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3.2.2 The MLA research implementation

In April 1999 started implementation of the 2nd part of learning achievements monitoring in Slovakia. MLA represents complex a representative research of education quality and teaching conditions in primary school grade 4. Data collecting was carried on from 7.6. to 11.6.1999. Obtained data are included in Table 10 of this document and they are partially processed for the purposes of this report and gradually will be analysed deeply.

The national team developed three earlier mentioned tests in such a way, that they approximate to requirements of national formal curricula as much as possible. A pilot study and following adjustments proceeded the final version of tests.

The research sample of 2 941 pupils in primary school grade 4 included 1 491 boys and 1 450 girls in 150 schools, random sampled. In each of Slovak region was random sampled 4 districts for implementation of the monitoring, that is the research took part in 32 districts and in 8 regions.

As the tests were developed in cooperation with the most experienced teachers of particular subjects in regard to "competencies prescribed to pass grade 4", for the criterion for determining the percentage of achievement we consider number of those pupils, who obtain the maximum of correct answers.

3.2.3 Results of the MLA

Table 10 as the only analysed tab presents data about literacy in reading and writing, in mathematics, and in essential skills not only for the total country and for regions sorted by gender, but separately for the urban and for rural areas.

The total achievement of the pupils in grade 4 in particular tests was various. 100% achievement reached 72.3% pupils in mathematics literacy, 75.8% in mother language literacy, 76.4% in essential skills.

Distribution of achievement percentage in the reading and writing literacy test in grade 4 in SR oscillates within 70.0%-76.0% (boys), 75.7%-82.5%9 (girls) and 73.4%-78.4% (total) and decreases by regions: Prešov (79.4%), Košice (77.7%), Žilina (75.7%), Bratislava (75.6%), Trencín (75.6%), Banská Bystrica (74.4%), Trnava (73.9%), and Nitra (73.1%). We can say, that three quarters of pupils fulfilled the tasks of test at 100%. More detailed explanation of the test will be done later by item analysis.

Distribution of achievement percentage in the mathematics literacy test in grade 4 in SR oscillates within 66.6%-75.6% (boys), 68.8%-77.3% (girls) and 67.7%-76.5% (total) and decreases by regions: Prešov (76.5%), Trencín (74.7%), Košice (74.2%), Bratislava (72.4%), Žilina(71.5%), Banská Bystrica (71.0%), Trnava (69.7%), Nitra (67.7%).

It can be stated, that tasks in the mathematical literacy test fulfilled without rest approximately 2/3 of representative sample of pupils in grade 4. Detailed analysis has not been done yet. The difference between region is about 10%.

Distribution of achievement percentage in the essential skills test in grade 4 in SR oscillates within 72.9% - 78.4% (boys), 74.2% - 78.5% (girls) and 73.5%-78.1% (total) and decreases by regions: Košice (78.1%), Bratislava and Prešov (78.0%), Trencín (76.8%), Banská Bystrica (76.1%), Žilina (75.8%), Trnava (75.0%), and Nitra (73.5%).

It can be stated, that tasks in the essential skills test fulfilled without rest approximately 3/4 of representative sample of pupils in grade 4. The regional difference is about 5%. Detailed partial analysis (e.g. by gender) will be done later.

With regard to the type of residence, in the reading and writing literacy test attained better achievement pupils in urban (77.7%), both boys (75.3%) and girls (80.3%), than those in rural areas (72.3%).

Similarly, in the mathematics literacy test attained better achievement pupils in urban, both boys (74.1%) and girls (75.2%), than those in rural areas.

Again similarly, in the essential skill test, attained better achievement pupils in urban, both boys (77.9%) and girls (78.8%), than those in rural areas.

The best average achievement (expressed from all three tests) was reported in the regions Prešov (77.9%), Košice (76.7%), and Trencín (75.8%). As a very positive we consider the fact, that in all of regions SR attained the total average achievement over 75%.

Dimension 4: Adult Literacy

4.1 Literacy situation

For 131 years on the territory of Slovakia there has been laid down compulsory school attendance regardless of sex, social position, religious belief, race or nationality. Owing to this fact problem of illiteracy does not represent a primary problem in education, it is only related to a small number of population. The data that are monitored and are available in the SR relate to illiterates in the execution of punishment.

Illiterates are usually identified at the call-up, or at coming to a reformatory-educational establishment (see part 4.2). In harmony with the educational programme of these establishments there are courses organized by them in cooperation with primary schools, aimed at elimination of illiteracy, or, at acquiring basic education. The courses for illiterates, mostly citizens of Romany nationality, are also organized by some regional cultural centres, or local cultural centres, foundations (e.g. InfoRoma, the foundation for the Romany child, etc.). However, they are insufficient as there is a lack of funds for their organization and it is very difficult to motivate the illiterates to participate in them.

4.2 Literacy programmes

For the above mentioned reasons, starting with 1989, the courses for illiterates of formal (didactic) nature almost stopped their activity and to a great degree they are substituted by projects or activities which have broader aims considering the advancement of educational, cultural and social level of illiterate (mainly Romany) population.

In the analysed period (1990-1999), several projects of this kind were developed, e.g. a regional project of cultural educational work for Romany children and mothers, a project of improvemnt of literacy and functional literacy of the backward Romany population, a project of improvement of relations between representatives of police and population on territories with mixed nationalities, with an emphasis on relations and communication with Romany community, Roma INTRISSIC Programme, etc.

