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2. EFA strategy and/or plan of action

The strategy of educational development of the Slovak Republic in the last decade has marked significant or even radical changes. These changes have found reflection in both the Constitution of the Slovak Republic and the amendments to the acts on education. The irreversibility of the changes was reaffirmed by the National Council of the Slovak Republic and the supreme legislative body of the State.

The right of citizens to education has been enforced in Article 42 of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic under which "Everyone has the right to education. The school attendance is compulsory and its length up to the age limit is set up by the education law. Citizens have the right to free education in primary and secondary schools and, according to capacity of the citizen and possibility of the society, also in higher education institutions".

The citizens who are members of nationality minorities or ethnic groups, are guaranteed the right to versatile development, especially the right to develop their own culture along with other members of a minority or group, the right to expand and accept information in their native language, to associate in nationality associations, to found and maintain educational and cultural institutions. In addition to the right to adopt the official State language, under the conditions set up by law the Constitution also guarantees to the citizens:

  1. the right to education in their native language,
  2. the right to use their native language in official contact,
  3. the right to participate in the solution of matters concerned with nationality minorities and ethnic groups.

The rights of citizens representing nationality minorities in the field of education are specified by the Education Act No. 29/1984 of Digest on the system of primary and secondary schools (Education Law) as amended by subsequent regulations.

Under the conditions set up by the above act, in private schools the education may be provided for a fee. Accordingly, the primary schools provide to pupils standard provision of teaching aids and textbooks free of charge. Some over-standard services are provided for a partial reimbursement from 1990 (e.g., a stay in establishments designed for out-of-school education, teaching in basic schools of art, stays in open-air-schools, visits of cultural performances, etc.). Thus, some activities become less accessible for a part of population from socially weaker strata.

The responsibility for implementation of the State educational policy is conferred by law upon the ME of the SR. The Ministry is a central body of State administration of the Slovak Republic for primary, secondary and higher education institutions, educational establishments, lifelong education, science, and for state care for physical education and youth. The monitoring of development in the field of implementation of national interests and aims within the EFA programme is the responsibility of the Ministry ensuing from its major tasks:

  1. In the field of education and training in primary and secondary schools and educational establishments, including education and training of pupils with special education needs, pupils of basic schools of art and pupils of nationality minorities, within the area of its competence the Ministry:
  1. determines the network of schools, educational establishments and special educational establishments based on proposals submitted by the district and regional authorities and central bodies of State administration, empowered by founding function of schools with exception of secondary health schools, child homes, military schools, schools within the competence of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic, and keeps files of centres of practical training and units for physically-gifted youth at schools;
  2. manages the content, organization and forms of education and training and school inspection at schools and educational establishments according to letter a);
  3. gives methodical guidance in the process of developing breakdowns for schools and educational establishments from the State budget, and checks up the breakdown guidelines maintenance;
  4. establishes and dissolves secondary vocational schools, centres of practical teaching and centres of practical training within the department;
  5. gives consent to establishment or abolition of operation of secondary vocational school or centre of practical training;
  6. provides for breakdown of funds from the State budget for secondary vocational schools and centres of practical training for regional authorities and founding sectors;
  7. carries out an activity at the provision of compulsory schooling and in general pedagogical matters related to private and denominational schools;
  8. approves basic educational documents, material educational means and normatives, and coordinates their issue and distribution, defines the scope of education and further documentation;
  9. defines the principles for pedagogical management of schools, within the competence of other central bodies of State administration, too;
  10. coordinates and directs preventive activity for the protection of children against delinquency and threat of drug-addicts;
  11. participates in implementation and fulfilment of tasks which ensue for the ministry from the set of activities within the framework of international projects launched in education;
  12. manages the activity of the accreditation commission for professional education and education of specialized activities in the field of physical education;
  13. provides for verification of documents on study at schools in the Slovak Republic;
  14. creates conditions for education of nationality minorities and, at the same time, for proper adoption of the official language at schools;
  15. creates conditions for education and training of the handicapped children and pupils;
  16. contributes via competitions to the search of the talented and gifted pupils in primary and secondary schools;
  17. contributes to the selection and training of talents through the units of physically talented youth;
  18. provides for legislative, conceptual and professional activities in the field of qualification of educational staff in primary and secondary schools;
  19. manages the experimental verification of the organization, forms and content of education and training in primary school, secondary schools, and schools for young people with special education needs; administers experimental verification of the way of managing these schools;
  20. issues with a prior consent by the appropriate trade unions working rules for educational and other staff of schools and educational establishments which they supervise;
  21. issues after discussing it with the participating central bodies the model working rules for educational staff of vocational secondary schools and apprentice schools.
  1. In the field of care for physical culture and youth, within the area of its competence the Ministry furthermore:
  1. creates legislative, personnel, research, social, organizational, health, economic and material-technical conditions for development of physical culture in cooperation with the appropriate bodies of State administration, sports unions and sports organizations;
  2. fulfils the tasks connected with development of sports for all, with preparation of youth talented for sports, top sports and the State sports representation of the Slovak Republic;
  3. coordinates organization of significant world top sports events in cooperation with the Slovak Olympic Committee and the interested sports unions;
  4. manages the activity of the accreditation commission of specialized activity and carries out inspection activity of accredited educational establishments in the field of physical culture, keeps their files and issues certificates for them;
  5. works out the concept of the information system build-up in the field of physical culture and youth;
  6. coordinates and regulates activities of the central and local bodies of State administration of the Slovak Republic in the field of public care for youth;
  7. creates personnel, material-technical, social, economic and legal conditions for public care for youth in cooperation with the appropriate bodies and organizations;
  8. prepares and provides for the programmes of protection and support of children and youth in the Slovak Republic;
  9. gives methodical guidance to leisure-time centres and school centres of special-interest activities in the Slovak Republic;
  10. creates conditions for activities of child and youth associations, cooperates with these associations and other entities involved in the work with children and youth;
  11. proposes material orientation of research in the problems of children and youth, gives incentives for processing expertise and introduction of scientific-research knowledge into practice.7

