Ministry of Science and Education Republic of Croatia, March 2020. For the Ministry: minister prof. Blaženka Divjak, PhD
The Ministry of Science and Education (MZO) is directing schools to organize preparatory activities for the organization of distance learning using information technology. In the event of an unforeseen change in the security situation in the country, schools need to be able to provide adequate distance learning for students and teachers.
In order to be able to organize possible distance learning, preparations are necessary in order to put essential technical conditions in place. This process requires everyone to have a certain role which they must perform responsibly.
1. Establishing channels of communication
The first priority is to ensure a flow of correct and comprehensive information between the Ministry and school principals, between school principals and teachers, and between the school and students, as well as parents.
a) All school principals have to participate in the virtual classroom for principals on Loomen. Principals, in order to be able to exchange information with the Ministry, need to continuously monitor notifications in the special classroom for school principals. The content on Loomen is the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Science and Education.
b) The Ministry of Science and Education has verified and determined that in the previous two months, 95% of students and 90% of teachers have accessed their user data (AAI identity). Therefore we ask the administrators of class registries in particular schools to provide directions to students and teachers for verifying their user data on the following link.
c) If a school does not have a „virtual teachers’ room“, or a „community of practice (CoP)“ (Teams, Yammer, Moodle, etc.), which can be accessed through AAI identities, the school principal, in cooperation with an IT specialist, needs to organize the creation of a „virtual teachers’ room“ for their school. Teachers and expert associates will access the „virtual teachers’ room“ through their AAI identities for security reasons, and in compliance with instructions provided by CARNET and the Ministry of Science and Education. The instructions are available on CARNET – Udaljeno učenje and School for life. If you encounter difficulties in the process, please contact CARNET ([email protected], 01/6661-555).
d) After establishing a virtual teachers’ room (on Teams, Yammer, Moodle, etc.), each class master teaching students from fifth to eighth grade of primary school or students of secondary schools (or another staff member authorized by the school principal) needs to use the same virtual tools to create and organize a „virtual classroom“ which consists of all the students and teachers that teach various subjects to students of that particular class. The „virtual classroom“ should also be accessed through the AAI identity according to instructions provided by CARNET and the Ministry of Science and Education. If you encounter difficulties in the process, please contact CARNET ([email protected], 01/6661-555).
e) After the „virtual teachers’ room“ and „virtual classroom“ for so-called subject teaching in primary and secondary schools are established, each school puts a list of links to individual virtual classes on its website so that all teachers and students know where they need to log in.
f) For so-called class teaching (in which one teacher teaches most subjects), we suggest that class masters connect all of the parents in a virtual group with the help of appropriate communication channels (Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook, e-mail, phone, etc.).
Please do the aforementioned activities as soon as possible, and no later than Monday, 16 March, by 12:00.
Furthermore, we remind you of the instructions regarding equipment for students:
g) All students attending fifth and seventh grade of primary school have tablets which were bought by the Ministry of Science and Education. Each school has to distribute these tablets to students to enable them to work from home. Internet providers have delivered SIM cards to primary schools, but if certain schools do not have enough cards, the Ministry has made an arrangement with the internet providers, and school principals need to contact the Ministry ([email protected]) and list the number of students that need the SIM cards after which they will receive further instructions. If the tablets are not put into use and distributed to students, the principal needs to do so urgently.
h) Each school needs to evaluate which students attending sixth and eight grade are of below average socioeconomic status, or do not have a device or internet connection in their home. If distance learning will be required, the school can provide these students with tablets which were delivered to the school for the purposes of so-called class teaching.
i) Secondary schools that have enrolled students whose families are beneficiaries of guaranteed minimum compensation, have received funds from the Ministry for procuring tablets for students who are of below average socioeconomic status, or do not have a device or internet connection in their home. For procuring tablets for the aforementioned students, principals need to contact the Ministry ([email protected]) and list the number of students that need the SIM cards after which they will receive further instructions.
2. Monitoring and support
In accordance with all that was previously stated, please distribute these guidelines to all staff members participating in the educational process of your school. We stress that all of the mentioned activities have to be implemented no later than Monday, 16 March, by 12:00. The guidelines will be distributed in the special virtual classroom for school principals on Loomen.