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ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2011 str. 4     <-- 4 -->        PDF



We go to elementary school in order to acquire basic, minimal education. We then decide whether we will build
on elementary education by continuing secondary education in grammar schools and then in vocational colleges
or universities, or whether we will complement elementary education with secondary vocational schools, which
nevertheless does not preclude higher vocational education. Our choice is mainly influenced by our affinity towards
certain vocations and by family and economic circumstances. Only occasionally is our choice determined
by the demandsof the social community for certain professions and by employment opportunities. Whose fault is
it that children finish schools but cannot find jobs in their chosen fields, while at the same time the society spends
enormous sums of money on unnecessary things? School children, students and their parents are the least to
blame. What role do the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport and the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship
play here? What basis does the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport use to open new secondary
vocational schools and new colleges and how does it determine enrolment quotas?

We are, naturally, particularly interested in the current state of the forestry profession. In the article by M.
Skoko in this issue ofForestry Journal we learn that for the academic year 2011/2012the prescribed enrolment
quota for forest technicians is 290 pupils in 11 (!) secondary forestry schools;at the same time,there are over 500
unemployed forestry technicians registered at the Croatian Employment Service. It would be interesting to seethe
curricula and their fulfilment in some secondary forestry schools, and even more interesting to learn who teaches
vocational subjects. We recall to mind a piece of information obtained accidentally several years ago; in one such
school all specialized subjects were taught by one single forestry expert, a trainee. In other words, is the quality of
our forestry schools open to comparison, and were not some of these schools opened only to alleviate the problem
of the surplus of teachers of general subjects and to satisfy some unrealistic demands of local communities? Some
time ago, a forestry school in Delnice of very high reputation was closed precisely because there was not enough
employment for such a large number of technicians and because it was estimated that the school in Karlovac was
sufficient. Yet, several vocational schools of inferior quality sprang up soon afterwards. We still maintain that the
school in Karlovac is capable of satisfying the needs for the jobs of forestry technicians and that the other schools
should be transformed into schools training forest labourers. From a professional standpoint, the school in
Karlovac offers 25 specialized subjects, which are taught by 7 forestry experts – teachers, of whom three are mentors
and one is a teaching adviser. These subjects range from botany, pedology, phytocoenology, forest genetics,
ecology, wood anatomy and technology, silviculture, etc, to forest planning, forest economics and field practice.
In a word, the school meets all the material, staff and spatial requirements.

The article in this issue of Forestry Journal by Professor Milan Oršanić, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of
Forestry, highlights current topics discussed at the Days of Croatian Forestry: The Reform of the Teaching Programmes
at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Zagreb“. These topics include, among others, problems of
organizingforestry study programmes throughout the country, of the shortage of space and of teaching experimental
sites, as well as the questionable quality of scientific and teaching accreditations of the lecturers. According
to the author, all this degrades the quality of the study and puts the students in the „original“ faculties at a
disadvantage compared to those in „dislocated“ faculties, since their competences eventually carry equal weight
despite seriousdifferences in the quality of studying.

The quality and the international recognition of the teaching plan, the inclusion into the knowledge society
proclaimed by the „Bologna Process“, and the possibility of a large number of forestry experts to find employment
in the forestry practice are guaranteed by the long history of the Faculty of Forestry, which investslarge financial
means in the scientific-professional staff, premises and equipment. With regard to employment in forestry,
as far back as 1999 the Croatian Forestry Association put on the agenda of the Days of Croatian Forestry, held in
Ogulin (Bjelolasica), a topic entitled “Employment of forestry personnel and the development of entrepreneurship
in forestry” (presented in Forestry Journal 7–8, pp 363–371). It would be opportune for decision makers to
read this article again and to pay close attention to proposals for employment, and particularly to measures for
the development of entrepreneurship in forestry, as one of the employment leverages. Wewill not even ask why
valuable projects remain a dead letter on paper and who is responsible for this.

Editorial Board