Ivan Barić

Last version: May 25, 2010

Translated by: Denis Kirić, An expanded version 2010 by Jurica Benčik



Ivan Barić

Last version: Juny 2, 2010

Translated by: Denis Kirić and Jurica Bencik



(an outline of the history of the school in Hodošan area)


The data about the beginnings of organized education in the area of today's Primary school Hodošan can be found in fragmented forms in records on clergyman inspections (hrv: vizitacije) and memorials of parishes in Međimurje, in parts of documents with building content and archive manor funds whose contents are directly associated with founding and building of some common people's schools in Međimurje. Valuable documents about schools in Međimurje disappeared or were destroyed during the turn-overs in the years 1848, 1918, 1941 and 1945.

Parish churches can be called the first schools in indirect sense of the word and priests and parsons can be called the first teachers. In religious tuition, parsons and priests taught not only children but grown-ups as well. In the beginning of XVII century the first official teachers appear, which were called ludi magistri (which would in Latin mean teachers of games), then organists and school teachers of sacral music (školniki, kantor). Their task was to make religious masses more pleasant with singing and playing in churches but also to teach children religious edification. They were paid for their work by the prayers and parsons monitored their work. Therefore, service of teaching sacral music was of the church and it was regarded as such in all of the documents. It was not until the second half of the XIX century that the state schools were introduced and organists were differentiated from the real teachers.

The changes were also present at the time of Protestantism (XVI and XVII century) when school tuition was organised in some greater religious municipalities. Among the municipalities supported by the family Zrinski was also the county Sveti Juraj u Trnju, so there was probably a school in one of the private houses there.

From the records of the clergyman inspections of the parish Sveti Juraj u Trnju beksin- arcdiakonatus in the year 1660, we find out that the organist service was practised by Juraj Marčinković "who was an arrogant ignoramus so he does not teach boys, and there is no school building in the parish.". The organist Nikola Križanić who was living in Goričan and leading mass on Sundays and holidays, also did not teach children. The first news that an organist had a separate house is from 1692. "The house is not God-knows what, but it has got a spacious garden." From the later inspections we find out that the house was near the parish church.

In 1716, Juraj Kolonić was in organist service and he still did not teach boys in 1747 "…because no one will attend trivial (common people's) school!"

From this clergyman inspections it arises that Sveti Juraj u Trnju had a common people's school in 1747.

The organist Matija Kolonić was hard-working in teaching young people in basic religious truths in 1768, but "people are difficult to initiate to send children to school."

During the reforms of Maria Theresa and Joseph II, the goal since 1777 is to built a unique and complete system in the countries of the Austrian crown, but schools work and are closed depending on villages' funding.

In 1779, the organist was Josip Kolonić and he again does not teach children. But the parishioners built him a new wooden house with a stable across the Saint George Martyr (Sv. Juraj Mučenik) parish church.

It may be that negligence in attending school was the reason that the church parish inspector in 1793 says the organist service is practised for 10 years by Antun Slovenec who sings and plays organ well and examines the people in religion in lent time "but does not hold real tuition because there is no school".

            The rest of the data from the first half of the XIX century (period of the renewal of the catholic church) also speaks about fragile, damp houses covered with straw where the first teachers - the organists lived, that were built by the hither inhabitants. Parsons, community heads, gentry and parents take care of regular attending of schools according to the new measures from the beginning of the XIX century.

            The first "firm" school building in Sveti Juraj u Trnju was built in 1833 with the funding of the inhabitants of Sveti Juraj u Trnju, Donji Pustakovec, Donji Hrašćan and Hodošan. Although schools in this area did exist before, we will take 1833 as the year of the beginning of organised common people education in this area.

            Parson Stjepan Hauser, who founded subsidiary schools in Čehovec, Hodošan and Palinovec, can be taken as the first confirmed organiser of education in this area. In the "motherschool" in Sveti Juraj u Trnju and all the subsidiary schools, private teachers and local notaries teach children of both sexes in Croatian and Hungarian language, Christian edification, literature and calculation from assigned books. Supervision was done by the parson which took care of the schools, often visited them and taught religion. He gave books, especially to the poor, free of charge. At that time, Josip Goričanec was the organist "but was inappropriate for teaching children ".