4.2.1 The project of cultural educational work for Romany children and mothers

The regional project of cultural educational work for Romany children and mothers was launched at the commune Dobrá Voda - Žehna in 1993. The basic philosophy of this project is to attract the Romany’s interest, especially of housewives, through regular interviews on everyday life, care for children, hygiene, via special-interest activities, etc. A constituent part of the project is also acquisition of basic skills in everyday and art works. The meetings are held once a month with a special topic and besides the programmes for mothers there are various games or video fairy tales for children. The project was carried out in cooperation with the municipality at Žehna, Labour Office, Romany Civil Initiative and cultural establishments. The whole project was provided by the municipality Žehna, Ahinsaroma (Romany cultural union), donors and cultural establishments.

4.2.2 The project of improvement of literacy and functional literacy of the backward Romany population

The project Through children towards family oriented at improvement of literacy and functional literacy of the backward Romany population has been implemented since 1992 in the region of Kremnica. The aim of the project is to revive Kremnica community through child population. One of the domains of the project treated is the problem of low intellectual level of Romanies of this community, connected with illiteracy, inability of social orientation, wrong rank of social values, wrong catering habits, alcoholism and smoking. The project is oriented at solution of these questions through development of an existing sample kindergarten, which is an integrated pre-school establishment for both Romany and non-Romany children, and prepares Romany children for education in primary school. Within the framework of the kindergarten various activities are prepared for less stimulating families, mothers with younger children have a possibility to directly participate in the morning lessons with a possibility to have lunch.

The project also includes classes for illiterate parents in the form of courses with alternative method. Once a week per 2 hours they are offered social counselling, health service and psychological counselling. The staff of social department at the District Office in Kremnica participate in education by visiting particular families. Starting with 1993, also the integrated summer camps are organized for primary school children with the aim of social adaptation of Romany children.

4.2.3 Improvement of relations between representatives of police and population on territories with mixed nationalities

The project was launched in 1994, with an emphasis on relations and communication with Romany community. In group discussions the problem areas such as education, crime, social affairs, coexistence, communication and participation were treated. The causes of identified problems were sought and solutions proposed. One of the proposals was to prepare courses for liaisons from Romany communes, which would teach them how to behave at offices, to orient themselves in legislation, and to inform the Romanies about their rights and responsibilities, to help them fill in forms, etc., for particularly the inability of Romanies to communicate and functional illiteracy does not allow them to surpass the limits of their own isolation. The project was supported by non-government organization Minority Rights Group - Slovakia and financed by the British Know How Fund.

4.2.4 Project of improvement of intra- and extra-group communication of the Romany community

In 1995 a training programme oriented at improvement of intra- and extra-group communication of the Romany community in the sphere concerning communication skills, personal development and management of representatives of Romany community in municipalities, cultural unions, etc., was created.

4.2.5 Project Roma INTRISSIC Programme

The implementation of the project started in the form of training in 1998. It is oriented mainly at people who are already active in the sphere of work with young Romanies. The content of the training is aimed at individual development and creating a network of fellow workers at both national and international levels. The duration of the training is 2 years and its participants are young Romanies (50 % women) aged not more than 30 years.

The areas of training are divided as follows:

The project PASSPORT, which was launched in 1998 and fastens on to the project INTRISSIC, has a similar orientation. The completion of both projects is supposed in 2000.

4.2.6 Project Romany assistants of teachers at schools

The main aim of this project is to create a teaching environment in schools and classrooms that would support the ability of Romany pupils to complete their study at primary school in order that they can continue their education, be able to compete at labour market and integrate themselves in society life.

Romany assistants of teachers will acquire such abilities and skills that will enable them to set an example for Romany children and become liaisons at schools for parents of Romany children. Through their position they can become leaders of local communities in schools.

4.2.7 Educational centres

The main programme of the foundation for the Romany child is created by the so-called educational centres, which were founded in 1993. In 1998 three centres were started with the support of the foundation in Prešov, Solivar and Žehna. It is a model pre-school establishment intended particularly for Romany children aged 3 - 6 years. The programme is oriented at preparation of pre-school children for entrance to primary school. Also mothers of children participate actively in the programme. The leavers of the educational centres are monitored by the foundation also in the first grades of primary school.

Additional activities of the educational centres include:

- afternoon remedial classes for primary school pupils;

- circle of skilful hands (Solivar);

- clubs of school youth (Prešov).

4.3 Department of Romany culture

At Teacher Training College (nowadays University of Constantine Philosopher) in Nitra the realization of the specific approach to Romany children through professional training of teachers started. In 1990 the Department of Romany culture was established as the first university workplace aimed at preparation of "Romany" teachers for grade 1 of primary schools on the territories with concentrated Romany population. Later on, the possibilities of teacher training were expanded to teacher training for grades 1 - 4 of primary schools (4-year study), teacher training for grades 5 - 12, with the subjects of art, music, physical education, technical lessons, history, Romany language (5-year study), educational work oriented at Romany community (3-year study), sociology of work - social worker (4-year study), both in full-and part-time forms.

In addition to educational activities, the Department also participates in research of Romany language, methodology of Romany child teaching, with organization of professional events. It carried out a course of education of staff for field works in Romany settlements. In the Methodical Centre of the District Educational Authority in Prešov, which has already issued language and other aids for teachers of Romany children, a 2-year postgraduate specialized study for teachers and tutors of Romany children was organized.

The ignorance by Romanies of Slovak language often leads to poor study results of Romany children, which usually lead to their transfer to special schools, or even to drop-out.

