You are here: News → School in the Spotlight → SEI Galileo Galilei in Istria, Croatia

SEI “Galileo Galilei” in Istria, Croatia.

Our school is in Umag, a small tourist resort on the north western coast  of the Istrian peninsula, in Croatia. The beginning of education in the area dates from the 18th century. The history of the Istrian peninsula has always been turbulent, different rulers coming and going. However, in spite of it, two main nationalities have remained with their languages and their schools. The official language is Croatian, but our mother tongue is Italian and usually both the languages are equally spoken by domestic people.

Our school has been named „Galileo Galilei“ in 1964, after the great scientist from Tuscany. There are about 180 students and 28 teachers. The main school is in Umag and there is also one small peripheral school in Bassania (Savudrija/Salvore). Our everyday language and language used in teaching of all the subjects is Italian, while Croatian, which is the official language of the country is thaught as a second language. English is thaught as a foreign language. Though we would also like to offer our students the possibility of learning other languages, it seems there is a problem in doing it. We hope to solve it.

The school is open to all children, no matter what their mother tongue is, so we are sometimes like a little Europe, which is very challenging and interesting for the teachers as well as for the pupils. The curriculum we have to respect and apply is the Croatian national curriculum, except for Italian which is thaught as a mother tongue and a part of history which covers more the history of Italy. Education is done in classes as well as outside, and very often it is connected to different kinds of projects dealing with the area, eg. „Progetto Lachi“ (the importance of water pools in the countryside, their destruction and ways of preservation), „We in time“ (talking about old crafts and other things impossible to see today), „Around Istria“ (interesting and less known spots of the peninsula), „Ecology“ (what can be done to respect nature), „Umago xe la mia citta'“ (Umag is my town), etc.

The school offers also a variety of extracurricular activities, like art, sport, reciting, choir, ceramics, chemistry, embroidery, dancing, IT, etc. Though the school is small it is very well organized with many specialized classrooms, an exceptionally good library and a canteen. Many of the younger children stay at school after classes and are given lunch and some activities until their parents pick them up.

Children take part in many different kinds of competitions, national and international, and at the moment in two Erasmus projects.

Teachers' salaries are covered by the Ministry of Science and Education, while all other expences are covered by the Municipality of Umag which is the school founder, salary for the pedagogist, for the after school stay teachers, maintenance of the building, and all other current expenses. Our school, as well as other Italian minority schools in Croatia benefits from some extra fundings by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the cooperation between „Unione Italiana“ and „Universita' Popolare di Trieste“, especially concerning didactic materials and books, not to mention that the „Unione Italiana“ organizes many activities for our students, like educational trips, didactic laboratories, sports competitions, cultural events, etc.

We joined this group of schools and are grateful for this opportunity because we would like very much to exchange our experiences with other similar schools, in order to learn and improve as well as get better knowledge of different, but similar realities. You are all very welcome to contact us. 

For more information about Galileo Galilei, click the school's member page.