            In 1848, Banus Jelačić introduces and legalizes Illyrian language to schools and offices, but mother tongue was firmly routed in our area (then called "muggle's" language). Strong Croatian national enthusiasm initiates building of numerous schools. We find the data that the school in Svet Juraj u Trnju is already being expanded. In 1858 a new school in Hodošan was built (the year of founding the independent primary school Hodošan).

            In 1860 in Sveti Juraj u Trnju, the parish built a people's school made of brick which was torn down in 1983 before the new school was built. It is described in the introduction to "Memorial 1947-1958" (Školska spomenica 1947-1958):

            "It is not exactly known when this school has been built. Some say it was built around 1830-1850 and some say it was even before that. It is only certain that it was a confessional - religious school. These villages built the school: Sv. Juraj u Trnju, Čehovec, Donji Pustakovec, Palinovec, Donji Hrašćan and Hodošan. The villages also took care of the repairs to the building.

            When the school was being built, it was not meant to be used for teaching children but as an accommodation for the organist. As in that time the organist also practised teaching service, with his accommodation two school rooms have been built, assuming children from all those villages would attend school in a greater number.

            The accommodation was consisted of two rooms sized 5,9x4,6m and 8,5x2,5m and the kitchen sized 4x3,5m. School rooms were identical in dimension, 7x5m. The hall leading through the whole building, dividing the accommodation from the school rooms, is 14,8m long and 1,6m wide. Between school rooms there is a school office sized 4x3 m."

            This school was attended by male and female pupils, but in separate classes. The organist and the teacher was Franjo Kovačević. He had to be an organist and a qualified teacher. Schools in Čehovec and Palinovec stopped working but the school in Hodošan partly continued working. People's school in Donji Hrašćan that was not mentioned so far, also stopped working. Dominik Kolarić, author of Hrašćan Chronicles (Hrašćanske kronike) (1947) wrote that in 1841, at the time of Hauser's organising of education in this area, there also had to be founded the before mentioned people's school. It was situated in a place called Cowman's garden (Kravarov vrt) where the local people built a house for the teacher, a newcomer Vajda. Thanks to the work of that teacher, to the beginning of the XX century the village did not have an illiterate person. One of the interesting things about this school is that the teacher Vajda did not allow young women to learn how to write, just to read capital letters "so the girls would not write letters to boys". That is how the women learnt how to read books and prayer books, but they had problems with the hand-written text. Kolarić claims that the mentioned teacher was also a bellman, ordinanc and mali birov (advertisements announcer).

            In 1864 the school in Sveti Juraj u Trnju is attended by 95 pupils. A long time this school was the most beautiful in the surrounding area. It was maintained by all perish villages in proportion to their tax burden.

In 1868 a new Hungarian law on primary education brings the first "pedagogic standard": everyone aged from 6 to 15 is obliged to enrol, separated by sex and age. In 1876, by the conclusion of the local government, the school in Hodošan is made into a state school. The state is obliged to build a new school building and the local government of Hodošan must provide with "hand and driving workers". Although attending the school was optional, the number of pupils increased so there was a lack of space in the school building and the classes were held in private houses of families Vlahek (house number 8) and Pintarić (house number 33).

With the founding of new schools in Hodošan and nearby Turčišće, the school in Sveti Juraj u Trnju had to be maintained only by so called school municipality Sveti Juraj u Trnju, i.e. villages Sveti Juraj u Trnju, Donji Pustakovec and Palinovec, while all subsidiaries of the parish Sveti Juraj u Trnju had to maintain the organist's accommodation and economic buildings.

            A new wave of Hungarian influence is especially notable on occasion of the celebration of a thousand years existence of Hungary in the year 1900. The promise of a 1000 new schools is especially fulfilled in provinces with non-Hungarian inhabitants. In the year 1903 a new school, which was functional and interesting for its outer architectonic features, was built in Hodošan. During the years from 1903 to 1918, the teaching in the 1st and the 2nd grade is in Croatian and in the 3rd and the 4th in Hungarian language.

