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Formal, non-formal and informal learning
As stated in the Primary and Secondary School Education Act (Zakon o odgoju i obrazovanju u osnovnoj i srednjoj školi), with the last amendments adopted in 2020, the goals and principles of education in Croatia include the following goals:
- Education according to general cultural and civilizational values, human rights and children’s rights;
- training students to live in a multicultural world
- respecting diversity and tolerance
- active and responsible participation in the democratic development of society
The National Youth Programme 2014-2017 attempted to improve the existing system of formal education and strengthen the synergy of the public sector with the economic and non-profit sectors, with special emphasis on non-formal education and expansion of the youth work field. Special attention was given to:
- the development of social and civil competencies through civil education which provide young people with the means to successfully fulfil their civil role and advance society as a whole
- promoting a culture of non-violence on the level of primary and secondary education
In formal education, global problems are analysed on all education levels, most often with an interdisciplinary approach because of their nature. Primary and secondary education covers these problems across varied subjects (Science and social studies, geography, biology, sociology, psychology, politics and economy, Croatian language and literature, history).
The proposed curricular reform (prijedlog nacionalnog kurikuluma za gimnazijsko obrazovanje) as part of the comprehensive education reform envisages further development of new content and methods. For example, in the humanities and social sciences area of curriculum, the following topics are envisaged:
- Man in the world – the students are introduced to basic views on life, religion, and ethics and their dependence on the cultural-temporal context
- Man in communities – the students learn about the individuals’ position in social structures and processes, and the mutual influence of individuals and society in the past and present, on levels ranging from the personal and local, to the global community; they research the position of Croatian society in relation to social processes and discover their own identity, with strong emphasis on developing awareness about belonging to the Croatian and European cultural circle and cultivating the basic values of contemporary democratic society. They critically consider different interests present in the community, engage in creating their own living conditions by contributing to the community in which they live, promoting human rights, participating in the social, cultural, economic, and political development of society. They research and learn about the social, political, cultural, religious, and other diversity in the community, and train for interpersonal and intercultural cooperation by cultivating social values.
Furthermore, the curriculum for several inter-subject topics is to be developed:
- personal and social development
- sustainable development
- civil education
Informal and non-formal learning:
The Ordinance on recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning is currently in the process of adoption.
The Croatian Qualifications Framework Act (Zakon o Hrvatskom kvalifikacijskom okviru) with the last amendments adopted in 2020 defines non-formal and informal learning, and their validation. The application procedure, recognition, and validation of previously acquired units of learning outcomes were supposed to be regulated by the Ordinance on recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning, which still hasn’t been adopted.
This type of youth work has a longstanding tradition in Croatia through the activities of numerous youth-led and for youth organisations, as well as the engagement of social workers and related professionals. However, this type of youth work is still unrecognized and there is no strategic approach to its support and development.
The Catalogue of non-formal education programmes in human rights and democratic citizenship implemented by civil society organisations in Croatia (Katalog programa neformalnog obrazovanja za ljudska prava i demokratsko građanstvo koje provode organizacije civilnoga društva u Republici Hrvatskoj : učimo i živimo demokraciju) has the goal to improve cooperation and partnership of the formal and informal education carriers in Croatia. This Catalogue presents just the one level of information gathered by the National Foundation through their call for parties interested in attending educational training/modules in 2004 and 2005, and through a subsequent survey.
An example of an initiative active in this field:
The GOOD Initiative – an initiative aimed at the systematic and quality implementation of education in human rights and democratic citizenship into educational institutions. It is comprised of 54 organisations developing educational programmes and cooperating with schools. Educational programmes are implemented by:
Some of the organisations involved in the GOOD Initiative:
Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues
The project “#saferinternet4EU” has the goal to promote online safety, media literacy and cyber-hygiene in order to make children, parents, and teachers more aware of digital opportunities and challenges.
Informing young people about global issues on the formal education level is the responsibility of the Ministry of Science and Education. It performs administrative and other duties relating to:
- the system of preschool, primary and secondary education, both in Croatia and abroad
- the national curriculum
- textbooks, standards and other conditions for educational work
- developing the school system
- student standard
- training children, youth, and adults in vocational knowledge and skills, as well as the activity of associations in this field
- developing higher education
- achievement of national strategies and programmes for higher education
- monitoring the successfulness of studies and other higher education processes
- stimulating lifelong learning and higher education of adults, as well as performing administrative oversight of institutions of higher education.
The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development occasionally has campaigns focused on the youth, relating to the environment, sustainable development and similar topics.
