Primary and Secondary School Students Rarely Decide on Relevant Topics

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ZAGREB, November 26, 2018 – Primary and secondary school students in Croatia rarely participate in making decisions and giving opinions on relevant topics, a survey showed.

The results of the survey, entitled “Participation of Children in the Education System”, were presented at a press conference on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day.

The survey was carried out on the initiative of the Ombudsman for Children by the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Department of Pedagogy at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, covering 2,720 students and 461 teachers from throughout the country.

Project leader Ivana Jeđud Borić said that the survey identified shortcomings in encouraging children’s participation in educational institutions in Croatia. She said that it is necessary to develop participatory methods of teaching and treat children as equal participants in decision making because children’s right to participate is their basic right.

The survey found that children are not interested in participating in formal bodies because they do not believe they can have any influence. Primary and secondary school students rarely participate in making decisions and giving opinions on relevant topics, she said.

Jeđud Borić said that schoolchildren are much more involved in informal forms of participation. She said that the survey also revealed that a good adult-student relationship, which is a key factor in encouraging participation, is often neglected at the expense of other education outcomes and that schools lack adults who could serve as an example of participation.

Children’s Ombudsman Helenca Pirnat Dragičević said that the results of the survey will be used in drawing up new proposals for developing an education system in which children will be able to fully exercise their right to participation.

For more on children in Croatia and their position and status in the Croatian society, click here.


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