            In 1910, in district of Prelog, among 17 common people's schools, there are also a Roman Chatolic school in Sveti Juraj u Trnju (2 teachers) and a state school in Hodošan with 4 teachers. After 1919 the network of schools is changing, so in the list of new so called school municipalities from 1929/30, it is written that the school in Hodošan is attended by pupils from Hodošan, and the school in Sveti Juraj u Trnju is attended by pupils from Sveti Juraj u Trnju, Donji Pustakovec, Čehovec and Palinovec. In the school year 1938/39, the school in Hodošan is attended by 312 pupils in 5 classes with 5 teachers, and the school in Sveti Juraj u Trnju is attended by 262 pupils in 4 classes with 4 teachers.

            Since 1918 the state has appointed Croatian teachers who, one by one, left trace of their arduous and devoted work. However, a disagreement broke out about who does the apartment belong to - to the school teacher of sacral music or to the teacher. In explanation, although in 1860 the organist was also a teacher, the organist's apartment was never considered half organist's and half teacher's but exclusively of the parish organist. The same was with the belonging land. The problem occurred with the distribution of state teachers. The dispute was settled in court in 1924 in favour of the parish. The apartment could not be given to anyone who was not a teacher and an organist! If a new apartment for the organist was to be built, the school municipality (the state) would have to pay out the value of the apartment.

            In 1941, Međimurje was once more occupied by the Hungarian army. Hungarian language was introduced to schools and the obligation to attend school was extended to 7 years. In war operations in 1945 many school facilities were damaged and one among the most damaged was the school in Hodošan. A valuable library, natural collection and the furniture have been destroyed and particular damage has been made by destroying and taking all of the documentation since the school has been founded. All that was left of the old documents was only one Main Book (Glavna knjiga) of the school in Sveti Juraj u Trnju with the data since 1 September 1934, and a wooden crucifix kept in the attic of the neighbouring family Fajić. In the School Memorial (Spomenica Škole) on the 1 October 1948 is written that in 1945: "Croatian flag has fluttered again, in schools and offices Croatian song and Croatian language echoed.". First Croatian teachers Marta Krukar and Marija Dumbović came to Hodošan in May 1945.

            16 September 1945 in Palinovec a private building (the house of Toma Spak) was adapted and school was opened (the year of founding a school in Palinovec). Here is what the School Memorial 1945-1961 (Spomenica 1945. - 1961) says about that:

            "Until 1945 i.e. until the liberation, there was no school in Palinovec. The children have attended the school in Sv. Juraj u Trnju, three kilometers away. With the efforts of the new People's Government and some agile villagers from Palinovec (Ivan Gregoran, Ivan Tkalec, Marija Švec, Maks Baranašić) opening of the school in the village has been authorized. A private building, owned by Toma Srpak from Palinovec, has been found, repaired and made fit for teaching by voluntary work. Communal carriage has been sold and using the gotten money, school desks and chairs were bought. The school owns a school land fond that brings it 7 233 dinars that year. Treasury is managed by Nikola Baranašić from Palinovec.

             On 16 September 1945, in a festive manner, with the presence of numerous people and the district educational propagandist Dragutin Židovac, the opening of a new school was celebrated.

            The first teacher at the school (assistant teacher) was Vladimir Kuštreba. On September 18, Ljerka Bregović, being transferred from Turčišće, becomes the teacher at this school."

             In 1953, the school in Hodošan is named People's primary eight-year school Hodošan. In 1956 in Hodošan, a school cooperative was formed with 82 cooperatives. Since 1957, great resources have been invested in building new schools in Donji Hrašćan (finished and founded in 1961) and Palinovec (September 7, 1958). At that time in this area, along with the school in Hodošan, People's six-year school Palinovec and People's four-year school Sveti Juraj u Trnju are also active. PSS Palinovec was terminated in the school year 1960/61 and is working as a District school Palinovec of the PS Hodošan ever since. In 1967, District school Donji Hrašćan is terminated. In 1969, among only 6 schools in Međimurje, PS Hodošan has got a sports hall in an adapted Social hall. Although year by year the schools in this area have a constant drooping in the number of pupils, the standard of school conditions is perceivably growing.