In 1991 the finances were approved to open zero preparatory classes of primary schools for children coming from linguistically disadvantaged environment, oriented at teaching official language or other language of instruction. The project of zero classes for Romany children with all-day care has been carried out and tested in conditions of Košice kindergartens. It confirms positive results in maladjusted children in improving their vocabulary, increasing the quality of their memory skills, understanding words, numerical understanding, improvement of their psychomotoric capacities, etc. The Romany children preparation for starting the school was remarkably improved by help of their mother tongue which creates conditions for overcoming the language barrier and creates suitable bilingual teaching environment.

For this purpose a Romany reader and ABC book for primary schools were issued, in methodical sections of LEAs pictorial bilingual texts were prepared for pre-school education and grade 1 of primary school, a Romany history and bilingual Romany fairy tales were issued, and the first Romany-Slovak and Slovak-Romany dictionary and other texts and aids are in preparation.

In 1998 the workers of the Department of Romany culture organized a course of social field workers in Spišská Nová Ves and Nitra. 52 citizens of Romany nationality participated in it. A year later (1999) a course of mass media correspondents for Romanies was organized aimed at the acquisition of stylistic elements of writing articles, journalistic and reporting expression. A pexeso to the Romany reader has been created at the Department with methodical guides for its use.

Besides the Department of Romany culture in Nitra, non-traditional forms of education of Romany children are also treated by the Club of teachers of Romany children in Košice and educational and methodical centres of LEAs.

The Ministry of Culture of the SR initiated an optional teaching of Romany language at Faculties of Theology, since the church often becomes a key unit for elimination of illiteracy in the most backward Romany communes, through their voluntary spiritual staff and nuns.

4.4 Analysis of indicators 17 and 18 - Number of illiterates - % of the population aged 15 years and more; literacy gender parity index

The only institution monitoring literacy in the SR is the General Directorate of the Corps of Penitentiary and Judicial Guards of the SR. In their departmental form they monitor literacy of prisoners at their entry into the execution of punishment, where within the reeducational programme also education is included. The causes of illiteracy of these people result from their life style. They have completed a certain grade of primary education, but basically they are not interested to continue their education.

The following tab. illustrates the ratio of illiterates in the SR.

Tab. 1: The ratio of illiterate citizens in the execution of punishment in the SR

With regard to the insignificant and negligible ratio of illiterates in the SR in the years 1990-1998 (tab. 11) it is not considered necessary to deal with this problem further. To conclude this we add that in every society there is a small number of people who are, due to their state of health, psychic capabilities and a very low IQ, uneducable, and cannot be classified among illiterates.

Dimension 5: Training in Essential Skills

The basic skills of youth and adults include, besides reading and calculating that have a significant influence on changes in behaviour and an effect on health, employment and productivity, a vast scope of activities in the field of computer literacy, environmental education, health education, education for human rights, tolerance, international understanding, etc. The next part illustrates some of the programmes implemented in this sphere.

5.1 The field of informatics, computer technology, computer literacy

5.1.1 Preparation of pupils

The programme for acquisition of basic knowledge and skills in the field of computer technology was adopted still under the former CSSR Government. In 1990 the process of replacement of 8-byte computers by 16-byte computers of IBM PC class was launched. Proportionally to the possibilities provided the schools were equipped with basic software and subsequently, with software designed for training specific professions.

The State approved curricula and syllabi within the framework of which it is prescribed what knowledge and skills in using computer (or also information) technology must be acquired by the pupil and what is the compulsory, optional and elective teaching load devoted to it. The State fully finances this instruction, with the exception of that provided by private schools.

These skills may also be gained on facultative basis or in a differentiated way at the selected primary schools or in the first four grades of the 8-year gymnasia.

Private firms, home and foreign foundations sponsored the schools in acquisition of skills in out-of-school activities, e.g. Schidheim Foundation - Switzerland, which sponsored the programme "Economic Week", the Austrian Ministry of Education participated through sponsoring the programme "Training Firms", and the British Council sponsored the programme "Young Entrepreneur".

At the present time a project INFOVEK Slovakia has been launched, the aim of which is a wide-scale linking of primary and secondary schools in the Slovak Republic to Internet, connected with the use of this media in the educational-training process. In this way the schools will become centres that will spread the process of informatization of society throughout Slovakia - from pupils, students, teachers to parents. The basic aim of the project INFOVEK SLOVAKIA is within 4 - 5 years to create in primary and secondary schools information classrooms equipped on average with ten computers linked to Internet. However, this project does not only aim at establishing Internet in all schools. Along with the technical implementation of the project pupils will have to be taught how to use Internet so that they will have at their disposal all the amazing possibilities that the worldwide information network provides. Of course, this is impossible without knowledge of the English language. Therefore, a programme of mass instruction of the English language will have to be launched. The technology will be introduced into every little village where there is a school. Later on, other institutions can be linked to this network - local self-governments, various local unions and associations as well as small entrepreneurs. Impetus and experience will come out of the school. Thus the school will become a centre of spreading educational information in its region on an unprecedented scale.

5.1.2 Preparation of adults

Neither adults fall behind preparation in the field of informatics, computer technology and computer literacy. The aim of the courses carried out in this field is to provide the largest possible number of those interested with the third literacy. The target group consists of men and women aged 18 - 59 years. Participants of a course obtain basic information on work with a computer, from work with software packages to programming necessary for performing special operations in the sphere of economics, taxes, management, etc. The scope of training ranges from several days up to 12 months.

The contentual structure of the courses is adjusted to the orientation of a course with regard to the customer’s needs, or offer (possibilities) of the organizer of training. A method of direct instruction and practical training ranging between 40 and 1000 hours are predominant.

Assessment is based on hours of instruction one has got through. There are several forms of completion of education: without examination, with examination without the commission, with examination with the commission, through final tests, etc. Those who have finished the course obtain a certificate on its completion. There is no equivalence with completed formal study.

