Member of Parliament Anka Mrak Taritas of the opposition Croatian People's Party (HNS) on Tuesday called on the parliament to give the integral curricular reform a chance, which, she said, would ensure a more meaningful and useful education for children.
"The purpose of this reform is for our children to have a more useful and meaningful education, adapte to their age and interests, everyday life, and to provide them with competences for a modern life, the labour market and further education," Mrak Taritas said after a break requested by her party's club of deputies, calling for implementing the reform and improving it along the way.
She cited data from an assessment of competences of 15-year-olds, covering 65 countries, which showed that in term of mathematical literacy Croatia ranked 40th, in science literacy it was 34th, in terms of reading competences 35th and that in terms of financial literacy, out of 18 surveyed countries, Croatia ranked 14th.
"That means red alert and that something should be done," she said.
Labour Party MP Jaroslav Pecnik agreed with her.
"We are all in favour of the reform, but many are doing their best to prevent it," he said.
"Obstruction is at work and it is visible in every move of the ministry and the ruling political elites," Pecnik said, expressing support for the head of the national expert team in charge of the reform, Boris Jokic, who resigned last week citing political pressure.
Politicians should support the reform, but seriously, the way Jokic and his team devised it, Pecnik said, adding that all objections should be taken into account in a public debate.
Marko Sladoljev of the Bridge party said that the curricular reform should not be a political issue, which, he said, was what it had turned into.
"Bridge believes that the curricular reform should continue and that all objections by experts should be taken into account. Ideological debates about this issue have overshadowed the professional debate. In ideological debates, the reform was attacked for being anti-Croatian. It is clear to everyone that for example, in Croatia the Homeland War should be called the Homeland War and not the post-Yugoslav war, and that, of course, should be changed," said Sladoljev.
"The reform must be the result of a consensus of all political parties, but is currently non-existent. It must be implemented to the end, it is gradual and will last a decade," said Sladoljev, calling on Jokic as well as on Science and Education Minister Predrag Sustar to establish dialogue.