            A newer school building with a sports hall in Hodošan is opened on 29 November 1982, and on 1 July 1984 in Sveti Juraj u Trnju. During the relocation in Hodošan it has been found out that the registries and other data up to 1962 have mostly been destroyed by humidity and bad care. After the devastation and removal of the documents in 1945, this one on the attic of the old school, was a second larger accident which will take up a lot of time to a future author of the monograph because it leaves him with some difficult research through archives, museums and private collections in Hungary and Croatia. In the years from 1982 to 1991, the school was named PS "Marija Gregoran" Hodošan. In the school year 1991/92 by the decision of the District assembly Čakovec, the original name PS Hodošan was restored. During those years of war, in case of a severe escalation of conflict and devastation, the school has been secretly prepared to take in all patients of the hospital in Čakovec. Luckily, during the Croatian War of Independence, the school hasn't had any human casualties or material damage, and Međimurje has become the first liberated territory in Croatia.

             In 1996, Kindergarten Hodošan was formed within primary school. The school in Palinovec was thoroughly renovated during the 1980's. In 1999, the Kindergarden Hodošan becomes an Outer division of kindergarten "Ftiček" from Donji Kraljevec.

            The school has, since 1991, been among only 20 Croatian schools which have been a part of the experimental technical culture program project.

            In the school year 2002/03, all three divisions started to work only in the morning shift (unique in Međimurje).

            In January 2004, a new computer education classroom was built in the upper hall of the school. The first computers were acquired for the school in 1995, the first classroom was brought in from München in 1999 by the principal and the parents, and during the wait for the new classroom that was to be granted by the Ministry, the school managed by borrowing and acquiring of the equipment. At the end of 2003, the school employs a computer education teacher part-time. At the beginning of 2007 the school alone introduces fast internet connections and therefore removes any remaining obstacles for the development of teaching computer education.

A new library was formed in 2003 at the entrance to the school and was daily available to the pupils although it did not have a school librarian. That job has been done voluntarily since 1991 to 2004 by the principal and the Croatian language teachers. In March 2005, the school got a half-time school librarian. Today that job is carried out by the librarian Lidija Kovačić.

            Also, at the beginning of the school year 2003/04, the school employs a school pedagogue, but only for 12 hours of total working time. Finaly, from the September 2007, the school employs a full time pedagogue, and from April 1 2008, that position is held by a skilled pedagogue Jelena Sobočan who, along with principal Ivan Barić and school secretary Marija Ivković, forms a strong core of the organisational and pedagogic team of the school.

            During 2003/04, early English language learning was introduced to the 1st grade and today all grades 1-8 learn the English language. In 2005/06, the 4th and the 5th grades started optional learning of the German language, the 6th grades started in 2006/07 and it is being introduced to the 7th and the 8th grades in the following years. The classes are held by professional teachers.

            Unfortunately, there are less and less pupils over the years. Here are some specific data: in the school year 1968/69 there were 583 pupils, in 1973/74 there were 461, in 1983/84 there were 422 and there is also a sudden decrease in the number of pupils in the 1990's: in 1993/93 there are 367 pupils and in 2003/04 there are 251 pupils. Currently there are only 216 pupils. However, for the past few years the number of pupils has more or less remained stable.

            In a couple of occasions, the school has published a school paper (more like a collection of works) under the name "Our days" (Naši dani). Since May 1995, it has been publishing a "School corner" (Školski kutak). The pupils were the ones that have chosen the name. It is a demanding technical endeavour that every school would like to have. It is a journalist chronicle of the teachers' and pupils' works, it touches everything that moves in school and around the school and perceives social and material climate in the wider area. The principal of the school, Ivan Barić, is the editor. 8 issues have been published on paper and the remaining issues (numbers 9.-11.) have been present in electronic form and are waiting better times to be printed out.

            With the termination of the Red Cross branches in all the villages in the school area, the need to found a Junior Red Cross organization has occurred. The school also becomes a centre for district Junior Red Cross competitions.

            In the school year 2007/08, Croatian school sports association launches a new project: Universal sports school for pupils from 1st to 4th grade. Every year 2 new classes get included in the work of Universal sports school.

            The Institute for Public Health of Međimurje County takes care of the pupils' health. The school is also specific because in the time from May to December 2005, the first public service duty was served by dr. Pavao Vlahek who took daily care of health education and disease prevention. More young men serving public service help the school since him, including doctor Željko Maltarić. Since September 2005, the school no longer needs orderly pupils. A school janitor guards the front door and is responsible for the safety in the school.

