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Factsheet for measure HR-2021-45/2077 Updated – measures in Croatia

Re-introduction of online tutoring for primary and secondary school students

Povratak na on-line nastavu za učenike u osnovnim i srednjim školama

Country Croatia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 04 November 2021 – 05 November 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Changes in work organisation
Author Predrag Bejakovic (IJF)
Measure added 30 October 2021 (updated 06 September 2022)

Background information

On 25 October 2021, in Croatia 2,226 primary and 1,594 secondary school students were positive for COVID-19. This is a 100% increase in the number of positive students within a week. Most infections were in the capital city of Zagreb with 660 primary and 480 secondary school students, while Lika-Senj County accounts for the fewest, 24 in primary and 4 in secondary schools. There were also many infected teachers, the most (134) in Zagreb, while the fewest in Požega-Slavonia County, only 5. Also, 6,743 primary and 3,372 secondary school students are self-isolating. Most isolations are in Zagreb, 3,569, and the smallest in Krapina-Zagorje County, 14. Furthermore, there are also 159 school employees in self-isolation, most in Zagreb, 41, and least in Požega-Slavonia, Koprivnica-Križevci and Vukovar-Srijem counties with one in each. The situation even deteriorated in 29 October 2021, when 5,223 students were infected with COVID-19. Primary schools infections rose to 3,065, while secondary schools infections were 2,158. On the same day, 717 employees in education were infected, while 162 were in self-isolation.

Content of measure

In the 2020-2021 school year, students returned to classrooms for a short period in September 2020, but the dire health indicators forced the introduction of online tutoring. The satisfaction of teaching staff and students with this type of education was better than expected. This process required everyone to have a certain role. The first priority was 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. All school principals had to participate in the virtual classroom for principals, who in order to be able to exchange information with the Ministry, needed to continuously monitor notifications in the special classroom for school principals. The 2021-2022 school year began with low infections and a return to classic mode of teaching. However, the unfavorable health situation forced local government responsible for education to reintroduce online tutoring for two days on 4 and 5 November 2021 with the possibility to extend it in some counties, depending on local health situation.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 September 2022

Minister of Science and Education Radovan Fuchs said on 1 September 2022, that the school year in all schools in Croatia begins on 4 September 2022, without any special epidemiological protective measures. Unlike the previous two years, the government did not make any decision on switching classes to an online model of tutoring. He hopes that it will remain so, if something needs to be changed during the school year in terms of a possible worsening of the epidemiological situation, the Ministry will intervene in a timely manner. In the last two years, the Ministry has satisfied all demands regarding the organization of tutoring, and in this way it will continue to keep educational in schools under control.

29 January 2022

Due to the rise of newly infected teachers and students and the rapid spread of omicron, primary and secondary schools are deciding whether to switch to online classes or continue to have them in person. The Minister of Education Radovan Fuchs commented on the epidemiological situation and underlined that currently there was no intention of switching all schools to online classes because no country in Europe was closed schools despite the increase in COVID positive cases. All schools that have difficulties with the COVID-19 pandemic have to use the online model of tutoring. On 18 January 2022, the biggest number of students infected by the COVID-19 was recorded in the City of Zagreb (2748), while the lowest was in Lika-Senj county (33). The Ministry of Education and mass media publish a list of schools that have classes according to the online model.

04 November 2021

The biggest teachers' Facebook group Skolska zbornica (Staff Room) on 3 November 2021 asked Education Minister Radovan Fuchs to expedite the testing of students and reduce waiting times for test results in order to contribute to curbing the spread of the coronavirus infection and reduce the need for online classes. In an open letter to the minister, the group says that over the last few weeks the epidemiological situation in schools has been deteriorating even though the ministry, in cooperation with the Public Health Institute, has done a lot to prevent schools from turning into infection hotspots. All schools in Croatia switched to online classes after the autumn school break, showing the dire situation in schools, the group said. The group notes that due to the increased pressure on the epidemiological service and the large number of people who are being tested, students in some cases are tested only five or six days after exhibiting symptoms. Students have to wait for test results for up to two days, during which time all their close contacts in the classroom continue to attend physical classes while contacts outside the school are also at risk, the group says, warning that without self-isolation, the virus continues to spread. This increases the likelihood of entire classes or even schools having to switch to distance learning, the group says, calling on the minister to do his best for the process of testing of students to be expedited and waiting time for results to be reduced.

Use of measure

Local government bodies consult with the Ministry of Science and Education and have the obligation to inform the Ministry of their activities related to tutoring. The responsible bodies and the Ministry of Science and Education hope that such activity will slow down the spread of the infection. Local government bodies have the possibility to extend the online tutoring in some counties, depending on their local health situation.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


Social partners were not involved in preparation of the measure. However, they mostly do not support it and deem that schools are not the primary source of COVID-19 infections, but that the main sources are public transport and public events.

Views and reactions

the Trade Union Preporod which covers primary and secondary education deems that there are slight chances to return to planned normal teaching in classrooms after 8 November 2021. Furthermore, this Trade Union also underlines that such short duration of online tutoring is confusing and dangerous. Because to students and teachers it causes additional efforts and weak educational results.
The parents are mostly in favor of the reintroduction of online tutoring. In public survey realised by Web page, participated 3,232 persons. 60% support the reintroduction on online tutoring as more secure option, while 27% do not support it and believe that schools should be open with usual tutoring in classes.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      P - Education P85 Education
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Teaching professionals


  • 27 October 2021: Trade Union on online tutoring (Sindikat o online nastavi) (
  • 28 October 2021: Re-introduction of online tutoring in primary and secondary education (Povrat na online nastavu za osnovne i srednje škole) (
  • 29 October 2021: Data on the number of infected students and employees in education (Podaci o broju zaraženih učenika i zaposlenih u obrazovanju) (
  • 04 November 2021: Nastavnička skupina traži brže testiranje učenika protiv Covid-19 (The teachers' group demands to expedite the testing of students against the Covid-19) (
  • 19 January 2022: Koje su se sve škole u Hrvatskoj odlučile za online (The list of schools which have online tutoring) (
  • 01 September 2022: Bez posebnih epidemiologjskih zaštitnih mjera u školama (No epidemiological protective measures in schools) (


Eurofound (2021), Re-introduction of online tutoring for primary and secondary school students, measure HR-2021-45/2077 (measures in Croatia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.