Achieve universal primary education

Where we are?

 Picture by Bruno Knežević: Education for all children (from the 2004 children's competition on MDGs in Croatia)

By adopting the Education Sector Development Plan 2005 - 2010 as its fundamental document for the development of the education sector, Croatia embarked on the process of creating and developing a knowledge society, and initiated changes at all levels of the education system.

The work towards meeting Target 1: Harmonisation of education with the European Community – the Bologna process, started at the legislative level, with the adoption of the Science and Higher Education Act, which reformed the higher education system according to the principles of the Bologna Declaration. The implementation of new university and specialist study programmes began in the academic year 2005/2006, shortly after the new programmes were designed. The ECTS system was implemented the same year.

Quality assurance in the Croatian system of higher education is regulated by the Act on Quality Assurance in Science and Higher Education. The Act should improve the work of Croatian higher education institutions, increase their accountability to citizens and enhance the quality of education provided to students. The Act should also contribute to the recognisability of Croatian higher education institutions and qualifications abroad, which would lead to strengthened international connections and greater student and teacher mobility, as well as the equitable inclusion of students in the international labour market.

With regard to Target 2: Successful inclusion into work, the economy and modern knowledge-based technology5, it is important to emphasize the special attention given to specialist vocational education and training. Strategy for the Development of Vocational Education and Training 2008 – 2013. The Strategy recognized the importance of broad knowledge, skills and competences, which lead to greater career flexibility and employability and allow workers to respond to rapid changes in the labour market and technological developments through continuous education and learning. In view of that, the Strategy defined five key goals for the reform of vocational education and training: developing qualifications based on competences and learning outcomes, continuous harmonisation of education with the needs of the labour market, developing a system of vocational education and training which promotes lifelong learning and mobility, defining the roles of teachers in the system based on learning outcomes, and establishing a quality assurance system.

Furthermore, legislation which ensures greater access to education for children and youth with special needs has been improved through the design of 51 programmes for low-skilled qualifications, the provision of lifelong professional orientation and development, and the allocation of teaching assistants for children with special needs. Employees in the education system continuously undergo training for working with children with special needs. Children with impaired sight received free textbooks, and a network of primary and secondary schools without architectural barriers was developed according to the principle of regional equity. Funds are allocated from the State Budget for these activities annually. The education system also provides greater access for children and pupils with special needs by developing more concrete positive legislation and enrolment policies, enhancing infrastructure, and promoting project work and curricular changes.

In the school year 2008/2009, all primary school pupils received free textbooks. In the school year 2009/2010, free textbooks were provided for blind pupils and pupils with impaired sight, families with several children, children of deceased, imprisoned or missing Croatian veterans, disabled war veterans and their children, as well as veterans in education themselves, on the condition that the income per household member did not exceed approximately 275 EUR (double the census amount, i.e. two times 30 per cent of the budget baseline). Assistance for textbooks and other school material was also allocated to families entitled to permanent assistance and primary and secondary school children in foster care.

Along the same principles, pursuant to the Act on Areas of Special State Concern, in the school year 2008/2009 local self-government units received funds for the free transport of 3rd and 4th grade secondary school pupils living in areas of special state care. This included 151 units of local self-government in 20 counties.

UNDP's work in Croatia

Youth as builders of a common future in Croatia

To foster interaction between Roma and non-Roma teenagers in Kuršanec, UNDP CO Croatia has organised many workshops for now a total of 50 of them in the premises of the Family Centre, the newly built but insufficiently used municipal community centre located in Roma settlement. more