“In the Croatian system the National Curriculum Framework integrates ICT in many subjects in addition to regular teaching ICT as a subject. As regards published recommendations regarding hardware and software to be used in Croatia there is a problem with hardware because schools use 6-7 year old desktop computers and the economic crisis makes replacement problematic. ICT teachers try to do their best for the students and they install newer technology for which they have the approval of the Ministry of Education. The ministry has an agreement for software licensing for all schools with Microsoft Croatia. Teachers are expected to â€“ and want to â€“ use ICT in class.”
See: Digital inclusion for teachers: ICT in Learning-Teaching Processes in Croatia – Unite IT: The e-Inclusion Network in Europe
An overview of how IT is used in Croatian schools and how Croatia compares to the rest of Europe reveals wide disparities. In the North of Europe, fewer than 10% of people don’t use the Internet. In the south, that number approaches 50%. There is a digital divide even within Europe.
The answer is not just to throw IT into schools. There’s never enough in the educational budget thanks to monopolists behind Wintel. The answer is to free people to use IT with open hardware and FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software). Non-Free software creates digital divides by separating users into two groups, those who can afford to prop up monopolies and those who can’t. Education of youth is a priority for the whole of society, not just the wealthy classes. Schools should use FLOSS. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux because it includes an abundance of utilities as well as sophisticated tools to meet all the objectives of education not just making the rich richer.
Croatia is gaining in usage of GNU/Linux. That TFA was written shows the awareness of a lack of availability of IT. All that is needed to bridge the digital divide is for Croatian schools to catch up with and to exceed the rest of society in using GNU/Linux, the right way to do IT in education. Croatia needs to treble its IT in schools. That isn’t going to happen with Wintel. With FLOSS it is possible and can be done within a few years for no extra expenditure. With a little extra effort the change can be done in two years.