Today is the first day of the school year for half a million students in Croatia. In Split-Dalmatia county school will start next week. 320 thousand elementary school students and around 152 thousand secondary school students begin classes today.
There are many changes in store for students and their teachers and professors. The experimental "School for Life" reform program begins this year in which more than eight thousand students and two thousand teachers will be included. The program should prepare students better for challenges they face in life.
“All is organized and ready. Teachers have been trained, methodological handbooks have been prepared. Experimental textbooks have been prepared with publishers that are now being printed, meaning that this is in print, while the digital portion is ready. 170 advisors are also ready to enter schools,” said Minister of Science and Education Blaženka Divjak.
The School for Life program should result in 30% lighter backpacks for children, experienced based learning with emphasis on creativity and logical thinking, while teachers will have less paper administration and more time for preparation of classes with more independence and cooperation with parents.
Eight and a half thousand students will be included in the first phase of reforms along with two thousand teachers and professors, all in seventy four elementary and secondary schools. Laptops should also arrive in more than six hundred schools for which some thirty million kuna have been allocated.
School is a reflection of society and unfortunately poor demographic data is primarily evident in enrollment. Just ten years ago there were around 570 thousand students in Croatia and the number is now lower by 100 thousand. This year around 39 thousand first graders will sit at their desks for the first time. Last year there were 700 more. If looked at based on classrooms, in one year Croatia lost around 30 classrooms of children or about two average elementary schools.