Croatian schools hope for smooth reopening on 7 September

Croatian schools hope for smooth reopening on 7 September

New students will be welcomed with tough measures as well as jars of locally produced honey

The school year in Croatia begins on 7 September and the government has prepared a lot of surprises for incoming students – both in the form of new rules and regulations meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as in the form of presents for first-graders.

A different kind of school year

With students poised to make a return to classrooms, the Croatian government has unveiled the new rulebook that all those who attend and work in educational establishments will have to abide by.

The main rule, as one might expect, is to keep a distance and to prevent the mixing of classes and teachers. The goal of authorities is to prevent contact between many different individuals, thus stifling the possibility of having the disease spread among many students and staff.

Thus, the Ministry of Education has recommended for all schools to follow the simple logic of keeping children far apart and in contact with as few teachers as possible. Different groups of students are recommended to start their classes at different times, have different breaks, be confined to different parts of the building and be looked after by different sets of teachers, while simultaneously maintaining at least 1.5 metres of distance between each other. 

Should a student display symptoms of COVID-19, they are meant to be isolated and separated from others until their parents can come and pick them up. Masks, however, will not be mandatory by default – instead, they must be used only in case there is insufficient space that allows for social distancing to take place.

And while all these rules might be difficult for young children and first graders to follow and fully comprehend, the Ministry of Education has also decided on an incentive that is not only sweet but also helps the country’s economy.

Jars of locally produced honey have been procured by authorities at a total price of HRK 1.4 million that will be handed to each first-grader as a welcome present for the new school year. The initiative has been in place since 2018 and over 820 schools have already taken part in its implementation.



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