Best Pupils Pessimistic about Croatia’s Future

Total Croatia News

A rather realistic assessment by Croatian primary school students.

Best primary school students are mostly pessimistic towards the future of Croatia, according to new research conducted by the Social Research Institute (IDIZ), reports on September 11, 2017.

The study was conducted in cooperation with the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Zagreb in 28 elementary schools in Zagreb, on a sample of 1,050 seventh grade pupils and 1,062 fourth grade students.

One of the most significant findings of the new study is that young people, in general, show high levels of optimism, believing in their possibilities, as well as in the future of Croatia and the world. On the other hand, the results also show that older and better seventh-grade students are much more critical in this regard.

“Better seventh-grade students are more aware of the reality, so they are more critical towards the environment they are in. It shows that in three years pupils become more mature and more critical towards the world, probably influenced by the media, parents and the environment,” says the research co-author Iva Košutić.

“Young people in the fourth grade do not yet have a significantly differentiated image of Croatia, Europe and the world, and they look optimistically at their own success and the future of Croatia. On the other hand, best seventh-grade students are mostly critical towards the future of Croatia in the next 20 years. This is something we should be concerned with – that the best, most ambitious and most successful young people may not see their future in Croatia.” The study was conducted in primary schools. If it were done in secondary schools, the pessimism level would probably be even higher,” said Košutić.

Another interesting result of the research shows what is the most important element for young people in their future jobs. In the first place, they want to do something they like, which is to be expected. But, the second most important element is job security. This is much more significant to them than for their jobs to be dynamic and challenging. Jobs in which they would run and organise the work of others, which is a characteristic of entrepreneurs, employers and managers, are at the bottom of the rankings.

“Job security has emerged at the very top of the rankings. Parents’ experiences and information from the media likely point to general uncertainty in the economy and political situation in the country, and it seems that our education system is still insufficiently promoting entrepreneurship and proactivity, as it is done elsewhere in the world. We are mostly taught to sit, listen and do as we are told,” said Košutić.

The third most important element for seventh-grade students is a good salary.

The results also show that young people attach great value to education. In the seventh grade, 75 percent of students want to graduate from university, and their parents have similarly high ambitions. It is evident that pupils consider education as something that will provide them with a better quality of life.

“Unfortunately, the data show that not all will be able to enrol at the university. Those in the seventh grade are obviously not yet able to objectively evaluate their own abilities, and the financial requirements needed to study,” said Košutić.

High aspirations show that young people are not sufficiently informed about prospects offered by vocational education. “Vocational training is obviously not so attractive to seventh-grade students. This shows that they should be better informed about the opportunities provided by vocational education,” concluded Košutić.

Translated from


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