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Croatia

Croatia

6. Education and Training

6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET)

National Strategy

According to the Eurostat data for 2019, Croatia has a low rate of early leaving from education and training, 3.0%. There is no current strategy dedicated to this issue, but there are several strategies and documents touching on this problem.

The Strategy of Education, Science and Technology provides several measures which deal with the issue of early leaving from education and training. The strategy was adopted in October 2014. The government authority responsible for the implementation, coordination and monitoring of the document is the Ministry of Science and Education.

The Strategy for Lifelong Guidance and Career Development in the Republic of Croatia 2016-2020 also addresses this issue. It was adopted in October 2015. The government authority responsible for the implementation, coordination and monitoring of the document is The Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy.

The Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy adopted the new  Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan 2019-2020 (Plan implementacije Garancije za mlade za razdoblje od 2019. do 2020.godine). In The Strategy for Lifelong Guidance and Career Development in the Republic of Croatia 2016-2020 (2015:13) it states: “The Youth Guarantee represents a structural reform which will enable the quick activation of young people aged 15 – 30 within four months of leaving education or losing a job, in order to keep them connected with the labour market, i.e. to prevent long-term unemployment or inactivity.”

Formal education: main policy measures on ELET

In the Strategy of Education, Science and Technology there are four proposed measures dealing with the issue of early leaving from education and training.

6.4.1. Draw up and implement a system to early recognize the risk of education leaving

6.4.2. Conduct systematic monitoring and research into the causes of early leaving from education

6.4.3. Draw up and implement measures to support students in danger of early leaving from education on the level of the educational institution and in cooperation with other institutions

6.4.4. Develop compensation mechanisms and flexible curricula for acquiring relevant qualifications, adapted to the special needs and capabilities of students returning to the education system.  

The Ministry of Science and Education is responsible for these goals, while their implementation is the responsibility of various operators depending on the individual goals.

The goal of these measures is to determine the cause of early leaving from education and training, its systematic prevention and providing support to those who are at risk for early leaving from education.

The Strategy for Lifelong Guidance and Career Development in the Republic of Croatia 2016-2020 provides measures which among their goals include prevention of early leaving from education:

1.1.1. Drawing up a legislative framework to implement the service of lifelong guidance with clearly defined responsibilities and authorities. The goal is to increase the students’ skill level in career management and consequently reduce the probability of early leaving from education due to inadequate selection of education programme.

The Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan also provides measures for staying in education:

Ensuring that students with disabilities have access to education assistants in primary and secondary educational institutions with the goal of providing support for students with disabilities, behaviour issues and learning disabilities. The carrier of this measure is the Ministry of Science and Education, while implementation associates are the units of local and regional self-government and the schools.

Financing continued education for students who have finished two-year and three-year vocational programmes with the goal of supporting lifelong education and giving them the possibility to transition to a four-year vocational education programme. The target group are users at special risk and student groups at high risk. The carrier of this measure is the Ministry of Science and Education, while implementation associates are the units of local and regional self-government and the schools and educational institutions.

Development and implementation of matriculation exam preparations for young people aged 18-25 who have insufficient skills and knowledge to advance to higher education. The carrier of this measure is the Ministry of Science and Education, while implementation associates are secondary school institutions, educational institutions, local and regional institutions, public and private providers of matriculation exam preparation services.

Setting up a registry of human potential to monitor individuals from the start of their education to their employment. The carrier of this measure is the Ministry of Labour and Pension System, and the implementation associates are the Ministry of Science and Education, The Croatian Employment Service and the Central Registry of Affiliates.

Addressing ELET through non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work

The Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan provides measures, reforms, and initiatives which would ensure early intervention and youth empowerment. The following measures are proposed:

  • Setting up a way of following NEET individuals by systematically analysing which people are leaving education. The carrier of this measure is the Ministry of Labour and Pension System and the implementation associates are the Ministry of Science and Education, the Croatian Employment Service, the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy, the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO), and the Central Registry of Affiliates (REGOS).
  • Providing an opportunity for young people leaving education – education for young people with low qualifications or without any qualifications. The goal is to ensure a second chance for young people with the lowest degree of education and prevent or stop their long-term unemployment. This measure is addressed at about 1600 young people dropping out of the education system as well as those with the lowest degree of education or without any education. The carrier of the measure is the Croatian Employment Service, and the implementation associates are the Ministry of Labour and Pension System and education services providers.
  • Providing training for youth counsellors and career counsellors. The goal is to enable a more efficient support system in accessing qualifications according to abilities as well as upgrading career management skills, and the target group is early leavers from education. The carrier of the measure is the Croatian Employment Service, and the implementation associates are the Ministry of Labour and Pension System, the Ministry of Science and Education, and local administration.
  • The Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan envisions the development and implementation of an evaluation programme for non-formal and informal learning based on the qualification standard in the Croatian Qualifications Framework Register with the purpose of enabling NEET youth to achieve higher qualifications. The carrier of this measure is the Ministry of Science and Education, and the implementation associates are secondary education institutions, local and regional educational institutions. The Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan also lists empowering youth-led and for-youth organizations for youth work. However, it was only listed in a general sense without specifying the field of empowerment.
  • KA1 project under the Erasmus+ programme Preventing Early School Leaving Through Inclusive Strategies deals with this issue. The Croatian carrier is the Education and Teacher Training Agency. A professional training course for teachers is scheduled to take place. The goal of the project is to train educational employees to work in schools using methods and techniques to prevent early leaving from education in order to improve workplace conditions for students and teachers, as well as principals and professional associates.

Cross-sector coordination and monitoring of ELET interventions

Monitoring and intervention coordination were previously described as a part of the Youth Guarantee measures Implementation Plan. Those measures envision the coordination of the Ministry of Labour and Pension System, the Ministry of Science and Education, the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy, the Croatian Employment Service, the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute, and the providers of educational services.