The Ministry of Science and Education is the main body responsible for arts and cultural education and training in Croatia. In cooperates with the Ministry of Culture and Media on specific programmes and measures in this field. The Agency for Electronic Media and The Croatian Audiovisual Centre also develop and cooperate on programmes related to media and film literacy. The Agency for Teachers and Education the body responsible also for professional development in this field and is a partner of the above-mentioned institutions in different programmes for schools.
Special arts education is carried out in primary and secondary schools of applied arts and design, music and dance schools. When attending primary music and or ballet schools, the pupils are obliged to concurrently attend regular primary school. According to the latest available data from the Statistical Yearbook 2018 (Central Bureau of Statistics 2019a), in 2016/2017 there were 133 ballet and music primary schools with a total of 18 435 pupils and 2 300 teachers. In the same school year there were 54 secondary arts schools with a total number of 5 065 pupils and 1 818 teachers. The number of primary and secondary school graduates in art schools increased in the last five years.
At the university level arts education is carried in music, drama and fine arts academies. In 2016/2017 there were 6 art academies in Croatia – at the University of Zagreb – Academy of Dramatic Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, Academy of Music; at the University of Osijek – Arts Academy, and Academy of Dramatic Arts; Arts Academy in Split, and Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka. The total number of students enrolled in academies in 2016/2017 was 2 245, with 837 academic staff, which shows an increase in the number of staff and an increase in the number of students in comparison to the previous four years according to the latest available data from the Statistical Yearbook 2018 (Central Bureau of Statistics 2019a). Programmes in cultural management are mainly covered through private education, as in Zagreb School of Management’s programme, and ‘Baltazar Krčelić’ School in Zaprešić.
Arts and cultural education in Croatia has not been adequately addressed in cultural or educational policies and it has neither been defined nor sufficiently mapped as Žuvela (2016) notes. The programmes are developed sporadically by the particular cultural organisations and institutions but not as a part of overall strategic planning in this domain. The Programme “Backpack (full) of Culture / Ruksak (pun) kulture” was developed as a supplementary measure since 2012 by the Ministry of Culture and Media and in association with the Ministry of Science and Education, and brings artists and cultural events directly to kindergartens, primary and high schools. This measure can be seen as a step in the direction of arts and culture education policies, bridging also the policies for enhancing cultural participation (see chapter 6.1). However, it is a complementary measure while a more systemic approach is needed in this direction.