Participants of the courses obtain finances from the state budget, non-budgetary sources, legal entities, employment agencies, donations, home and foreign contributions and other sources. A large majority of participants bear the costs themselves.

In accordance with the regulations of the Statistical Office of the SR No. 29/1996 of Digest, which promulgate the Programme of State Statistical Findings for the Need of the SR for the year 1996, starting with 1996, statistical findings are implemented in the SR in compliance with the Statement on in-service adult training (Dalv/ME SR/1-01). As an illustration we give a survey of ascertained participants of a course in computer literacy.

Most people attend courses at the first two levels (work with a computer and software packages). 8 970 participants completed their education in 1996 (of whom 273 people completed courses of the highest level - programming); in 1997 as many as 9 479 people completed the courses (60 people completed courses of the highest level) and in 1998 the number was significantly lower – 6 445 (158) people who completed courses, obviously due to the fact that educational needs of adults in computer literacy had already been fulfilled in the previous years.

Nowadays there is practically no occupation in which acquired knowledge and skills from the field of computer technology, informatics or computer literacy would not be necessary or usable.

5.2 Environmental education

Environmental education is applied both at school and out-of-school education. At school it does not represent a separate subject but an organic part of various compulsory and facultative subjects. The strategies of environmental education and training ensure from the document "Strategies, principles and priorities of the state environmental policy in the SR" that was approved by the Government and Parliament of the SR in 1993 and that is based upon a number of international agreements and documents on problems of ecology. One of the aims of this document was also an integration of environmental education into the overall school and out-of-school system of education. At out-of-school level the ecological activities are developed by many NGOs, ecological associations, foundations, etc. With regard to the fact that since 1989 there is not a wide-scale registration of activities realized at the regional and local levels, it is impossible to present an exact datum on the number of all ecological activities. But it is possible to mention several projects of national character, of which several projects have an international scope, too. The project Blue from the Sky (Air Pollution Project Europe), which involves 13 European countries, has been realized since 1993/94 school year at about 400 schools. The target group are children aged 10-15 years. 3000 pupils has participated in this programme.

The project Schola Ludus - the Slovak Centre of Science for All is very popular. In 1993 it was ranked by UNESCO among pilot projects Projects 2000. The project has been supported by the Ministry of Education of the SR, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the SR, by the foundation Schola Ludus and various other NGOs. It is non-formal, progressive education for all, through personally gained experience in context of environmental imperatives. Its integral part are scientific-cognitive projects and thematic tasks solving in the form of games and independent work in creative workshops, non-traditional multimedia expositions with three-dimensional exhibits. The projects are worked out by a professional staff from higher education institutions, secondary and primary schools, as well as by artists, families and people of various professions.

Further, the Programme of environmental education of international organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for the SR is being realized. With the financial aid of this organization in 1992 an open document "Strategies of Environmental Education in the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic from the view of Non-Government Organizations" was formulated and approved by representatives of 43 non-government organizations. In 1993-1994 the WWF managed to realize 31 educational projects in Slovakia. The WWF together with ecological special-purpose organization Tree of Life, which is one of the most significant and oldest NGOs of this kind in Slovakia, proposed a project Development of Model Ecopedagogic Spaces in School Areas, the realization of which started in 1996.

Tree of Life is working in cooperation with the Slovak Union of Nature and Country Protectors on the project of development of the network of environmental education centres across Slovakia.

There is a great number of programmes of environmental education which are organized by various NGOs starting with the national or regional systematic projects up to the local activities oriented at the solution of concrete local problems on environment (monitoring, manual work in nature, processing of studies, etc.), field programmes and camps in nature, circles, contests, exhibitions realized throughout Slovakia, etc.

The ecological projects and activities are financed from the State budget through the Ministry of Education of the SR and the Ministry of Environment of the SR, as well as by various NGOs, associations and foundations from the SR and abroad. In 1992 the Ministry of Education of the SR declared the Programme of Protection and Support of Children and Youth in the SR entitled Child and Youth Support at Environmental Protection. In 1993, 19 projects were approved out of 40, while in 1994, 12 projects out of 34. Programmes of environmental education are also organized by various NGOs, i.e. civil special-purpose associations and foundations. NGOs are partly financially dependent on State (despite sponsoring), especially in the national projects realized in cooperation with schools, as well as in building the network of centres of environmental education.

In 1991, a model of environmental education of teachers was developed with cooperation of Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica and the Slovak Agency for Environment. As a subproject, since 1991/1992 school year also the international project TEMPUS - Project Teacher Training for Environmental Protection (TEP), intended for the students of the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences and the Faculty of Education, has been realized. 32-hour basic courses and special courses were introduced, within the framework of which the students prepare and defend individually selected themes related to environmental education. The courses are designed for students of faculties of science who have no science education. Starting an individual branch of study - Ecology is also being considered. The programmes of environmental education of teachers are often financed through grants, however, with regard to a bad financial situation of the Ministry of Education of the SR, this is not done on wide scale.

Within the framework of PHARE project the programme Environmental Education for Secondary School Teachers was approved in 1994.

5.3 Health education

Health education of population is carried out in cooperation with schools as well as at out-of-school level. All health education activities, production of edition materials, videofilms, solution of research projects are aimed at the approved programme Health for All by 2000.

As this area overlaps also with dimension 6, in this part we will mention the implemented projects in detail.

Research of Health Awareness and Behaviour of the Population, whose first stage of monitoring was carried out in 1991/1992 school year and the second stage in 1994/1995 school year, compared social relations, hygiene, life and work environment, catering, addiction to alcohol, smoking and drugs, sexual life, and others. The project had nation-wide and international character since the questions were compiled according to criteria of the World Health Organization and the results were compared with other European countries.

