European, global and intercultural dimension in curriculum development
On 17 October 2014, the Croatian Parliament adopted the Strategy for Education, Science and Technology, and on 20 November appointed a Special Expert Commission for the Implementation of the Strategy for Education, Science and Technology. The task of the Commission was to develop an action plan for the implementation of the Strategy, coordinate the relevant stakeholders and define indicators for the implementation and effectiveness of the implementation of the objectives and measures of the Strategy. The project for the implementation of the Strategy is called New Colours of Knowledge.
From 2012 to September 2014, more than 130 experts in 19 different working and thematic groups worked on the Strategy in order to draft a comprehensive strategic document that recognizes education and science as Croatian development priorities.
The strategy is linked to the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training (ET 2020). In line with this strategic framework, special efforts were made to strengthen the adoption and support of the concept of lifelong learning, to improve the quality and effectiveness of education and training, to promote equality, social cohesion and active citizenship, and to strengthen creativity and innovation at all levels.
The strategy proposes 336 measures that are in line with the envisaged strategies of the European Union and the goals that are expected to be achieved by 2025.
The strategy is based on the following fundamental principles:
- making decisions based on data analysis,
- system efficiency and improved financing,
- gradualness and logical sequence of changes,
- systematic monitoring and evaluation of the results of implemented measures.
The fundamental principle on which the Strategy is based is the autonomy of all institutions and all employees in the field of education and science.
The main goals of the Strategy are:
- quality education available to all under equal conditions and science that improves the overall world knowledge fund and contributes to the betterment of Croatian society
- lifelong learning as a principle on which all education is based and a developed system of recognition of non-formally acquired knowledge and skills
- comprehensive curricular reform of pre-tertiary education ensured a comprehensive system of support for children and students and improved the quality of the education system in all its segments
- improved study programmes in higher education and consistently implemented settings of the Bologna reform, ensured quality staff structure and an efficient and developmentally stimulating system of financing higher education institutions and improved student standard with special care for the social dimension of studying
- providing preconditions for increasing the involvement of adult citizens in lifelong learning processes and improving and expanding learning, education and training in the workplace and from the workplace
- internationally competitive public universities and public research institutes and the growth of investment in research and development by improving the system of public funding and encouraging investment by the business and social sector in research and development
Key values and contents related to the European and intercultural dimension have their presence in the curricular solutions that the Strategy promotes at all levels and in all types of education. Particular importance is attached to the curriculum of Civic Education. The Decision on the adoption of the curriculum for the cross-curricular topic Civic education for primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Croatia was published in the Official Gazette on 25 January 2019 (OG 10/2019) and applies from the 2019/2020 school year.
Civic education is an interdisciplinary topic whose purpose is to train and empower students to actively and effectively perform the civic role. By acquiring civic competence, students are trained to successfully participate in a pluralistic society. This includes responsible members of the class, school, local, national, European and global community. Civic education enables students to find their way more easily in the pluralistic society in which they live, to trust in their own strengths and to find their own answers and solutions to current social problems and challenges. By acquiring civic competence, students are trained to participate successfully in the life of a democratic community, and the European and intercultural dimension is an important part of this curriculum.
Partnerships and Networks
Erasmus+ is the largest programme of the European Union for education, training, youth and sports and covers the period from 2014 to 2020. It covers all European and international programmes and initiatives of the European Union in the field of education (education and general education, higher education, adult education), training (vocational education and training), youth and sports.
The Erasmus+ programme is aimed at strengthening the knowledge and skills and employability of European citizens, as well as improving education, training and work in the field of youth and sports. It is particularly focused on connecting the education, training and youth sectors with the business sector, and is open to their joint projects.
In the field of sport, the Erasmus+ programme supports activities that result in the development, transfer and implementation of innovative ideas and practices at European, national, regional and local levels. It is also expected that sport activities will contribute to the development of the European dimension of sport, strengthening cooperation and coherence among sports organisations.
In addition to participating in the Eurydice network, Croatia is also active in a number of European networks and initiatives.
The eTwinning web portal is intended for international cooperation and training of teaching and non-teaching staff in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. Cooperation is achieved through joint work on virtual projects and participation in virtual and physical training programmes such as workshops, seminars and conferences.
Euroguidance Croatia is part of the European network of national centres for support of vocational guidance. The main objectives of the network are to promote the European dimension in career guidance and to provide information on lifelong guidance and mobility.
Europass Centre Croatia is implementing the initiative of the same name. It is a set of online tools for presenting skills and planning a learning or career in Europe. Europass tools are available to all European citizens and can be used to support a clear, comprehensive and transparent presentation of knowledge, skills and experience across Europe.
The European Language Label is a recognition that encourages initiatives in the field of language learning and teaching, promotes and encourages the introduction of new practices and rewards new language teaching techniques.
The ECVET Working Group of Experts promotes the development and application of the European Credit System in vocational education and training. ECVET is a new European instrument designed to promote mutual trust and mobility in the field of vocational education and training.