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Around 70 people participated at the National Round Table in Zagreb organized by Forum For Freedom in Education and the Education and Teacher Training Agency

Conference on education of children with migrant background was held in Zagreb on 3rd of October. The aim of the conference was to present the results of the comparative research conducted within the first work package of the Sirius project, to discuss the current education policies in Croatia as well as to present good practices directed towards migrant education and to make suggestions for improvement of migrant education in Croatia. All together around 70 participants participated from all regions from Croatia. Participants were mainly coming from schools, civil society organisations, research Institutes, local authorities etc. In the introductory part deputy of minister of education Mrs Ankica Nježić welcome participants and emphasize the importance of this topic for Croatian educational system in the future.

NRT Croatia photo 4Moderator of the conference was Mrs. Vesna Mihoković Puhovski, president of Forum for Freedom in Education. In the first part of the conference Mrs. Claudia Köhler has presented the results of the research and explained the SIRIUS network itself. Other spokesperson came from relevant institutions that deal with migrant problems. One of them was Mrs. Zrinka Jelaska from Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences who spoke about frameworks necessary for inclusion of migrant students into education of Croatian language. Mrs. Eli Pijaca Plavšić, executive director of Forum for Freedom in Education has presented the results of the research on the national level. Afterword, Mrs. Nada Jakir from Ministry of Education, Science and Sport spoke about education of migrants within the inclusive education policy in Croatia. The program was resumed with the presentation of Action plan for the removal of obstacles in achieving rights of immigrant integration for the 2013.-2015. period that was held by Mrs. Lana Vukalović from Governments Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities. Another representative of Ministry of Science Education and Sport, Mrs. Zdenka Čukelj, has held a presentation on regulations of the Republic of Croatia aimed for education students of insufficient knowledge of Croatian language.

In the second section of the conference, where the good practice was presented, two representatives of National agency for education spoke. One of them, Mrs. Marijana Češi presented the projects on education of Croatian language as foreign language. Her colleague, Mrs. Mirela-Barbaroša Šikić spoke about the project of development of personal, professional, social and organisational competences of teachers of Croatian language, expert staff and preschool teachers. Representatives of CSO spoke about the support and protection of asylums in Croatia; the topic was presented by Mrs. Julija Kranjec form Center for Peace Studies. Mrs. Martina Horvat explained the importance of civic education in the context of migrant education. At the end of the second section of the conference practical aspects of the projects were shown by Mrs. Srebrenka Puklavec Trstenjak who elaborated how the project of development of personal, professional, social and organisational competences of teachers of Croatian language, expert staff and preschool teachers affected the target groups and final beneficiaries. Principal of elementary school Podmurvice from Rijeka, Mrs. Nada Kegalj described the project on integration of students in multicultural environment.NRT Croatia photo 3

Additionally, the workshops were organised that covered the topics of school/local community as the carrier of intercultularity, learning foreign language as foreign language and development of teachers competences for work with migrant background children.

Finally, the conference has come to the following conclusions: 1) ensuring systematic education of teachers within the school 2) collaboration and support between schools 3) raising awareness of interculturality among teachers and students 4) collaboration with parents 5) production of leaflets and flowcharts, both for parents and schools 6) establishing mobile teams for providing support in education and youth work.

Eli Pijaca

Forum for Freedom in Education

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