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Croatia: virtual VET promotes #stayathome education

Distance learning to slow down the spread of Covid-19

From 16 March 2020, Croatian learners at all levels of education, including VET and adult education, are being taught in virtual classes in their homes, as per government decision and guidelines from the Ministry of Science and Education. Three weeks after the first registered case of the Covid-19 virus in Croatia, and upon the declaration of a national epidemic, the education community in Croatia organised virtual teaching in only five days.

Coordinated efforts and peer collaboration in transition to distance learning

From their homes, teachers are the main facilitators of the distance learning process: they manage virtual classrooms, monitor learner attendance and completion of assignments. In upper-secondary education, including VET, most teachers are combining different approaches to teaching: they create their own lessons for learners, share teaching materials and direct students to learning materials published online or broadcast on national TV stations. Teachers deliver online classes through the existing virtual platforms of their schools or virtual classrooms created with the support of the Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNET). To facilitate virtual teaching and learning, the Agency for VET and Adult Education (ASOO) launched a new online platform featuring varied digital content for distance learning in VET. It allows teachers to choose the appropriate vocational content from numerous online courses, videos, narrated presentations and slideshows, as well as project assignments, uploaded daily for all 13 VET sectors. For the general education component of VET, students can use the content broadcast on TV or uploaded onto the platform School for life (Škola za život); this is the central platform for curriculum reform in general education introduced in all schools as of 2019/20. The Ministry of Science and Education and the Education and Teacher Training Agency (AZOO) coordinate the preparation of the general education content for primary and secondary education, including general education content for VET. The schedule for TV broadcast of general education subjects, including those that are part of VET programmes, is prepared weekly basis and published on the Ministry’s web site. In March 2020, the Ministry of Science and Education issued recommendations for the daily organisation of learning in distance education, offering different options and suggestions to teachers, learners and parents on teaching and learning activities. Teachers and mentors are encouraged to share and create virtual learning content and to offer supplementary classes to learners. In adult education, providers are invited to offer distance education in line with their resources and may adapt the content from platforms for learners in regular education, as appropriate.

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