Schools in Croatia are due to resume classes on January 18, but school buildings in the Petrinja, Sisak, and Glina area were badly damaged in the earthquake and there is still no plan on how to get children back to school.
For many students in Sisak-Moslavina County, remote learning is not an option. Ivan Goran Kovačić Elementary School in the village of Gora was the hardest hit in the county. This school is attended by children in 12 nearby villages. Nearly half of those students are living in campers or mobile homes near their houses, while the rest are staying farther away with relatives or have been placed in temporary housing in other communities. The principal of the school, Valentina Vujnović, says neither teachers nor parents believe now is the time to go back to school.
“We have children who have stopped speaking. They don’t want to be in any kind of enclosed space because they are scared and in shock. I hope that we will be allowed to postpone the new semester,” Vujnović says and believes on-line classes would not be possible at this time.
The high school in Glina is expected to start the new semester on-line, but teachers and parents have many unanswered questions.
“Most of these children did manage to stay near their homes, but they are living in containers. Glina will be definitely be going on-line. I don’t know if everyone has access to the internet. Our school is one of the ones in Croatia where a number of our students were among the 4% nation-wind who do not have access to the internet,” says principal Marija Martušić Novosel and adds that her students are also under a lot of stress.
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