The schools supporting health is a project of the World Health Organization and National Programme of Health Support. The coordinator of the project is the Institute of the Health Education. The European network has incorporated 10 secondary schools from the SR, since October 1994 the National system of schools supporting health was established, which was gradually joined by the primary and secondary schools, as well as kindergartens. It is a new form of relation pupil-teacher-parent that is aiming at improvement of health awareness and behaviour of pupils as well as teachers and parents.

Health behaviour of school children - this task is a part of international monitoring of health behaviour of pupils aged 12-16 years.

The project Movement activities of school youth was the task which helped realize movement activity and its effects on health on a sample of 1016 pupils from primary schools in Slovakia.

The multimedia campaign STOP AIDS aimed at AIDS prevention. The project was coordinated by private firm Infomedia Zurich in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of the SR. The major part of the project was financed by the Swiss Ministry of Health. It was carried out in the form of publishing large-scale posters, press, articles issued in papers and journals, publicity spots, by distributing condoms and leaflets within the framework of large discotheques, action AIDS-bus, and cooperation with TV and radio.

The multi-media campaign Key to Health focused on intensification of involvement of mass communication media in education of population towards active health support.

In the school year 1994/1995 the international programme of primary prevention of drug addicts While it’s not too late was launched. Several institutions were involved in the programme: Institute of Health Education, Centre for Treatment of Drug abuse in Bratislava, LEAs in Bratislava, Foundation FILIA, Policlinic for youth in Bratislava, and others, together with parents and voluntary staff from education department.

In addition to the above mentioned projects, other health-educational activities were carried out on the topics of stomatic hygiene with pupils, on life style of complete and incomplete families, AIDS prevention, courses against smoking and on improvement of teacher’s knowledge (of biology in particular) concerning health support, organization of health-educational events at schools. Research tasks were solved, such as Socio-political problems of youth in the SR, Drugs and leisure time as a significant factor of prevention, Opinions and attitudes of young people to drug consumption, etc.

These activities were aimed at public at large with special orientation at target groups of citizens (children and youth, university students, soldiers, the elderly, the handicapped, etc.).

The health-educational activities are laid down in the National Programme of Health Support which was approved by the Government of the SR in 1991. The tasks and aims were worked out also with regard to the documents of the World Health Organization (WHO), Council of Europe, UNO, as well as other international organizations.

The Ministry of Health of the SR, the Ministry of Education of the SR, field workplaces of health education, national health institutes, Institute of Health Education as a specialist, methodical, coordinating and production centre of health education, a number of health, school, cultural and other institutions participated in the management and financing of these activities. In addition to the funds from the Government departments some financial means were obtained also from the WHO as well as other international institutions, every time for precisely specified activities.

Every year scientific international and nation-wide conferences, seminars, courses, press conferences and multimendia campaigns on questions of health education are organized.

5.4 Education for human rights

Education for human rights is contained in the project Human Rights at School. The guarantor of the project was the M. Šimecka Foundation, Amnesty International, Centre for Prevention and Problem Solution, SR Government, UNESCO, Faculty of Arts of Comenius University (the Department for Human Rights was established), methodical centres, Faculty of Pedagogy of Comenius University, and others.

The work at the project started in 1992. A series of workshops for primary and secondary school teachers was organized with the aim to gradually introduce the knowledge of the courses into the curricula.

In 1992, the publications Methods of Teaching Human Rights and Human Rights for Children were issued. These problems are increasingly published also in various specialist pedagogic magazines (Pedagogické rozhlady, Ucitelské noviny).

In 1993, within the framework of the project a training on education for human rights was realized. The target group were deputies of the National Council of the SR, teachers, staff of LEAs and methodical centres. The aim of the course was to get acquainted with the most significant legal norms, international changes and declarations concerning human rights, exercise socio-psychological techniques, samples from methodics of instruction of human rights.

In 1994-1995 a training course Education for Human Rights was developed as a part of the PHARE project (in the scope of 40 lessons, i.e. 4 days). The target group were primary and secondary school teachers from the entire SR. The aim was to obtain basic information on human rights and institutions supporting implementation of human rights, to increase the ability to respect diverse opinions, to analyse prejudices and fixed attitudes, and to mediate attitudes and methods of work. Methods of training were participative with special involvement, the practical training of communication of individuals and groups was in the form of discussions, polemics, written word, artistic and music activities, playing games, dramatization, simulation of phenomena and institutions, in the form of games, tests, questionnaires, etc.

In the years 1990-1992 methodical centres prepared seminars on methods of teaching human rights.

In the period 1995-1997 a two-year programme of education for constitutionalism Citizens and Democracy was ongoing, the preparation of which started in 1992. The target group of this programme were secondary school teachers and students of teacher training colleges with a branch of study close to the topic. The project was financed by the American foundation Pew Charitable Trust. The foundation Minority Rights Group - Slovakia was responsible for its realization. The aim of the project was preparation of secondary school teachers and students of teacher training colleges in the sphere of legal awareness, of what is the source of law, essence of civilization, civil democracy, civil rights. The programme also involves curriculum development, development of practical manuals for both teachers and students, production of videos and other teaching aids.

