ZAGREB, May 7 (Hina) – The Croatian government on Thursday adopted a decision defining conditions for the normalisation of school classes as of Monday, May 11, under which most students will continue taking part in the education process via distance learning.
Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak said that under the decision, which defines methods for conducting classes in elementary and high schools and higher education institutions, as well as for performing regular activities in preschool education institutions, education for elementary school pupils from first to fourth grade will be organised according to a model that combines both physical attendance of classes in school and distance learning.
Divjak added that she had discussed recommendations from the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ) and the ministry’s recommendations for the continuance of the education process with school principals and school founders at an online meeting, noting that she still had not received any information that schools were unable to provide the necessary conditions.
For elementary school pupils from 5th to 8th grade, as well as for high school students, classes are still organised as distance learning, just as in institutions of higher education, with the exception of laboratory, art, and clinical classes, as well as practice-based classes in small groups.
As for preschool education institutions, regular activities will resume as of Monday, with the implementation of the HZJZ recommendations.
“Elementary and high school principals, and heads of higher education institutions are required to organise the institutions’ activities in cooperation with us, as the competent ministry, in a way that facilitates the smooth implementation of classes, regardless of the method used. The decision comes into effect on May 11,” the minister said.
Divjak thanked teachers, principals, and all school employees for making it possible for distance learning to be implemented effectively, and parents for patience and understanding.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic thanked the minister, and all teachers and professors, for all the work they had done for Croatia to be one of the EU member states that had organised distance learning via online platforms and the HRT public broadcaster in the shortest period possible.
Plenkovic said that the restart of school and preschool activities constituted an important political and social decision.
“… I think that the gradual return of children to kindergartens and schools and of students to colleges is a necessary step and that it is the right one, starting next week,” the Croatian PM said.