The associations implementing the programme of regional info centres with the financial support of the Central State Office for Demography and Youth (Središnji državni ured za demografiju i mlade):
- Regional Youth Info-centre Rijeka (UMKI) – programme “Regional youth info-centre Rijeka”
- Info zone – programme “Regional youth information centre Info zona (RICM Info zona)”
- PRONI Centre for Social Education – programme “Regional youth info-centre Osijek (RICM Osijek)”
- The Association for the promotion of quality education of youth with disabilities "Imagine" – programme “Regional youth info-centre Zagreb”
The associations implementing the programme of local info centres with the financial support of the Central State Office for Demography and Youth (Središnji državni ured za demografiju i mlade):
- Youth association “Youth in the European Union”, the project “TOČKA – Youth info centre”
- The association for the promotion of IT, culture and coexistence (IKS), the project “INFO! INFO! Info centre Petrinja”
- PRONI Centre for Social Education, the project “Youth info centre Vukovar”
- The “Argonaut” association for environmental protection and promoting sustainable development, the project “O-točka” local youth info centre
- The Zagor association network, the project “Inform and create! 2.0”
- The Zum association, the project “Youth info centre Pula”
- Independent youth association, the project “Youth info centre Lepoglava”
- The healthy life promotion association Awakening, the project “Local youth info centre Šolta”
- Bjelovar centre for the development of civil society, the project “Youth info centre Like”
- Europe House Slavonski Brod, the project “Youth info centre of the Brodsko-posavska county”
- The Youth Triangle Kaštela association, the project “Youth info centre Kaštela”
- The “Impress” association, the project “Possibilities info centre”
The Association of Youth Information Centres in Croatia (Zajednica informativnih centara za mlade u Hrvatskoj) is a non-profit NGO founded in 2008 in Zagreb with the aim of developing a quality youth information system in the Republic of Croatia. The Association is a national umbrella organization for youth information work, and its target groups are youth information centres and NGO’s providing youth information. The Association of Youth Information Centres in Croatia is a member of European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA), and it works to support local info-centres by establishing a system of quality assurance, education, and certification of professionals to work in the info-centres.
On other levels, information is provided to youth by different associations, agencies, projects and similar means.
Authors shall describe the main initiatives taken in the reporting country to disseminate information on global issues (especially topics such as fundamental/human rights, sustainable development, climate change, green production/consumption/volunteering) among young people, by indicating:
Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs (Ured za udruge Vlade RH) launched the Call for Project Proposals within the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Programme. The aim of the Call called „Strengthening The Contribution Of Civil Society Organisations In Sustainable Development Education For The Improvement Of Economic And Social Cohesion“ is to promote the contribution of civil society organisations to economic and social cohesion and sustainable development of local communities.
In the National Youth Programme, the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy lists the following goals:
The goal 7.1. is to establish a system of supports for youth participation in decision-making processes on the European and global levels. The proposed measures are:
Measure 7.1.1. – developing a system of support for youth, youth organisations, and for youth participation in the UN bodies’ decision-making processes. Tasks:
Develop and implement an education programme about the UN General Assembly and the commissions of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), especially the Commission for Social Development and the Commission on the Status of Women, and others if necessary
Regularly monitor and discuss the conclusions and decisions of the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in the Youth Council of the Croatian Government
Inform the relevant stakeholders and youth organisations of the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council activities, conclusions, decisions, programmes, and initiatives relating to youth issues
Measure 7.1.2. – developing a system of support for youth, youth organisations, and for youth participation in the UNESCO bodies’ decision-making processes. Tasks:
Develop and implement a programme of educating young delegates at the UNESCO General Conference and the UNESCO Youth Forum
Regularly monitor and discuss the conclusions and decisions of the UNESCO General Conference and the UNESCO Youth Forum in the Youth Council of the Croatian Government
Inform the youth sector of the UNESCO General Conference and other UNESCO bodies’ conclusions and decisions in the field of advancing youth policies
Measure 7.1.3. – developing a system of support for youth, youth organisations, and for youth participation in the EU and Council of Europe bodies’ decision-making processes. Tasks:
Ensure that representatives of youth-led and for youth organisations, as well as governmental bodies, have the necessary conditions for participation in the youth relevant decisions making processes on the EU and Council of Europe levels
Implement an electronic system of informing relevant youth sector stakeholders of the EU and Council of Europe conclusions and decisions relating to youth issues
Regularly monitor and discuss the conclusions and decisions of the EU and the Council of Europe bodies in the Youth Council of the Croatian Government
The goal 7.2 is to increase the educational, cultural, and tourist youth mobility on national, European and global levels. The proposed measures are:
Measure 7.2.1. – Ensuring programme support of youth-led and for-youth associations implementing programmes which promote youth mobility on all levels. Tasks:
Invite a tender for the financial support of youth-led and for-youth associations implementing programmes from the field of mobility, including programmes informing on mobility possibilities and taking into consideration the regional representation of associations
Measure 7.2.2. – improving the system of European Youth Card utilization in Croatia. Tasks:
Ensuring support for developing the European Youth Card in Croatia
Ensuring support for a campaign on the possibilities offered by the European Youth Card
The Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia was adopted in 2009 for a period of ten years and it contains an analysis of the existing economic, social, and environmental state, as well as guidelines for long-term action, basic principles and standards for setting goals and priorities in considering long-term transformation towards the sustainable development of the Republic of Croatia. Key areas which present challenges for Croatia:
- encouraging population growth in the Republic of Croatia
- environment and natural resources
- promoting sustainable production and consumption
- ensuring social and territorial cohesion and justice
- ensuring energy independence and increasing the efficiency of energy use
- strengthening public health
- the interconnectedness of the Republic of Croatia
- protection of the Adriatic Sea, coastal area, and islands