5.5 Education for tolerance and international understanding

Within the framework of the campaign Youth against Racism, Xenophobia, Antisemitism and Intolerance the Slovak Republic became involved in the international project Youth for Tolerance. This project was realized on the government level, i.e. in the education and science sector with the UNESCO support, and was oriented at youth of all types of schools including universities, as well as the other youth aged no more than 26 years. the guarantor of the project was the Institute of Education and Prognosis with the Ministry of Education of the SR, educational institutions, schools, centres of leisure, youth organizations and non-government organizations such as youth information centres, various foundations and associations.

In 1994, 14 out of 26 submitted projects were approved with a grant of 448,5 thousand Slovak crowns. The aim of the campaign were concrete activities, specialized seminars, workshops, trainings and training courses for both professionals and voluntary activists from the ranks of youth. An important activity was issuing publicity leaflets as well as information and study materials and publications. In 1994 publication ALIEN was published which explains questions of racism and intolerance.

In December 1994 a conference Youth for Tolerance was held in Bratislava. In the week from 21 to 26 March 1995 the European Week of Fight against Racism was organized.

In connection with the International Year of Tolerance the calendar of events of the Council of Youth of Slovakia, Centre of International Exchanges of Youth, and other youth entities was prepared. For example, the seminar of youth, political and religious organizations Tolerance in Society, all-European Roma Youth Seminar, Common Camp of Youth of various confessions and nationalities, artistic contests of primary school pupils and literary contests of secondary school students, projects on youth exchanges of Centre Cultural de Chateau-Renault, Wirral Youth Service, East-West No exclusion, Europe Kontactabus-Slovakia - heart of Europe, etc., were realized.

5.6 Civil associations of children and youth

In accordance with the right to associate freely, the citizens of the SR can found associations, societies, unions, movements, clubs and other civil associations (CAs), which come into existence through registration at the Ministry of the Interior of the SR in compliance with the Act No. 83/1990 of Digest on association of citizens, as amended by subsequent provisions, the Act No. 213/1997 of Digest on non-profit organizations, and the Act No. 207/1996 of Digest on foundations, as amended by subsequent provisions.

On February 7, 1992, the Government approved the Principles of the National Policy in Relation to Youth, in which principles of the national policy for creating better conditions for solution of life problems of youth were formulated. A part of the Principles was the first time declared Programmes of Protection and Support of Children and Youth in the SR, within the framework of which CAs working in this field as well as other organizations and institutions, apply in the way of grants for financial means for realization of projects in various spheres of activities. The aim of the activities in compliance with the Act No.347/1990 of Digest belongs to the sphere of competence of the Ministry of Education of the SR - section of children and youth. The Department of Youth and Sport of the Institute of Information and Prognoses of Education is responsible for the production of information for the support of management.

Civil associations of children and youth are associations the main work content of which, in accordance with their articles, or status, is activity with children and youth, and in this sense they are divided into:

An overwhelming majority of them are independent and non-profit special-purpose associations.

Most associations of children and youth have all-republic competence (with branches in individual districts), fewer associations have regional, or international competence.

The spheres of activities of a large number of the associations are varied (education and training, culture and art, work with young talents, recreation, physical education and sport, charity and spreading religious ideas, etc.), but basically the civil associations of children and youth can be divided according to the main orientation of their activities stated in the articles into:

Civil associations focus their attention mainly on such population groups as children and youth in general, talented children and youth, physically handicapped or ill children and youth, unemployed youth, drug addicted, mentally handicapped and lonely children and youth, as well as young entrepreneurs or young (socially weaker) families. In an effort to make their activities more effective associations of children and youth cooperate with one another, with other civil associations, other entities (e.g. foundations), foreign partners, religious and private establishments, as well as political parties and other governmental and non-governmental institutions.

The objectives and aims of the activities of all civil associations, stated in their articles, are very varied. The main aim of most CAs is an overall and harmonious development of personality, support of relaxation, educational-training, sports, cultural-social and ecological activities in leisure time of children and youth (e.g. also through organization of camps with a purposeful orientation). Exceptions are asociations the aim of which is to join other entities, e.g. the Council of Youth of Slovakia, which join individual CAs of children and youth working in the area, or CAs which help handicapped population groups (e.g. associations for physically handicapped youth, people suffering from allergies, blind persons or persons with poor eyesight, etc.). A very important role in society is played by associations the aim of which is to direct activities in the sphere of protection of children’s rights, as well as associations which are actively involved in the field of substitute family education, with the aim to help children who do not live in their primary biological families. There is a relatively large number of associations which in the form of mediation of topical information and counselling activities in the sphere of development of legal, economic conditions, conditions of work and others help young people to assert themselves in society.

An important task of CAs is to inform their members as well as public at large about their activities, and propagate their aims, usually through editorial activities which also serve as a counselling and methodical medium for individual CAs of children and youth (bulletins, information and publicity materials, magazines, etc.).

The associations obtain finances for their own activities from other entities, sponsors, but for concrete activities mainly from the Ministry of Education of the SR for economic-administration expenses and for realization of grants via the programmes of protection and support of children and youth in the SR.

In 1998, in the framework of the Programmes of Protection and Support of Children and Youth of the SR declared by the Ministry of Education of the SR, 630 projects with interdistrict and district competence and 214 projects with nation-wide competence were approved for CAs. In 1999 a grant was given for 253 nation-wide projects, and at the regional level the process of approval is in progress (an estimate - about 600 approved projects).

Starting with 1992, and also at the present time, the Ministry of Education allocates financial means to directly financed civil associations, ranging from 16 to 20 million Slovak crowns, for economic-administration expenses.

