ZAGREB, December 5, 2019 – Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said on Thursday that incorrect information on the results of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey for 2018 and its relation to the curricular reform, was being spread in the public sphere and that this got even President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović confused.
“Unverified and incorrect information is again circulating in the public sphere, this time in connection with the results of the PISA survey and their relation to the curricular reform. It even got the President of the Republic confused,” Divjak wrote on Facebook.
The PISA survey was conducted in the early spring of 2018 and the curricular reform was introduced in schools in the autumn of 2019, so the reform could not have yielded results 18 months before its introduction. Students who were covered by the survey started attending school in 2009 and studied according to the old curriculum, said Divjak.
As for investment in STEM, Divjak said that it was her ministry that had introduced computer science as a compulsory subject in the fifth and sixth grades of primary school in 2018, provided schools with equipment for computer science and science, and introduced micro computers for sixth graders.
“Apart from that, investment in school libraries has never been higher and we will continue with it very soon. I am available for information on any question or doubt, including by the President of the Republic, so that we can provide a better education for our children,” the minister said.
During a visit to Varaždin’s University North on Wednesday, Grabar-Kitarović expressed regret at the results of the PISA survey, saying that it proved that the curricular reform was not yielding results and that its implementation must be stepped up and more attention paid to STEM.
Croatian 15-year-old students’ ability to use their reading, mathematical and science competencies to meet real-life challenges, as measured by the last PISA survey, have turned out to be below average.
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