project considers mental health as important as other school subjects, and the coronavirus pandemic further confirms that the focus in education should be on students' mental health, which was recognised by the Vedri International Elementary School as the first in Croatia to do so.

Informatics has been introduced in the school since the first grade, and after their regular classes, students have the opportunity to choose many activities such as tennis, robotics, chess, art workshops, etc. This year they became the first elementary school in Croatia to introduce the goals of the United Nations (UN) for the sustainable development of their integrated into teaching as part of the curriculum.

"Our advantage is that we don't conduct classical frontal teaching after which the student goes home and learns for their assessment. Thus, for example, we use the innovative music curriculum Charanga to perform music, and in the teaching process, the mathematical programme Mathletics, which allows students to practice their mathematical skills, is used in a fun way through online "games".

We prefer innovative learning programmes because only this type of programme can develop the skills and competencies that students will need in the future. The transformation of the business world is taking place at a staggering pace, and when we add that to ubiquitous artificial intelligence (AI), which takes over all areas of activity, it's clear that classical learning doesn't provide students with enough space to develop thinking outside the box. AI will take over some of the work, but what it will certainly never be able to surpass is human creativity,'' the Zagreb school's principal stated.

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Monday, 7 December 2020

Zagreb Secondary Scools to Switch to Online Classes as of Dec 14

ZAGREB, Dec 7, 2020 - Secondary schools in Zagreb will switch to online classes as of Monday, December 14, the head of the city department for education, Ivica Lovric, confirmed on Monday.

Partial results of a preliminary testing of students and teachers in 19 Zagreb schools were presented at a regular press conference of the City of Zagreb's civil protection team.

Slightly more than 2,000 Zagreb secondary school students were tested, and preliminary results show the presence of asymptomatic infection in 1% of primary school and 2.23% of secondary school students. As for school workers, 365 were tested, and 3.29% have an asymptomatic infection.

"This confirms that students are not mass carriers of COVID and that the virus is not spreading in classes and schools," Lovric said. "In 75% of Zagreb classes with COVID, only one student is positive, and in others two. We have concluded that it would be good to introduce Model C for all secondary school students as of December 14," he added.

Model C refers to distance learning.

"This will indicate how much that measure will contribute to curbing the spread of COVID," he said, noting that it would surely contribute to reducing crowds in public transport.

Monday, 30 November 2020

Rapid Antigen Coronavirus Testing Begins in Zagreb Schools

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of November, 2020, today, rapid antigen tests will be conducted for the first time in Zagreb schools. The institutions in which the testing will be carried out will be both primary and secondary schools.

Iva Milardovic Stimac, assistant head of the Education Office of the City of Zagreb, said that the City of Zagreb wants to conduct a short preliminary or pilot study on the presence of coronavirus in Zagreb schools among students and staff. The testing will be conducted in fifteen schools.

"Today it is time to test in three Zagreb schools. 587 students and staff will be tested. Negative results won't seek to be further confirmed by a PCR test, and positive ones will need to go on to be confirmed again by a PCR test,'' said Milardovic Stimac in conversation with HRT.

“The City of Zagreb, in cooperation with the Dr. Andrija Stampar Institute and the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Medicine, will conduct a preliminary study on the prevalence of coronavirus among students and employees of primary and secondary schools across the City of Zagreb.

Testing with rapid antigen tests will be conducted by employees of the Dr. Andrija Stampar Institute from November the 30th to December the 4th, 2020, in fifteen schools in the City of Zagreb. In each of these fiftee Zagreb schools, eight of them primary and seven of them secondary schools, 120 students will be tested with the prior consent of their parents, as well as 20 employees who will be chosen by random selection.

The aim of this testing is to obtain information on the presence of the virus in Zagreb schools on a representative sample, on the basis of which further epidemiological measures will be determined in the schools of the City of Zagreb,'' she wrote.

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