Bandić Calls for Dismissal of Education Minister Divjak

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 4, 2019 – Labour and Solidarity Party leader and Zagreb mayor, Milan Bandić, on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to replace Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak, and to “make a statesmanlike move” due to her unlawful conduct” noting just one example of 7.5 million kuna of taxpayers’ money thrown down the drain for methodical handbooks.

Addressing a press conference, Bandić said that Divjak “has to bear the consequences of conscious breach of the law.”

He called on the relevant state institutions to inspect the details of the minister’s actions regarding methodical handbooks which cost more than 7.3 million kuna last year. Despite the money spent, those handbooks will only be used this school year and will not apply to the “School for life” due to numerous objections presented during public debates.

Can someone who makes such irresponsible and damaging decisions be a minister in government, Bandić questioned. He added that the “School for Life” programme supplied 8,000 tablets in the 208/2019 school year at price of 1,000 kuna each yet parents can buy new tablets for 500 kuna.

Bandić added that he isn’t interested in “feathering his own nest,” and that his party would continue to support the government in those decisions that are beneficial for the citizens of Zagreb and Croatia.

Bandić’s party colleague, MP Kažimir Varda addressed reporters ahead of a meeting of the ruling coalition partners and said that if Plenković did not replace Minister Divjak, he would table the impeachment motion in parliament on Wednesday. “If Plenković doesn’t agree, we will launch proceedings according to the law,” Varda said.

He added that the minister had breached the law with regard to school textbooks. Textbooks are free in elementary school except for specialised subjects which the government can finance if it has the necessary funds for that purpose.

Minister Divjak on Saturday said that she had been given a guarantee by Prime Minister Plenković that elementary school students would next year be given free textbooks for all compulsory and elective subjects, including Religious Education, a second foreign language and IT studies.

The government has said that it will “ensure that all elementary school students throughout Croatia are given free textbooks,” recalling that the law specifies that the education standard comprises compulsory and elective subjects, which then means that compulsory and elective subjects are a constitutive part of the national standard for students, which is something the state supports and guarantees.

Education and Science Minister Blazenka Divjak’s special advisor Maro Alavanja said on Tuesday that he was sorry that Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić’s focus on education “is not manifested in equipment or maintenance of schools in the city”.

“We are glad to see that Mayor Bandić is focused on education, however, we are sorry that this is not at all reflected in equipment or maintenance of the schools founded by the city,” said Alavanja.

Alavanja went on to say that the mayor should be more concerned about his court proceedings “while we are continuing to bring about results and concrete changes in education such as the introduction of IT studies as a compulsory subject and implementation of the curriculum reform”.

Alavanja called on Mayor Bandić to invest the city’s money in the renovation of sanitation in schools and removal of asbestos roofs.

More education news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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