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Minister says ‘virtual’ school in Croatia functioning

ZAGREB, March 16 (Hina) – Despite a cyberattack on the Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet) and Srce service, Croatia on Monday was ready for the beginning of online classes amidst the coronavirus epidemic and the Science and Education Ministry has been conducting further preparations, Minister Blazenka Divjak said.

She noted that postponement of high school leaving exams was not being planned for the time being.

“School is functioning even in these difficult, extraordinary circumstances. It’s virtual school but it does function,” the minister told reporters during a visit to a Zagreb primary school.

Classes have started on the HRT3 channel as well as on Sports Television, which serves as a back-up for virtual classes for students of senior primary school grades and secondary school grades. Classes are already televised on Sports Television in Istria County and Sports Television is expected to start broadcasting them for the rest of the country as of Wednesday.

As for those who have problems with TV classes on the third channel of the HRT public broadcaster, Divjak said that those classes would be available on YouTube immediately after they were aired on television.

She noted that principals had been sent questionnaires as to how many children had turned up in school on Monday and that those questionnaires would be published subsequently.

Answering a reporter’s question, she said that information on classes for children with developmental problems was available on the ministry’s website as well as that televised classes with sign language would start by the middle of the week.

The minister expressed optimism that difficulties would be overcome after the start of virtual school was marked by a cyberattack on CARNet and Srce on Monday morning, causing problems with registration via official authentication passwords and profiles.

She expressed satisfaction that the nationwide coverage was larger than currently expected, considering that around 450,000 people were in the system.

“Since late Sunday evening we have had around 280,000 user accounts, and we could reach the figure of 400,000 users by Wednesday,” she said.

The minister said that the quantity of digital teaching material was sufficient to cover a week of online classes and that work was underway on one more week of online classes as well as that the ministry was prepared to organise online classes for more than two weeks, depending on how the situation would develop.

The minister also said that for the time being there were no plans to postpone high school leaving exams and that they would be held as planned, starting from May 16.

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