The abolishment of state funding seven years ago, and the economic crisis has taken its toll on enrollment numbers at private schools, with 2014 looking it could well be the worst year yet for private school enrolments, according to a report by daily Jutarnji list. Out of what was 1,700 students at just over 40 private schools in the country, only a few hundred have enrolled this far. One economic private school in Zagreb planned to have around 30 students this school year, but as of today still not one student had enrolled.
“In the 14 years that we have existed, this has never happened. I am afraid that this year will be very difficult and painful. At the end of September we will decide what we will do next. If we decide to close the school it won’t happen overnight, there will be a procedure,” said the school’s founder and director Asima Selaković.
Private secondary schools in Croatia had been partly funded by the Ministry of Education, but that stopped in 2007 and now most survive on enrollment fees alone, which are on average around 27-30,000 kuna (4,000 euros) a year. Selaković says that the only solution is that the Ministry return funding for schools like his.
“Croatia is one of the fee nations that does not co-finance private schools. The result is what we have now,” said Nikica Simić from a private school in Zadar on the Dalmatian coast.