The program, under the full title “e-Schools: Complete informatization of school business processes and teaching processes for the purpose of creating digitally mature schools for the 21st century“, began in March 2015 with a pilot project in which 151 Croatian schools participated. The pilot project “e-Schools: Establishment of a system for the development of digitally mature schools” was implemented until the end of August 2018. The main result of the pilot project is an increase in the level of digital maturity in 10 percent of Croatian primary and secondary schools.
Based on the experiences and results of the pilots, in September 2018 CARNET started the implementation of the second phase of the program “e-Schools: Development of a system of digitally mature schools (Phase II)” worth HRK 1.3 billion. Following the decision of the Ministry of Science and Education, by 31 December 2022, the teaching and business processes in all schools in the Republic of Croatia financed from the state budget, will be digitally transformed.
The general objective of the e-School program contributes to strengthening the capacity of the primary and secondary education system with the aim of training students for the labour market, further education and lifelong learning.
The specific goals of the e-School program, which will contribute to the general goal, are:
- provide a purposeful, reliable and secure ICT environment adapted to the needs of schools in the Republic of Croatia;
- improve the efficiency and coherence of processes in the education system
- improve digital competences that contribute to the digital maturity of schools
- improve the strategic leadership of schools to raise their digital maturity.
In order for schools to increase the level of digital maturity, the role of principals, teachers and other staff who are ready to use new technologies and approaches to teaching is crucial.
In digitally mature schools, teachers use technology to improve teaching, develop their own digital content and provide support for independent learning and the development of critical skills in students, who are at the heart of the teaching process. Thus, students actively participate in teaching with increased motivation to learn and continue their education, and become more competitive in the labour market. The management of e-Schools is efficient and transparent, and communication and exchange of e-documents between the school, its stakeholders and founders is much simpler.
The value of e-Schools has been recognized by the European Commission, as the project won first place in the category of Inclusive Growth – Skills and Education for Digital Europe at the 2020 Regiostars Awards – the awards for the best projects at the European Union level. This achievement demonstrates the importance of a comprehensive approach to the application of modern technology, digital content, and support, providing equal opportunities for the education of all students.
The Agency for Vocational Education and Adult Education played a role as a partner in this project. Agency staff conducted educational workshops on the application of technology in learning and teaching in a total of 224 schools, involving 4360 teachers.
The project’s website can be found at: https://www.e-skole.hr/