The intention of the program
When considering the educational system development strategy we face numerous issues which need to be discussed and their resolution encouraged. The care for the gifted students is a particularly important issue, since it is a prerequisite for the creation of the Croatian intellectual elite, and, when considering Croatian innovation system, it supports the development of creative and innovative rising generation. This should equally provide support to top education of the gifted students as well as a contribution to the cultural and technical development of the Croatian society.
Therefore we have devised a project which shall lay the foundations for the systematic work with the gifted students. Preliminary studies have shown that there are individuals dealing with the issue of gifted youth in Croatia, however there is no effective system which would guarantee successfully organized care of the gifted students in the course of their education, from pre-school education to higher education, that would also encompass the education of mentors and teachers, and communication with the families of the gifted students. Therefore, the basis of the approach shall be the identification of the gifted students, work with them, and the education of those who are to work with them. The development of the infrastructural prerequisites for work with the gifted students shall be stressed.
We shall also encourage problem-directed work, the skill of problem solving and lateral thinking. Already during project design we shall involved experts from different fields working with gifted students, and especially those experts who conducted research on the gifted children. The experiences of other countries, especially European, shall also be studied.
The project also provides for a number of case studies, especially for the purpose of encouraging team work and multidisciplinary cooperation of students and those encouraging innovative procedures of problem solving. The project could be launched very soon.
Well-thought-out competitions of extremely gifted students should be launched, and innovative problem solutions should be rewarded. We could also declare a Gifted Students Day when we could have conferences and present awards and certificates of merit.
I propose the project to be integrated in the entire educational system as well as scientific research, with the support of the experts dealing with the methods for work with the gifted students.
The Program encourages discussion on the organization of activities to be conducted with the gifted youth, and we thus invite the scientists, experts and teachers to send us summaries of their proposals and the possible ways of their implementation by October 15, 2004, which would be in accordance with the above described framework idea of the Program.
The proposals shall be studied by the state secretaries at the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport in cooperation with the experts in gifted youth. They shall then design and launch a Program which would be based on the acquired proposals and implemented in cooperation with the proponents.