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| Published 15. 7. 2016. 15:38 | RSS

CARNet Signs a 227-Million-Kuna Contract for the Development of Digitally Mature Schools

On Friday, 15 July 2016, a signing ceremony for the Grant Contract for the Implementation of the Project "e-Schools: Establishing a System for Developing Digitally Mature Schools (Pilot Project)" was held on the premises of the Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNet. The total contract value exceeds 200 million kuna (HRK 227,870,763.02), 85 % of which is financed from the European Regional Development Fund and the remaining 15 % is covered by national co-financing. The grant is intended for providing ICT infrastructure and equipment to schools, as well as providing different e-services through which the teaching, business and administration processes in schools will be made more efficient and transparent. 

The Contract was signed by the Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Tomislav Tolušić, the Director of the Central Finance and Contracting Agency Tomislav Petric and the CEO of the Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNet Zvonimir Stanić.

"The introduction of modern technology in schools is the best proof that "land of knowledge" is not just a slogan in Croatia, but the future of our country. By investing in education, we will build the capacities of the educational system and increase the number of young educated people provided with the opportunity of actively joining the labour market", Minister Tolušić said.

Congratulating the project beneficiaries, Tomislav Petric, Director of the CFCA, pointed out that "there were no ineligible costs in the project application, which confirms that this is a high-quality beneficiary and a well-prepared project. I believe, therefore, that the implementation of the entire project will be successful.".

The CARNet Chief Executive Officer Zvonimir Stanić pointed out that, since 2012, all CARNet employees have been doing successful and arduous work on the e-Schools project, whether regarding its planning or its current realisation phase. "The progress which we have instigated and noticed cannot be expressed with words – the schools are becoming increasingly faster and more adept at integrating and adopting technology in their teaching processes and business activities, thus slowly becoming places which the students walk out of computer-literate, educated, able to think for themselves and be good team players. This is, above all, to the credit of the teachers and principals with whom we have, over the years, established a great cooperation and the e-Schools project is a result of this positive synergy.", CEO Stanić pointed out.

The e-Schools pilot project which is to last from 2015 to 2018, is part of a more comprehensive "e-Schools: Comprehensive Informatisation of the Schools' Business and Teaching Processes for the Purpose of Creating Digitally Mature Schools for the 21st Century" programme, to be implemented in the 2015-2022 period. It is a project through which the schools will be enabled to use modern technologies in teaching and learning, while the rationalisation and transparency of business activities will be promoted through the informatisation of school business and administration processes. All 150 schools, consisting of 100 elementary and 50 secondary schools (high schools and vocational schools), participating in the project will be equipped with the latest technology, while the teaching and non-teaching staff will get the education required for the optimal use of the available technology and digital content to be developed within the project.

As a reminder, both project phases are financed mostly (85 %) from the European Structural Funds. Considering the specific quality of the e-Schools – Improving the Digital Maturity of Schools project goal, for implementation-related reasons, its implementation is divided into two strategic projects financed and implemented through two different operational programmes. Project A, which is mostly infrastructure- and service-oriented, is financed from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme (CC OP) of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and its purpose is to enable the optimal use of the content, education and support provided by Project B, through the use of sophisticated ICT equipment adapted to the needs of the Croatian educational system, as well as through the provision of different e-services, by means of which the teaching, business and administration processes in schools will be made more efficient and transparent. Project B, as the content-bearing part of the e-Schools project, is financed from the Efficient Human Resources Operational Programme (EHR OP) of the European Social Fund (ESF), the realisation of which has been enabled by a 78-million-kuna grant, with the Contract having already been signed on 22 December 2015. The focus of Project B is on the development of frameworks (for digital maturity and digital competences) and strategic documents (the draft Digital Maturity Strategy) and on providing education and support for the teaching and non-teaching staff and developing digital educational content and the accompanying activities. Without Project B, there is no need for Project A.

Project implementation is the responsibility of the beneficiary institution – the Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNet, whereas its partners are the Education and Teacher Training Agency and the Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education, based on their role in the educational system defined by law, and the Faculty of Organization and Informatics in Varaždin, selected through a public call, as the institution with relevant expertise in the field of information science and e-learning, for the implementation of parts of the project.

More information about the project "e-Schools: Establishing a System for Developing Digitally Mature Schools (Pilot Project)" is available at the following web address:

Projekt je sufinancirala Europska unija iz europskih strukturnih i investicijskih fondova.