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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.5 Developing cultural and creative competences

Last update: 24 March 2021
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  1. Acquiring cultural and creative competences through education and training
  2. Specialised training for professionals in the education, culture and youth fields
  3. Providing quality access to creative environments

Secondary schools, depending on the type of education programme, can be grammar schools, vocational schools, and arts schools.

Arts education in Croatia (umjetničko obrazovanje) is regulated by the Arts Education Act (Zakon o umjetničkom obrazovanju NN 130/11) and the Act on education in elementary and secondary school (Zakon o odgoju i obrazovanju u osnovnoj i srednjoj školi NN 87/08, 86/09, 92/10, 105/10, 90/11, 5/12, 16/12, 86/12, 126/12, 94/13, 152/14, 07/17, 68/18, 98/19, 64/20). Arts education can be performed in arts schools and other public institutions. Arts schools are music, dance, visual and other school that perform arts programme according to the Arts Education Art. For more information on organisation of art education in Croatia you can visit Eurydice.

In grammar schools, as well as in primary and lower secondary education, there are two separate subjects related to the development of cultural and creative competencies: Music and Visual Art. Music and Visual Art are compulsory subjects in grammar schools but not present at all in vocational schools. Music curricula (kurikulum Glazbena kultura i Glazbena umjetnost) and Visual Art curricula (kurikulum Likovna kultura i Likovna umjetnost) put emphasis on personal and social development of a pupil/student.  

The Strategy for Education, Science and Technology, New Colours of Knowledge, adopted in September 2014 and valid until 2025, for early and preschool, elementary and secondary education, states that the proposed modification lead towards establishing "a system that should enable every person to: develop the ability to participate actively in social and cultural events and become capable of accepting and participating in establishing a value system that is in line with the principles of contemporary democracy"[1] and that "every person must acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to meet their cultural needs in a globalized intercultural environment, while at the same time respecting and nurturing their own cultural and historical heritage.“[2] 

The following measures are envisaged:

  • Experimental introduction of the National Curriculum for Art Education and curricula for the acquisition of qualifications in formal art education into the education system for which competent bodies are the Ministry of Science and Education (MSE), and the Ministry of Culture and Media (MCM);
  • Apply the National Curriculum for Art Education and curricula for the acquisition of qualifications in formal art education in charge of the MSES and the Ministry of Culture.

Furthermore, in the pre-school to higher education system, it is important to enable the transformation of “schools in the local community into centres for lifelong learning, culture and sport. It is also important to encourage the implementation of different public needs programmes (for children with difficulties, gifted children, national minority children and children in pre-school education) and of other activities in order to meet the needs and interests of children and youth“.[3] We point out to this referral because it emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning and ensuring  appropriate premises and IT infrastructure for the implementation of formal and non-formal education programmes focused on adult education in which is identified, as one of the strategic goals,   the encouragement of the “implementation of formal and non-formal education programmes, which would include the development of economic and financial literacy, parenting skills, civic, cultural, political and ecological awareness, consumer and media literacy. Foster and develop creativity, artistic and cultural expression“[4].

The Higher Education Programme of the Strategy for Education, Science and Technology envisaged in the measure 6.5. Encouraging activities and programmes for student participation in culture, sports and social events. The strategy states that students should be provided with extra-curricular contents and that facilities for cultural activities should be planned when constructing or renovating buildings in higher education. 

Specialised trainings are available to teachers in formal education. They are organised by the Education and Teacher Training Agency (Agencija za odgoj i obrazovanje) which performs professional and advisory services in education and care, participating in monitoring, advancement, and development of education and care for the sectors of primary and secondary education.

“In addition to activities related to their studies, students should be provided with extra-curricular contents that are currently under-represented at the majority of higher education institutions in Croatia. For instance, the University of Zagreb only has five sports halls and has neither a theatre nor a venue that would be appropriate for music events. Therefore, in addition to constructing (or renovating) buildings at higher education institutions, facilities will be planned for activities aimed at increasing student participation in culture, sports and social events. This is particularly important for the construction of new student campuses. In addition, the specific needs of art students in students’ dormitories should also be taken into account. It is also necessary to enable the interaction of art students with other students on student campuses in order to develop new cultural activities available to all students”[5]

It has to be noted herein that the process of implementing the Strategy started in November 2014, and in 2015 started the process of making the Comprehensive Curriculum Reform, but due to numerous political turmoil, both processes are currently in the phase of stagnation.