boris jokić, eSkills.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ / mm

The head of a team of experts working on an integral curricular reform, Boris Jokic, and his team on Wednesday tendered irrevocable resignations due to political pressure, saying their decision was final and non-negotiable.

"At this moment we don't have the impression that there is support for us as a group and trust in us as people to continue with this process. We were fully for dialogue, we were even ready to have this working group expanded. However, we can't agree to political influence, either from the left, the right or the centre. Professionals must always come before politics," Jokic told a news conference.

"The political pressure is simple in this case. The parliamentary (science) committee adopted a decision to expand the working group in certain fields, which wouldn't have been a problem had it somehow been communicated. However, what (the decision) says the group should do doesn't match the description and nature of what this reform has been from the start. Those conclusions say that the group should determine what to accept in expert discussions and what not to, which actually points to certain censorship procedures and returns us to the time of communism, when the morally suitable were appointed to certain councils," Jokic said.

If politics dictates the education reform and what professionals should do, nothing will come of it, he added.

Jokic said he spoke to Education Minister Predrag Sustar shortly before the news conference and that he believed that "Minister Sustar wants this change."

"Unfortunately, the political moment in Croatia is such that marginal options can impact matters which should be of national importance. If the dominating political parties, first and foremost the HDZ, the SDP and Bridge, don't unanimously agree that a change of education is necessary, then we don't stand a chance in the long term and marginal political structures and parties can impact very important processes in the future of this country," Jokic said.

Asked if he was referring to Hrast, a minor partner in the HDZ-led ruling coalition, he said he was. "People must come before documents and therefore we ask that Minister Sustar relieve of duties the leader and members of the expert working group... We hope this society will find the strength to continue the (curricular reform) process and we as people are willing to help... and will do our best so that it survives."

Jokic said that after 16 months of working on the reform, he was confident that "Croatian education has shown with this process that it can do better. This country can do better and will certainly succeed in that." He said the basic prerequisites were professionals before politics and people before documents and politics.

He also thanked everyone who took part in and supported his team's work, including President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko.

Latest news

Six injured, 96 detained in Berlin fan clashes

Six people were treated in hospital and 96 detained in clashes in Berlin between fans of Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, police said Sunday.

Croatian government condemns extremism

The Croatian government on Sunday condemned all forms of extremism and acts of provocative nature aimed against the Serb minority in Vukovar as well as the rally organised by the Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) in Zagreb on Friday.

Approx. 7,500 migrants prevented from illegally entering Serbia in past 8 months

In the past several months, the authorities have prevented the illegal entry of approximately 7,500 migrants on Serbian soil. Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday.

Merkel's conservatives and Schulz's centre-left draw even in survey

Voter support for the German centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) is on par with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, a survey published Sunday showed.

Police arrest A-HSP party chief at rally in Zagreb

Police arrested Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) chief Drazen Keleminac for disturbing the peace at a public rally organised by the A-HSP in Zagreb on Sunday.

Kidnapped German archaeologists freed in Nigeria

Two German archaeologists who were kidnapped in northern Nigeria have been released, police said Sunday.

Turkey has built 290 kilometres of wall on border with Syria

Turkey has erected 290 kilometres of a planned 511-kilometre wall along its border with Syria, local media reported Sunday, citing the head of the building authority in charge of the project.

Syrian forces close in on city held by Turkish-backed rebels

Syrian government forces on Sunday seized a town from the Islamic State extremist militia near the northern city of al-Bab already under the control of Turkish-backed rebels, Syrian state media and monitors reported.

At least 90 Christian families escape Sinai attacks

At least 90 families reached Egypt's Ismailiya governorate, after escaping targeted killings by a local Islamic State militia in northern Sinai in recent days, an official at the Coptic Orthodox Church said Sunday.

40,000 Croats suffer from anorexia and bulimia

More than 40,000 Croatians, mostly girls and young women aged between 12 and 30, suffer from anorexia, bulimia or some other eating disorder and that number is growing each year, experts at the centre for eating disorders BEA have reported.

Iranian ex-president Ahmadinejad praises Trump

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote a personal letter to Donald Trump in which he praised the US president and wished him well in his tenure, local media reported Sunday.

Russians honour slain opposition leader Nemtsov in Moscow rally

A demonstration on the second anniversary of the assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov drew thousands of people to the streets of Moscow on Sunday.