ZAGREB, December 1, 2018 – The leader of the Croatian People’s Party (HNS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said on Saturday that the deadlines for the implementation of the full curriculum reform in the next school year (2019-2020) were not jeopardised, and that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reassured him that the relevant legislation would be adopted by the national parliament on 14 December.
After a few meetings of the HNS leadership with the party’s lawmakers on Friday afternoon, we clearly presented out position to the coalition partner, and that there would be any more reason for us to be a part of the ruling majority if the educational reform might be anyhow undermined, the HNS president, Ivan Vrdoljak, said at a news conference in Zagreb on Saturday.
The legislation on school textbooks is a prerequisite for the comprehensive introduction of the reform in schools, Vrdoljak said.
He went on to say that after the final bill on school textbooks had not been added to the agenda of the government during its meeting on Friday morning, he asked the coalition partner – the governing Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) – that it should be made clear that the educational reform was not put at risk.
“The deadlines are not jeopardised. I wanted yesterday to get clear assurances from the partner that the educational reform will not be put at risk.”
Vrdoljak said that later he received assurances twice: first, during his conversation with Prime Minister Plenkovicć and later Plenković reiterated assurances in his public statement.
Education Minister Blaženka Divjak talked about the road map for the reform, explaining that the law should be enacted soon for a tender for school textbooks to be advertised in timely fashion in January.
The president of the GLAS party, Anka Mrak Taritaš, said in the northern Adriatic city of Pula on Saturday, that there was no split in the ruling coalition, but that the present situation was “a cute muscle-showing performance.” “If you enter a coalition that is based on trade-offs, there can be no split there, this is a cute performance in which someone wants to show their muscles,” Mrak Taritaš told the pressed when asked if there was a split in the ruling coalition over the law on textbooks.
A little over a year ago, Anka Mrak Taritaš said she could not accept the HNS’ “immoral trade” with the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and formed a new political party, the Civil-Liberal Alliance (GLAS).
For more on the curriculum reform in Croatia, click here.