The fulfilment of legal provisions and tasks in the field of education sector is conferred upon the Government and Parliament to control. In this sense the ME submits, in agreement with a special programme of the Government and upon its request, the assessment reports for a discussion by the Government Cabinet. The outcomes of implementation of educational policy are presented by the Ministry in various forms to the National Council of the SR that discusses the reports in a special Parliamentary Committee for Education, Science, Culture and Sports as well as at Parliamentary Plenum. Moreover, the deputies of the National Council of the SR interpellate the ME at the sessions which are devoted to interpellations, within the framework of deputy surveys they personally visit the schools and educational establishments.

The fulfilment of programme declarations of individual governments in the field of education is also a subject of public control by means of press, radio and television. The fulfilment of tasks in education is also carried out at regional level in the State administration bodies (district and regional authorities) as well as at local level in the bodies of self-administration of villages and towns.

The multilevel inspection enables a feedback and inevitable intervention in the benefit of performance and efficiency of education. Thanks to these mechanisms of control and evaluation a realistic view of education and its rational management are possible.

If necessary, measures are accepted at the sections that urgently need it. For example, in the first half of the nineties a need of interventions arose in the field of pre-primary education. In the effort to enable the admission to kindergartens to a broader circle of children from particularly socially disadvantaged families, the fees were cutback, eventually, some municipalities cover a part of costs for economically dependent parents, according to their budget possibilities. These measures helped increase the enrolment of children in kindergartens and thus to improve preparation for school. Another example is the effort of the State to maintain the catering in school canteens subsidised by the State in such a way as to be also bearable for low-income families.

A special attention is paid to education of children of national minorities especially when they have problems with adoption of the official language. Another target group are the Romany children which are paid special attention already in preparation for school in kindergartens.

The ME of the SR regularly evaluates the state, level and problems of all kinds and types of schools, through school inspection and the sectorial research institutes and methodical centres as well as through lower bodies of State administration in the education sector and in cooperation with other sectors. Based on the knowledge acquired and in agreement with educational-political Government programme, the Ministry takes measures for removal of identified shortcomings as well as measures for further improvement of education and training of different target groups which need the support of this sort. A set of such measures and directions is adopted by the Ministry before the beginning of the school year. They are issued under the title "Pedagogical-Organizational Instructions for Schools and Educational Establishments and Bodies of State Administration in Education in the SR for the School Year ....." to serve the bodies of State administration in education as well as the schools and educational establishments themselves.

In the pedagogical-organizational instructions the adopted measures are exactly documented. These measures are considered as tasks ensuing from the aims of internal educational policy, on the one hand, and as a concretization of the EFA aims in Slovakia, on the other. In the course of last decade a great number of such measures were adopted from which we have selected for documentation and illustration the following :

School year 1990-918:

School year 1991-929:

School year 1992-9310:

School year 1993-9411:

School year 1994-95 12:

 School year 1995-96 13:

School year 1996-9714:

Kindergartens:

Primary schools:



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