On Monday, February 2nd 2015, the Expert working group for implementation of Comprehensive curricular reform for early and pre-school, primary and secondary (VET and general) education has started working. Reform will be implemented in accordance with the implementation plan of the Strategy of Education, Science and Technology, which should soon be adopted by the Croatian Government.
Reform aims to provide students with an education that is in line with their developmental age and interests and which will prepare them for the world of work, further education and modern life. The reform will more clearly define what is expected from students after a certain lesson unit, period of time and after the overall education. Role of teachers and other educational institutions will be strengthened; they will have greater autonomy and be allowed more creativity in their work while their administrative and bureaucratic obligations will be reduced. In order to achieve greater autonomy regarding content, methods and types of work, greater emphasis will be put on professional development of teachers. All this, as well as other elements, will be addressed and elaborated in the upcoming period.
Curricular reform (pre-school, primary and secondary - VET and general education) will focus on:
- development of basic competences for lifelong learning
- increasing the functional literacy level of students
- linking education with the needs and interests of students
- linking education with the needs of society and economy.
In VET after the development of the Framework of the National Curricula, the goal is to develop the National VET curricula followed by the development of VET sectoral curricula. This work is outlined in the Strategy that among the other things in VET curricular reform priorities emphasizes the flexibility of vocational education through electivity and modularity, providing general education and key competencies as a basis for further education and lifelong learning, etc. Furthermore, work-based learning will be strengthened and introduced in all vocational education programs in order to facilitate the students’ transition from education to work.
One of the expected results is the transition to nine-year primary school as it is outlined in the Strategy of Education, Science and Technology. The biggest change for secondary school students is the introduction of elective classes in gymnasiums which will allow students, more easily and earlier than before, to focus their interests to specific areas.
The project encompasses work on curricular documents, establishment of a system for evaluation, assessment and reporting, training of teachers and other educational institution employees and development of new manuals, textbooks, auxiliary teaching resources and digital content.
The plan is in April 2014 to launch a public call for expression of interest to engage 300 teachers to work on the curricular reform, during which they will not work in their school but will be working full-time on the curricular reform. During that period, substitute teachers will be hired by schools to replace the ones working on the reform. Work on particular curricula will begin in autumn 2015 while the first proposals should be ready by the end of the year. Experimental implementation should begin in school year 2016/2017 while the full implementation starts in school year 2017/2018.
A separate unit for professional and administrative support of the curricular reform will also be established. It will consist of 60 employees of MoSES, Education and Teacher Training Agency, Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education and the National Centre for External Evaluation of Education.