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Migration and Home Affairs

Intercultural education through the subject 'Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of the Region' (CSHR)

Target Audience
Youth/pupils/studentsFirst responders or practitionersLocal community organisations/NGOs
key themes association
(Early) preventionFormal/informal education
Peer Reviewed practice


Dalj Elementary School (Osnovna škola Dalj)

Dalj Elementary School (Osnovna škola Dalj) is a public school for grades 1 through 8. It is financed by the Osijek-Baranya County, whereas the teachers are employed by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.

Dalj Elementary School is one of the partner schools within Nansen Dialogue Centre’s network, with the latter being an NGO based in Osijek, Croatia.

Type of Organisation: Governmental institution

Project description

This school programme aims to improve social relationships in post-conflict societies in Croatia, and to familiarise children in multi-ethnic communities with the culture and customs of 'others'. The idea was derived from a project launched by the Nansen Dialogue Centre, a Croatian non-governmental organisation (NGO). Its implementation is monitored by the Education and Teacher Training Agency of Croatia.

Age of students: 11-15 (grades 5 to 8).

Topics: communication, tradition and customs, local history, stereotypes, prejudices, identity etc. Results and outcomes: promoting tolerance, learning about the culture of other ethnic groups, preventing violent and extremist behaviour and points of view Dalj Elementary School is one of 23 schools that have implemented the programme.

The school still provides separate schooling for the Serbian minority, in Serbian language and Cyrillic script, which was one of the demands for the peaceful reintegration after the war. This means that children from the two ethnic groups (namely, Croats and Serbs) spend most of their time at school separated.

Even extracurricular activities are often segregated. For instance, the school has two choirs — one in Croatian and one in Serbian.

To understand the local context better, one needs to be aware of the history: Croats and Croatian Serbs had almost no contact between 1991 and 1998. Today’s teenagers often have relatives or grandparents who fought during the war.

Therefore, a strong feeling of mistrust has remained. In light of this, the CSHR launched a new practice, enabling students from different ethnic groups to cooperate in one joint activity.

The subject is optional, but it plays an important role for building future relations in multi-ethnic communities like Dalj. Since the children often deal with nationalism at home, it was important to make them reconsider their view of the “others”. In turn, this will help prevent future radicalisation.


Nansen Dialogue Centre


  • 'Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of the Region' (in Croatian)
  • 'Intercultural education through the prism of personal histories' (in Croatian and English).

Brochures following joint annual projects:

  • 'Common past — common future'
  • 'Languages of the region'
  • 'Intercultural education'

A brochure and DVD titled 'Will you say hi to me on the bus?', produced as part of a high school project.

Dalj Elementary School

Other publications

GEAR Curriculum:

  • the Global Education and Active Response for the Protection of Human Rights, Inclusion and Democratic Values in Intercultural Societies (GEAR) project's curriculum is available in several languages;

Contact details


Dalj Elementary School (Osnovna škola Dalj)
Zagrebačka 2B
31226 Dalj Croatia

Nansen Dialogue Centre
Cvjetkova 32
31000 Osijek Croatia

Contact person: Tomislav Vuković
Telephone: +385 31590195
Email | Website

Nansen Dialogue Centre

Contact person: Ivana Milas
Telephone: +385 31494257
Email | Website

Read the full practice

26 MAJ 2021
Intercultural education through the subject 'Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of the Region' (CSHR)
(212.43 KB - PDF)
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