Experts Dismiss President’s Proposal about Croatian Language Classes

Total Croatia News

The President has recently proposed splitting Croatian language classes in schools into basic and advanced subjects.

Referring to the hot topic of curricular reform, President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović recently said that Croatian language classes should be divided into two subjects – basic and AP (advanced placement), which would include “all that literature.” Her proposal has unpleasantly surprised experts and teachers, reports on May 29, 2017.

“Croatian classes should be divided into two subjects – basic and AP (advanced placement) with all that literature for those who want to study humanities later or know more,” said the President.

Lexicographer, editor and publicist Velimir Visković stated that he did not fully understand how the President imagined the split and how it would be done, so he did not want to comment further. “I suppose that her idea was suggested by some of her advisers. I would like to see this idea explained more fully”, said Visković.

Writer and university professor Kristian Novak also said he did not understand President’s statement at all, and believes that she should explain her proposal.

Diana Greblički Miculinić, a long-time professor of Croatian language and literature at the Špansko-Oranice Elementary School in Zagreb, who is a member of the expert working team for the Croatian language, said that the knowledge of Croatian language is the foundation for all students since it enables them to learn all other subjects throughout their education and achieve success in education and life.

“Language is a basic tool. Without the knowledge of the language, for example, it is hard to obtain information needed to solve any problem. Not to mention that students are not able to express their thoughts, attitudes and feelings,” she said. “Getting rid of ‘all that literature’, especially in elementary schools, would be very damaging. It has been shown that reading literacy affects the development of child’s personality. They develop feelings for artistic, aesthetic expression, but above all, it indirectly enriches their experience and helps them understand the world in which they live,” said Greblički Miculinić.

Marina Vujčić, a writer with many years of experience as a secondary school professor of Croatian language and literature, said that the President’s statement was scandalous, to put it mildly. “Language is the basis of national identity, so I do not understand how it can be defined for this or that use. Somebody should ask the President which model of Croatia she advocates when she leads and represents this country – basic or advanced. There is no nation without culture, and language is the medium for transmitting culture – with all its options that children can properly adopt only during education. As a writer and editor, I was particularly struck by the ‘all that literature’ claim. If the state leadership sees literature as something which is not necessary, it is no wonder that our publishing industry and culture are in such trouble,” said Vujčić.


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