Dimension 6: Education for Better Living

6.1 Use of the electronic media and print media for educational purposes

Electronic media and mass communication means are accessible to a majority of population. Their application in education has a long tradition in Slovakia. Among the principal forms of education, editing and audio-visual creation are the radio, television, press (books, newspapers, magazines, manuals, folders, leaflets, posters, and other short printed forms), libraries, museums and exhibitions. In recent years, the electronic computer networks, including particularly Internet, have been ranked more and more among the electronic educational media. Distance education carried out through media is one of the latest forms of education. All the above-mentioned educational, instructional and promotional means are designed for various groups of customers, children and young people, professional community as well as public at large.

Radio started regular broadcasting for primary schools as early as 1931, from 1946 also for kindergartens and secondary schools. In 1948/49 school year, the ministry of education decreed compulsory listening to radio broadcasting for primary and secondary schools.

Television broadcasting for schools (TVS) started for the first time in 1958. The programmes were designed for kindergartens, namely, four times per 30 minutes a month. Since 1966, the TVS has been gradually extended to all grades of primary school, later on to secondary schools, too. The individual TVS programmes were closely connected to curricula of concrete subjects. Their content was aimed at such themes which needed commenting in a dynamic, audiovisual form to mediate the subject matter.

Print was used in education since its origination, of course, in dependence on teacher’s approach to this means. The teacher sought various possibilities of how to enliven and complement the textbooks by text and pictorial materials from currently available press.

Libraries have provided and made accessible from their inception the inevitable fundamental knowledge for all citizens, irrespective if their age, social status, political, religious or nationality provenience.

6.1.1 Radio broadcasting

Radio educational broadcasting has also continued after 1990 due to good collaboration between the Ministry of Education of the SR and the Slovak Radio (SRo). The content and quality of the educational programmes have been optimum for long years.

The SRo workplace responsible for educational programmes was the Managing Editor’s Óffice for Youth and Education (with partial editor’s offices: School Broadcasting, Adult Education, Journalism for Children and Youth, Literary and Music Programmes for Children). In the Managing Editor’s Office for Youth and Education about twenty editors were employed, and the broadcasting time took about two hours a day.

The further development was characterised from outside by establishment of commercial radio stations, from inside by some changes in programme structures of the SRo, some reorganizations of editor’s offices, and profiling of the range of the Slovak Radio Devín as a cultural and educational areas. The political and economic programmes began prevailing at the main range of broadcasting. Some educational programmes were abolished (language courses for adults, Saturday magazines for children - cultural, historical, technical, amusing programmes, and the radio programme Children and the World). But new educational programmes gradually came into being instead.

Today, the Professional Editor’s Office for Education and Journalism for Children, which is a constituent part of the Devin station, is the institution responsible for educational programmes. It prepares programmes for children and adult listeners.

From among programmes for children we present, for example, "Radio 13" (broadcasting five times a week per 25 minutes), "Radio Kindergarten" (designed for young children of 3-5 years of age, broadcasting five times a week per 10 minutes), Educational Programme for Schools (for grades 1 to 4, some cycles for up to grade 9 of primary school - five times a week per 15-20 minutes), Complementary Programme for Teachers and School Phonoteques (once a week per 5 minutes), Language Conversation Courses for Children in English and German (four times a week per 10 minutes), reading from complementary literature (once a week per 15 minutes), Saturday complementary programmes (once a week per 15-45 minutes).

Programmes for adults include magazines for cultural and language areas over the world - English, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Italian (once a week per 60 minutes), magazine of science and technology (once a week per 60 minutes), "Magazine D" - on ethics and aesthetics of life - education, training and education system (once a week per 60 minutes).

In total they represent programmes lasting two hours daily prepared by nine editors. Programmes for children are broadcast almost exclusively on Devín and Regina broadcasting stations.

Taking part in the educational programmes were also the personnel of the health sector who often performed in radio programmes of daily, weekly and monthly periodicity of the sort of "Good Morning", "Health for Each Day", and "Contacts", "Radiomagazine", and others, to present information concerning the field of health education.

The educational radio broadcasting achieved a high level through the long-year tradition. Taking part in the methodical boards which prepare and approve individual programmes, are kindergarten teachers, primary school teachers, methodologists and pedagogues, as well as educational psychologists from research institutes. In this way the content of broadcast programmes is directed and well-thought-out to correspond to the content of teaching concrete subjects, either as its specification or, more frequently, as its enlargement. Particularly important is the radio functioning in the field of improvement of language culture of citizens - members of nationality and ethnic minorities living in Slovakia. Several programmes are alive, contact, alluring the individual target groups of listeners and contributing to refined and active use of leisure time.

6.1.2 Television broadcasting

In contrast to the Slovak Radio, educational cycles in the Slovak Television (STV) have ceased to broadcast, and educational programmes were discontinued after 1990. The situation like this lasts still now.

In 1995, there was the Managing Editor’s Office for Educational Programmes established in the STV. It was composed of editorial group for education (11 editors) and editorial group for spiritual life (7 editors). This editorial board discontinued its activity after two years and the new leadership attached the editorial group to the Managing Editor’s Office for Newcast and Document. Later on, from about June 1997, the educational programmes were carried out in the editor’s group, but after a few months the latter also stopped functioning. At present, there is neither a group, nor editor’s office to realize actually directed education.

From the list of educational production of the Managing Editor’s Office we present the cyclic programmes of entertaining and educational character for children and youth, semi-played short programmes aimed at health education and enhancement of health awareness (annually 10-14 videofilms and 4-6 TV shots were broadcast), social behaviour and knowledge contest of primary school pupils. Educational cycles were prepared in agreement with primary school curricula for the needs of pupils, teachers and educational community. Their production was more loosen and gave space to the teacher for inspiration to supplement subject matter by visual element.