            During 2005, the ownership of DS Palinovec was resolved. The owner of the building and the parcel is PS Hodošan - DS Palinovec. The question of the building and the sports hall in Hodošan has also been resolved and it becomes the property of the school. The problem is that the local government does not want to give possession of the already agreed part of the environment to the school so the school can not rearrange it according to its needs, at the same time nicer and more functional. The old school from 1903 remains the property of the local government, i.e. Donji Kraljevec Community since 1993. The unfortunate episode, in which the building and the yard have been sold several times, follows. The renovation has started but has quickly been discontinued, so today, before the next sale, it looks truly sad and abandoned. In January 2010 Varaždin Conservation Department of the Directorate for Cultural Heritage Protection of Ministry of Culture places the school under preventive protection until a resolution determining the property of the cultural good is reached. This is a good decision, but it comes too late to restore the school to its original condition.

In 2008 roofing tiles, laths, rain gutters and lightning rods on DS Palinovec  were replaced, and in 2009 roof covering was replaced on the PS Hodošan (asbestos cement roof shingles were removed and tin covering was installed), roof sheets were added and a part of the woodwork was replaced on the northern side, first air conditioners were installed, the covering and insulation above the gym’s dressing rooms was replaced and finally rain gutters and lightning rods were changed on the entire building.

           The list of all employees, pupils and all school activities is promptly recorded on the web address Besides this one, the principal of the school voluntarily maintains the web page of the parish Sveti Juraj u Trnju that is actually responsible for the beginning of organized education in this area (for those who are interested, the address is,and as of May 11 2009 he also maintains the web page of friends and associates in humanitarian activities of the Red Cross City Association Čakovec (for those who are interested, the address is

Today PS Hodošan, with its belonging district divisions, is an arranged school complex, with professional teachers and clear goals. Its greatest successes are in humanitarian actions and environmental protection, and after four years of working in one shift a new goal is set: a whole-day residence in a full meaning of the word. A bidding of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport to introduce experimental programme of the extended residence to 40 primary schools should favour that goal. However, although PS Hodošan has in all "gotten" that programme, the Ministry did not adopt the decision about that bidding until the end of teaching year 2006/07. Because of that, the local government has also given up on the financing of that project.

Vast inner and great outer green areas give the honourable epithet "garden" to the Primary school Hodošan and the pupils in it are still "the most beautiful flowers".


            Administrators, directors and principals of Primary school Hodošan in newer history, according to preserved main books and registers:

Sveti Juraj u Trnju - administrators: Alojzije Vrhovnik (1919-1926), Ljubomir Vranko (1926-1930), Josip Hefinger (1930-1941), next hungarian administrators and teachers (1941-1945), Mihovil Keretić (1945-48), Terezija Žugec (1948-53), Đuro Hoblaj (1953-54), Josip Pacadi (1954-55), Vlado Jarak (1955-57) i Milka Strahija (1957-59). From this point forward, the school is a part of PS Hodošan.

Palinovec - administrators: Ljerka Bregović (1945/46), Ivo Heržanov (1946/47), Tihomir Rajić (1947/48), Zorka Kovačić (1948-49), Stjepan Jakopović (1950-51), Franjo Meštrović (1951-53), Zvonimir Stipetić (1953-56), Franjo Meštrić (1956-59). From this point forward, the school is a part of PS Hodošan.

Hodošan - administrators: Ivan Štimec (1945-46), Marija Milniković (1946-48), Marijan Mužjak (1948-52), Matilda Mužjak (1952-54), Đuro Kovač (1954-55), Jelica Bedenik (1955-57);

Hodošan - directors: Dragutin Vinković (1957-64 administrator and director), Mirko Šimunić (1964-68), Dragutin Blagus (1968-71), Stjepan Fileš (1971-78), Dragutin Šimunić (1978-90);

Hodošan - principals: Ivan Barić (1990 - the latest mandate is until December 15, 2014)


Author's final note:

This is only an outline - checked and detailed history of Primary School Hodošan is yet to be written and published.



Ivan Barić

Last version: May 25, 2010

Translated by: Denis Kirić, An expanded version 2010 by Jurica Benčik