Country information for Croatia - Assessment within inclusive education systems

Enrolment in pre-primary education institutions

During the process of enrolment in pre-primary education programmes, children with developmental disabilities are identified through the co-operation of professionals working in kindergartens: pedagogues, psychologists, educational and rehabilitation experts (speech and language therapists and educational rehabilitators), nurses and head teachers, together with educators and parents.

If the child has already gone through the identification process in another health or social care institution, that expert opinion is also considered.

Children with minor difficulties are enrolled in mainstream programmes in mainstream kindergartens and, in some cases, children with extensive and multiple difficulties are enrolled in the same programmes if the necessary prerequisites exist.

Children with extensive difficulties are enrolled in special education groups with special programmes. If there are too few children with extensive difficulties to form a special group, such children can be integrated into mainstream groups in kindergartens, provided that special conditions are secured (a smaller number of children in the group or an additional educator/educational rehabilitator).

Enrolment in primary school

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, primary education is compulsory for all learners, including learners with special needs. Primary education for learners with extensive developmental disabilities can last until the age of 21. The enrolment of learners with special needs in the compulsory primary education system is based on the Regulation on the Process of Assessing the Psychophysical State of Children and Students and the Structure of Expert Committees (Official Gazette, Nos. 55/11 and 67/14). The child’s psychophysical state is assessed in order to determine the most suitable programme and form of schooling, as well as the necessary support, methods and learning tools. If necessary, the process of assessing the child’s psychophysical state can be conducted later, during regular education of children in primary and secondary schools. Each learner is issued with a first-instance decision on the suitable education programme by the regional authority office or city office for education, culture and sports of the City of Zagreb. If the parent is not satisfied with the programme and form of schooling determined by the first-instance decision, they are entitled to appeal before the Ministry of Science and Education. The second-instance committee, which reviews the first-instance procedure and takes all the professional documents into consideration, consists of all the experts with extensive professional experience from the first-instance institutions. The second-instance committee can either reject or accept the parents’ appeal. In case of the latter, the committee issues a new decision on the suitable education programme.

Teachers, in co-operation with the expert team and the head teacher, as well as the competent regional office, need to make sure that the issued decision on the suitable education programme is implemented.

Enrolment in secondary school

Career guidance is compulsory for children with developmental difficulties and health problems. It is conducted by the Careers Advice Service at the Croatian Employment Office, together with primary schools, during the final year of primary education. The Careers Advice Service has an organised team of experts who suggest a selection of suitable professions to learners with special needs and their parents, while taking into consideration the learners’ abilities, school success, health condition, interests and motivation. The service also issues a written recommendation for three professions which is enclosed with the decision about the adequate programme and form of schooling and submitted for enrolment in secondary school. This documentation enables children with special needs to immediately enrol in secondary school.

In accordance with Article 21 of the Regulation on Taking the State Graduation Exam (Official Gazette, No. 1/13), learners with special needs who want to take the state graduation exam can do so with the help of adjusted exam technology. This is done in co-operation with the National Centre for External Evaluation in Education.

Higher education of students with disabilities

Higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia have included in their statutes and regulations the constitutional principles on the prohibition of every form of discrimination and the equal right of all students to good quality study programmes. In 2012, the University of Zagreb adopted the Guidelines for Equalising the Opportunities in Higher Education for Students with Disabilities. Four out of seven universities in the Republic of Croatia (the Universities of Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka and Osijek) have set a goal to facilitate access to higher education and to provide support for students with disabilities. By 2014, offices for students with disabilities had been founded in most higher education institutions. A student does not have to register upon enrolment, but they can register at any time during their studies when they need any form of support or aid.

Support for students is provided by student counselling centres, co-ordinators for students with disabilities, committees or commissioners for students with disabilities.


Last updated 14/02/2018

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