ZAGREB, Jan 15 (Hina) – Croatia placed 13th in the EU index of readiness for digital lifelong learning (IRDLL), which was presented on Tuesday by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Institute of Public Finance.
The index is based on three composite indicators: individual’s learning outcomes, availability of digital learning, and institutions and policies for digital learning, CEPS researcher Zachary Kilhoffer said.
According to the research, Croatia placed third in the field of institutions and policies for digital learning, which is its best result. On the other hand, in the fields of learning outcomes and availability of digital learning, Croatia brought up the rear in 24th and 21st place respectively.
“Croatia cannot afford digital learning development to come to a standstill. It has placed 13th, that is within the EU average, which some can see as a victory. However, the need for digital skills is constantly and quickly changing, and if we do not develop them on an ongoing basis, they may fall behind,” Kilhoffer said.
He pointed out that the general attitude toward digital innovations in Croatia was very sceptical and one of the most negative in the EU.
Kilhoffer recommended continued work on reforms in the education system to encourage digital learning, as well as developing the potential of education in order to better prepare students for the labour market and lifelong learning.
Schools need better digital infrastructure to reach the goal of digitally mature schools, regional differences in school infrastructure should be minimised and teachers should be encouraged and better trained to raise new generations of digitally competent citizens, Kilhoffer said.
“We are aware that we need to change, and a lot of work has been done in the last few years. However, in Croatia in general there is little support for digitalisation, and all these initiatives met with substantial resistance on all levels, from teachers, the government and even the Church,” said the state secretary of the Ministry of Science and Education Toma Anticic.
Kilhoffer said that digitalisation created great opportunities for development and that Europeans were not using them sufficiently at the moment. The research shows that southern and eastern EU member states mostly ranked low.
Highest readiness for lifelong digital learning was observed in Estonia, the Netherlands, Finland, Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus. Surprisingly, Germany placed last.
The Index of Readiness for Digital Lifelong Learning (IRDLL) was developed by CEPS, one of the leading European research centres, in collaboration with the Grow with Google programme for development of digital learning.