Croatia’s First High School for Classical Ballet to Open in Rijeka?

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The City of Rijeka and Vežica Elementary School sent a letter of intent to the Ministry of Science and Education in which they expressed interest in establishing a new high school for dance in Rijeka.

Vežica Elementary School Principal Violeta Nikolić said there had been a need for a school of this kind for a long time now. Such an educational institution in Rijeka would be the first of its kind in Croatia, reports Novi list.

‘This year, the Elementary School for Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance [in Rijeka] marks its 15th anniversary. In those 15 years, around twenty of our pupils had to continue their education in Zagreb or abroad. Namely, students are leaving for Ljubljana, Milan and Budapest. There is interest in higher education, and if Rijeka had its own school, there would certainly be even more interest. The idea is to open a four-year vocational school after which our students could find employment right away. The school would have two departments, for contemporary dance and classical ballet. It would be the first such school in Croatia’, explained Nikolić.

The principal believes that the new school would certainly attract students, not only from Primorje-Gorski kotar county, but from other parts of Croatia as well. Asked about the personnel that would work in the future school, she said this definitely wouldn’t be an issue as they already have staff that are experts in the field of dance. ‘A high school would only be an extension of what we’ve already been doing for 15 years’, said Nikolić.

The City is on board with the plan, according to Rijeka Deputy Mayor Sandra Krpan, who said the City would find a location for the future school. It wouldn’t be implemented in Vežica Elementary School, but would be an autonomous institution located in the city centre.

‘We embraced the idea of establishing a dance school right away. We’re also planning an expansion of Elementary School Vežica to fit the needs of the Elementary School for Ballet’, said Krpan, adding that the funds for the school expansion have already been set aside in this year’s city budget.

That’s not the only new school the City of Rijeka has in the works, as there are plans to open a new elementary school that would offer a programme in English. Krpan explained that establishment of a new educational institution wouldn’t be necessary in this case, as the new programme would be implemented in one of the existing schools in Rijeka.

‘Rijeka is developing, international companies are increasingly present and we believe that there’s a need for an elementary school programme in the English language. We would introduce it from the first grade of elementary school. We believe that personnel won’t be a problem’, said Krpan, adding that they haven’t yet decided which school would offer the new programme and that it might be implemented in multiple schools.




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