Country information for Croatia - Financing of inclusive education systems
In accordance with the Primary and Secondary School Education Act (Official Gazette Nos. 87/08, 86/09, 92/10, 105/10, 90/11, 5/12, 16/12, 86/12, 126/12, 94/13, 154/14 and 7/17), the state budget of the Republic of Croatia allocates funds for school institutions founded by the Republic of Croatia or local authorities. The resources are allocated for the following:
- School employees’ salaries and benefits
- Construction, renovation and furnishing of school buildings
- Compensation of transport costs for school employees
- Professional education and training
- The education of children of Croatian citizens abroad
- Increased transport costs, special teaching tools and nutrition costs for children with special needs
- Nutrition costs and accommodation costs for children with special needs in pupils’ dormitories
- The costs of expert teams in schools that provide support for working with children with special needs.
Funds in the state budget are also allocated for the following:
- Co-financing work with gifted children
- The education of learners in the languages and scripts of national minorities (which includes printing textbooks, additional printing of translated textbooks and the preparation of new textbooks for teaching in the languages and scripts of national minorities in primary and secondary schools)
- The programme for the inclusion of members of the Roma national minority (which consists of co-financing the parents’ share in the accommodation costs of Roma children in pre-primary education institutions, a pre-primary programme of one year’s duration before the start of primary education, and scholarships for all learners who are members of the Roma national minority in secondary and higher education)
- Equipping schools with furniture and learning and computer equipment, including special computer programs
- Equipping school libraries with mandatory reading materials.
Pre-primary education is financed by local authorities and parents, while public needs in pre-primary education are financed by the Ministry of Science and Education – that is, funds for public needs are allocated in the state budget. Public needs include programmes for national minorities, increased costs of pre-primary education for children with developmental difficulties and pre-primary programmes for gifted children and children of Croatian citizens abroad.
The criteria for securing funds on the state level include the so-called primary programmes lasting five, six to seven and eight to ten hours per day for the population of children with developmental difficulties and children of national minority members.
Primary and secondary education is free for learners enrolled in regular forms of education in state schools (owned by local and regional self-government units). Primary school pupils have the right to free transportation to and from school, which is organised by local authorities. The funds for transport costs for secondary school pupils are allocated in the state budget. The resources from the state budget are also used for co-financing the cost of textbooks for children with low socio-economic status and children of the victims of the Croatian War of Independence.
When it comes to children with developmental disabilities, the Ministry of Science and Education ensures the conditions for the necessary adjustments of school facilities, secures the funds for pedagogical and learning tools, the funds for transport costs and nutrition costs and provides learning tools for children with developmental disabilities.
Children with developmental disabilities for whom public transport is unsuitable have the right to compensation of special transportation costs (special transportation may be organised as individual parent transportation or transportation by school vehicle or by an authorised carrier).
Furthermore, pedagogical assistants can be assigned to children with developmental disabilities to help them master educational content and overcome socio-psychological obstacles. The models for financing pedagogical assistants are the following:
- Funds secured by the local authorities (resources from local budgets)
- Funds allocated to non-governmental organisations from a portion of proceeds from games of chance (the amount of the funds is set out in a Decree on the criteria for defining beneficiaries and the allocation of a portion of proceeds from games of chance passed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia)
- Funds secured by a joint policy measure ‘Youth for youth – pedagogical assistants’ implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Pension System, together with the Croatian Employment Office
- Decentralised funds from the European Social Fund.
The Ministry of Science and Education systematically supports and co-finances projects by non-governmental organisations working in the field of non-institutional education of children and young people. The projects need to relate to the implementation of national strategies, programmes and plans under the jurisdiction of the Ministry. The funds are allocated in the state budget and from the portion of proceeds from games of chance. Their allocation is determined by tender.
Public higher education institutions are financed from the state budget in accordance with the criteria of institutional capacities, the price of study programmes and quality assessment. Private higher education institutions can also be financed from the state budget in accordance with the rules determined by the National Council for Higher Education.
Different types of support and financial aid are available to students in the Republic of Croatia with the aim of increasing the accessibility of higher education. For students with disabilities and students of low socio-economic status there are even more forms of support and aid, which aim to improve the students’ standard of living. These include state scholarships, subsidies for covering the costs of student meals, subsidies for covering the costs of student accommodation in dormitories, compensation of public transport costs and different benefits during admission to higher education institutions.
Students in the Republic of Croatia can apply for scholarships awarded by the Ministry of Science and Education, the National Foundation for the Support of Student Living Standard or by the local and regional self-government units (towns and counties).
Last updated 14/02/2018