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New school year starts in Croatia amid epidemiological measures

ZAGREB, Sept 7 (Hina) – The new school year 2020-2021 starts across Croatia on Monday with 460,000 students enrolled in primary and secondary schools that are implementing the epidemiological measures proposed by the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) due to the epidemic of COVID-19.

Classes in primary and secondary schools, higher education facilities and pre-school education facilities will be organised in accordance with three models due to the coronavirus epidemic circumstances.

Model A are classes conducted in school, Model B is blended learning, which combines classroom learning with online instruction, and Model C is distance learning.

According to Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs, in Model B, schools operating in a single shift, and there are 60% of those, can split their students in two shifts (morning and afternoon) to reduce the number of pupils in the building, and other schools in which maintaining physical distance and wearing masks is not possible can divide their pupils so that some have classes in school and some online.

The epidemic of COVID-19 is the reason why the uncertainty is lingering in the air, and eight schools are starting this new school year with distance learning since some of their staff are positive for coronavirus and some are self-isolating.

Other schools are opening their doors to children, and strict epidemiological measures are being introduced in those buildings.

This past Friday, Education Minister Fuchs called on school workers to act responsibly even outside their working hours so that the virus would not spread to schools and prevent face-to-face classes.

President says children’s place is in school

President Zoran Milanovic said on Monday, on the occasion of the start of the new school year, that children’s place was in school and that it was very important that they were returning to school on the first day of a new school year which was so different than before.

“Dear parents, teachers, and notably pupils. It’s the first day of another school year, yet so different than all those before. That’s why I wish to underline that it’s very important that children are returning to schools. Children’s place is in school which nothing can replace,” the president said on his Facebook.

He said that in this situation it was key to ensure not only all of children’s educational needs but also the protection of their health. He added that everyone in the education process should be more tolerant in the new circumstances in which pupils, teachers and parents found themselves.

“The physical stay in schools is an irreplaceable method of education and, besides all the advantages of technology and everything if offers, it remains the only method of wholly forming children and youth. As a society, we are succeeding in dealing with a world epidemic and I’m confident that we all have the strength and the responsibility to maintain the education system whole and safe,” the president said.



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