Croatian Pupils Excel in Civic and Citizenship Education

Katarina Anđelković


December 7, 2023 – Croatian pupils achieved an above-average result in the ICCS 2022 International Survey of Civic and Citizenship Education, ranking fifth. Croatian National Center for External Evaluation of Education (NCVVO) Director Vinko Filipović assessed that this shows that the cross-curricular integration of civic education in Croatia has yielded results.

According to NCVOO data, Croatia ranked fifth out of a total of 20 participating countries with 531 points, writes Poslovni.

The first place in the ICCS 2022 survey was taken by Chinese Taipei, followed by Estonia, Poland and Sweden.

The following countries came in below Croatia: Norway, Italy, Spain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, France, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Serbia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Colombia.

Filipović: Despite claims that civic education is not adequately represented – this is not so

The director of the National Center for External Evaluation of Education Vinko Filipović asserted that these results show that despite the long-standing claims that civic education is not adequately and sufficiently represented in Croatian schools – this is not the case.

“Being fifth out of 20 countries, and ahead of Norway, Italy, France or Slovenia, speaks of the fact that the cross-curricular integration of civic education has yielded results and that our pupils have an enviable level of competence, which does not mean that there is nothing left to be done in this regard, adding to other improvements in the education system,” he commented.

Especially, he added, when you take into account the fact that the average score of the participating countries decreased significantly compared to 2016, while in Croatia it remained at the same level. Sweden, Norway, and France are among the countries where competence in civic education has decreased.

In a survey that examines students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts and topics related to civic education, Croatian students achieved the same result and number of points as in 2016, when the first ICCS survey was conducted in the country, i.e. there was no increase or reduction of civic knowledge.

However, the average score of the participating countries in 2022 is 11 points lower compared to the previous test cycle in 2016, when it was 517 points.

Girls Achieve statistically Significantly Higher Results

In Croatia, 2,776 eighth-grade students, 2,290 teachers, and 141 principals of elementary schools participated in the survey conducted in the spring of 2022.

Girls scored statistically significantly higher than boys in both cycles. The gender gap increased by six points between the two testing cycles: in 2016, a 26-point difference was recorded, and in 2022, a 32-point difference in favor of girls.

Compared to the ICCS results from 2016, the share of students at the advanced level remained the same (36 percent), while at other levels the result is also very similar (differences of one to two percent).

The largest number of students according to the result is at level B or higher (38 percent), as in 2016 (40 percent). There are 21 percent of students at the secondary level and five percent at the primary level. No one scored below the basic level.

IEA’s ICCS survey is conducted every six years, three cycles have been conducted so far (in 2009, 2016 and 2022), and last year a total of about 82,000 eighth graders participated in it.

IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) – The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement was founded in 1959 to conduct comparative research on the basis of which educational policies and practices are studied throughout the world. It has 68 member countries, and Croatia has been a member since 2009.


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