How Much Chance Do Kids in Croatia Have of Reaching Their Potential?

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 9th of September, 2019, a child born in the Republic of Croatia today has a 72 percent chance of reaching their full potential in terms of education, stated Harry Anthony Patrinos, the main man of the World Bank’s education practice on Monday, otherwise the first day of the new school year.

Speaking at a panel on “Innovations and technology transfer – an impetus for Croatia’s economic development”, held at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Zagreb, he discussed just where Croatia stands in terms of the education it offers its children.

“Croatia isn’t Singapore, which takes first place with an index of 0.88, but according to the HC (Human Capital) index, Croatia is pretty good in relation to its region and quite good relative to other countries with a median average in terms of the efficiency of its education system,” , emphasised Patrinos.

He added, however, that the big problem in this country is that children from lower income families are much less likely to get their hands on a good education, both in terms of the length of their education and in the quality or knowledge they will eventually acquire through that education. Patrinos states that this is a key issue that needs to be addressed in primary and secondary education in the whole of the country in the coming period.

All countries in Croatia’s immediate region have a weaker HC index than Croatia, except for Slovenia, which isn’t that surprising, and Serbia, which might come as more of a shock to some. Thus, Croatia is ahead of Hungary (0.70), followed by China (0.67), Turkey (0.63), Albania (0.62), Bosnia and Herzegovina (0.62), Montenegro (0.62), Romania ( 0.60), Kosovo (0.56) and Macedonia (0.53).

However, at the same time, Croatia lags behind Serbia, whose index is 0.76, meaning that 76 percent of Serbian children have the opportunity to reach their full potential through their country’s education system, and it also lags behind its neighbour to the north, Slovenia, whose index is 0.79.

In first place comes Singapore (0.88), followed by South Korea (0.84) and Japan (0.84). Then come Hong Kong (0.82), Finland (0.81) and Ireland (0.81), Australia (0.80), Sweden (0.80), Netherlands (0.80) and Canada (0.80).

The US is in 24th place with an index (0.76), which is only just slightly better than Croatia.

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