Curricular Reform Causing Divisions within Ruling Coalition

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 4, 2018 – The leader of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) Milorad Pupovac said on Wednesday it was necessary to have an agreement within the ruling coalition about who would be at the helm of the Expert Task Force for the implementation of curricular reform, saying that no person was worth jeopardising either the coalition or the reform process.

The Special Expert Commission for the Implementation of the Education, Science and Technology Strategy at its meeting on Tuesday did not make a decision on the appointment of the head and members of the Expert Task Force for the implementation of curricular reform because, according to the media, Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak was against the appointment of state secretary Matko Glunčić as head of the group.

“I believe it is critical to reach an agreement on this important issue within the coalition,” Pupovac told the press outside the parliament building when asked to comment on the situation involving Glunčić’s appointment. He, however, stressed that the existence of the coalition was not threatened over this issue and declined to say whether in his opinion Glunčić was the right person for the job.

Education Minister Divjak declined to comment on the possible appointment of Glunčić.

According to unofficial sources, Divjak is against Glunčić’s election for four reasons – he does not meet the formal conditions; he openly talks against the reform; he is against recommendations of the European Commission and the government’s road map; and as a member of a parents’ council in one school, he blocked the school’s plan to join the programme of experimental implementation of the reform.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Wednesday that the issue regarding who would be at the helm of the Expert Task Force for the implementation of curricular reform would not jeopardise the functioning of the ruling majority in parliament, underscoring that it was important to find the best possible solution through mutual respect and dialogue. He is confident “a solution acceptable to both sides can be reached through dialogue.”

Jandroković said he did not want to insist on a political decision. “That is why we have formed the Special Expert Commission to gather people who know education reform well and I will put my faith in them,” Jandroković said.

The leader of the MOST party Božo Petrov also commented on the issue, saying that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) have caused ideological divisions and “until they purge themselves, there will be no education reform.” He also said that this would not dissolve the ruling coalition. “They would have nowhere to go if the coalition fell apart! They are tied together by their party and personal interests and as long as this is the case, the government will function, unfortunately not for the common good or to protect the citizens,” Petrov said.

Gordan Maras of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said that anyone who was against the introduction of civic education in schools could not be at the helm of the entire process.

The rightwing HRAST party, however, supported the idea of appointing Glunčić as the head of the Expert Task Force and accused Minister Divjak of “crushing all expert arguments with her aggressive approach in order to carry out any reform so that her HNS party could declare that as its political victory.”


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