The people of the Republic of Croatia have faced many challenges in the years since the Dayton Accords of 1995 brought the war involving Croatia to a halt. Significant progress had been made by the year 2000 in planning for the thorough transformation of an educational system long outdated and ripe for improvement. With an upturn in the national economy by early 2000 and the political shift that occurred in February 2000, Croatia seemed ready to begin the formidable task of restructuring its education system and improving its methods of training not only students but also teachers, administrators, and other adults. Most government officials closely involved with the plans for education reform realized the magnitude of the work that lay before them, but Croatia's Minister of Education and Sports in June 2000 may have best summed up the broad significance and basic requirements of the changes to be made. In his foreword to the proposal of education reforms prepared by the Ministry's Council of Education for public discussion and official debate, Minister Vladimir Strugar astutely observed:
The building of a multi-party, pluralistic and democratic society, a return to re-embracement of authentic moral and cultural values, values of work and entrepreneurship, respect for private property, respect of laws and recognition of personal differences, as well as a whole range of other characteristics within the contemporary European school—while at the same time retaining all those elements specific to Croatia—is an ambitious task which can be realized only through good organization and with well motivated teachers.
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—Barbara Lakeberg Dridi
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