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Croatia/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.2 Arts in schools

According to the National plan for primary schools, arts education is part of obligatory curricula during all eight years of primary school – 35 hour per year (special double hour sessions); music education is obligatory during all eight years of primary school – also 35 hours per year (for more information see: (in Croatian).

General, linguistic and classical secondary schools (gimnazija) have one hour per week of music education, and one hour of arts education throughout four years of education, while natural science-mathematics secondary schools have one hour per week during first two years of education. Special natural science schools have two hours music education per week during fourth year and two hours of artistic education per week during third year of study. For more information see: (in Croatian).

Special arts education carried out in schools of applied arts and design, music and dance schools have particular curricula according to their specialisation (for more information see: (in Croatian).

In 2013 the new programme "Backpack (full) of Culture / Ruksak (pun) kulture" was established with the aim of bringing artists and cultural events directly to kindergartens, primary and high schools as a part of additional activities. The suggested programmes should be in line with the national curricula for the suggested subjects (see chapter 8.2.2), whose aim is to complement the missing artistic and cultural content in the existing curricula. However, the programme has been discontinued by the current technical government and it is to be seen whether it will be continued in the future.

In 2015, the Government adopted an overall Strategy of Education, Science and Technology ( One of the important elements of this Strategy is the overall reform of the curriculum, which will also include arts education. The current government decided to replace responsible working groups with new people, which resulted in mass protests. During the most recent political campaign, all political parties expressed their commitment to the continuation of the reform, including the leading party of the technical government HDZ whose minister contributed to the crisis. It remains to be seen what the position of the new coalition government will be on this matter. 

Chapter published: 16-07-2018

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