Since school years 2016/2017, the City of Rijeka has enabled pupils attending higher grades of elementary school to attend classes of Civic Education.
For the mentioned programme, the City of Rijeka has prepared a textbook for pupils.
The implementation of Civic Education is based on the model of a very successful programme “Moja Rijeka/My Rijeka“, as an extracurricular activity.
Civic Education classes in schools in Rijeka are held from one to two times weekly, with a maximum annual fund of 70 lessons in higher grades (5th to 8th grade). The subject is introduced gradually, in a manner that it is first introduced in the fifth grades, and it is planned to continually implement it until the end of elementary school education.
Textbook for pupils “The Pupil, Citizen”
In school year 2015/2016, preparatory activities were implemented in order to realise this programme. The textbook was drawn up for pupils that covers all aspects of Civic Education, and topics were formed in an adequate manner, that is interesting and close to pupils. In 2017, the textbook was upgraded, in accordance with recommendations arising from the evaluation of the first, experimental year of its implementation.
In order to continue the implementation of this successful programme, during school year 2017/2018 the textbook titled “Pupils, citizens: informed, active and responsible” for 6th and 7th grade pupils was prepared that also includes all aspects of civic education.
These are the first textbooks of its kind in Croatia, in the preparation of which many participants were included, from civil society organisations, employees of the University of Rijeka to teachers-programme performers and schools.
In view of the fact that today we meet a low level of political literacy among young people, non-democratic attitudes, strengthening of non-tolerance and exclusion and lack of knowledge and skills necessary in everyday life, the introduction of Civic Education in schools in Rijeka should serve, among others, as an incentive for the competent ministry to introduce this subject in the education system of all schools.
The goal of introducing Civic education is to encourage young people to higher participation in the community, respecting diversity, taking an active role when pleading for human rights, sustainable development and, in general, for society democratisation.
Civic education is one of the basic pillars of democratic society and its implementation in the formal education system should be considered a necessity because in this way it becomes easily accessible to all pupils, thus enabling them to become responsible and active members of society. An important aspect of Civic Education includes teaching of young people how to apply the acquired knowledge and skills in everyday life, once they finish school. Research shows that many of them do not know the difference between current and giro accounts, they do not know how to deal with their parents’ divorce and whom to apply in the event that their rights are violated. Civic Education, among others, should respond to all these issues.