Public discussion on new Strategy of Education, Science and Technology ended on 15th November 2013 and its adoption is expected during 2014.
It was prepared by more than 60 Croatian scientists and experts and it is designed to propose measures that are aligned with strategies of the EU by 2020 but also contains the goals whose achievement is expected by the year 2025. Underlying idea of the Strategy is existence of a knowledge triangle - lifelong learning, science and innovation. It covers entire educational system, divided into several segments - Lifelong learning, Early and pre-school education, Primary and secondary education, Higher education, Adult education, and Science and technology. Each of these parts has its own goals, and all are focused at achieving two main goals: quality education available to all and science that improves the total global stock of knowledge and contributes to the prosperity of the Croatian society.
Regarding VET, the Strategy strongly emphasizes the importance of better connection of education and training to the labour market, and improvement of educational outcomes and skills. Regarding teachers, modernisation of pre-service and in-service program is foreseen as well as development of a model of continuous professional development of teachers and its monitoring based on the teacher competence standard.Special attention is given to application of ICT in teaching and learning.
In order to establish common values, principles and objectives of all forms of VET, National curriculum for VET will be developed and its guiding principles are:
- the flexibility of vocational education through electivity and modularity;
- delaying vocational differentiation to the final grades to avoid prematurely directing students to specific occupation and increase the flexibility of the future workforce;
- ensuring the relevance of VET by respecting the standardized procedure provided by CROQF survey of the labour market needs;
- providing general education and key competencies as a basis for further education and lifelong learning;
- the gradual introduction of the ‘work based learning” model in all forms and types of VET;
- preparation and implementation of a prediction model based on the analysis of needs, plans and trends in VET sectors at the county, regional and national level;
- ensuring the transition from VET education to various forms of higher education through additional educational programs and by removing barriers and "dead ends“ in education.
Also, it is necessary to develop a model of vertical mobility of students within three-year VET programs as well as optimal network of programs for VET schools based on the analysis and evaluation of regional development needs and regional centres of competence for vocational education will be established.
The Strategy that should be adopted in 2014 will cover period to 2025. It is founded on the idea of creating a society of equal opportunities based on know-how, where education and science are development priorities not only for Croatian society on the whole, but for each individual.