Specific groups of listeners were designed publicist monthlies for parents and pedagogues, for consumers and entrepreneurs. In addition, round tables on civil topics aimed at direct contact with audience, were also prepared.

Health-educational videofilms and television shots were designed for all those interested from the above group, and they were distributed at a finance charge, in the form of video cassettes for both individuals and institutions. Their average annual turnover was 1000-1200 videocassettes.

The popular health-educational shots that were broadcast in the given period on STV as well as on regional cable stations and closed television ranges, had a similar mission. Out of the most successful and most frequently broadcast shots a mention should be made of five series of "Fitfamilie", a serial "Such a Good Family", "It’s My Last (Cigarette)", "Janko and Anicka" (prevention against veneral diseases), "A Flu", "Elixir MM" (mother’s milk - promotion of breast breeding), "Allures of Summer", "Golden Rules for Each Day" (just manipulation with foodstuffs), "Hydrophobia", etc.

In 1996, the Institute of National Health and STV concluded an agreement on the transfer of selected videofilms with health-educational themes to television broadcasting. They were 24 videofilms which were broadcast in the next two years on STV programmes 1 and 2, each of them in a premiere and two repeats. These videofilms were aimed at problems of National Programme of Health Support and included titles devoted to cardiovascular and oncological diseases, sexual education, allergic and diabetic diseases, HIV/AIDS and to increased occurrence of TBC. All the videofilms were intended for the general public of various age-groups and fulfilled first of all preventive mission.

6.1.3 Press

In 1990, the Ministry of Education and Science of the SR issued professional methodical journals for educational personnel, magazines for children and youth, a weekly for educational and school staff of the sector, through the Slovak Educational Publishing House (SPN).

The journals for teachers: Pedagogická revue (educational theory and practice, educational psychology and history of pedagogy), Slovenský jazyk a literatúra v škole (for teaching Slovak language and literature), Vychovávatel (for theory and practice of education outside classes), Predškolská výchova (for theory and practice of preschool education), Rodina a škola (aimed at educational functioning of school and family), Nevelés (for teachers and parents of pupils from primary and secondary schools with Hungarian as teaching language).

Magazines for children and youth: Friendship (for advanced students of English), Hello (for beginners of English), L’ amitié (for teaching French), Priatel (to help in teaching Slovak in primary and secondary schools), Spektr (for teaching Russian in primary and secondary schools), Naše ráno, and, Za svetlom (a magazine written by Braille letters for the blind and short-sighted), Ucitelské noviny (a weekly for pedagogical and educational staff of the sector).

In 1992-1993, the Ministry of Education of the SR granted publishing licences for a majority of the above magazines to private entities. For some time, the ME SR retained the licence for the magazines Slovenský jazyk a literatúra v škole, Priatel, Naše ráno, Za svetlom, and the audial magazine for the blind - Kazeta. Some magazines issued by private publishing houses were gradually discontinued. The Ministry still issues Ucitelské noviny (it has been issued for 49 years by now), which has been published for long years in cooperation with the Trade Union of the Education and Science Sector in Slovakia.

In the field of print form of health education 80-100 titles were annually issued in the number of copies 5 000-10 000 and, exceptionally, still more. For children and youth there are first of all short forms designed, such as various folders, cards, flaps, small calendars. Among the popular editions are: Rada zdravým (Advice to Healthy), Rady chorým (Advice to Sick), Zdravotnícke aktuality (Health News), Rady lekárom (Advice to Physicians), Abeceda zdravia (Health ABC). The distribution and use of editing materials on health education are carried out free of cost through the State Health Institutes to health consultancies and to all health workplaces and, according to thematic and methodical orientation, to non-health institutions as well, i.e., to school, educational, government and regional institutes, cultural, and other establishments.

There is a great number of professional journals we have not mentioned, which serve for a broad cycle of readers - from the smallest children to the adults.

6.1.4 Libraries (public and educational), museums

Public libraries provide the support to education and are closely bound to the school system by providing documents and information, and thus they fulfil specific tasks in all forms of school and out-of-school education and self-learning.

School libraries have developed their activities at first as non-professional library establishments of primary and secondary schools and of other educational establishments. From 1956, the Slovak Educational Library was charged with the task to provide methodical guidance of school libraries. The journal Školské knižnice (School Libraries) was issued to support the activities of school libraries since 1964. Under the Act No. 63/1978 of the Digest on the system of primary and secondary schools the school libraries became a constituent part of schools.

In paragraph 6.1.4.2 we will focus our attention on analysis of school libraries in primary and special schools.

6.1.4.1 Public libraries

The mission of public libraries is to build up, make accessible and store the universal fund regardless of the information holder, and to provide for all population groups a general access to information. The cooperation of libraries and schools is aimed, first of all, at:

The most intensive work carried by public libraries is that with schools, first of all, primary schools. The library educates its potential users and, at the same time, it implants upon them the basics of information retrieval and work with it through information education adjusted to age cohorts. The target groups of child readers visiting libraries may be divided into:

  1. pre-reader’s age - the use of group forms of work in cooperation with kindergarten teachers, use of premises of the child division - fairy tale rooms;
  2. younger and older school age - the use of forms of individual work with reader (adequately to age and level of knowledge), collective forms of work, provision of a certain type of special information - educational services, information education in library premises.

Many libraries try to make access and orientation in the library easier for the handicapped citizens by build-up of free access to libraries without any barriers, by creating an orientation system for the aurally handicapped, and some libraries also mediate audiobook stocks to the visually handicapped. All libraries are oriented at problems of drug-addicts, namely, by building up stocks of literature on this topics, by organizing literary and other contests, and by editing. Public libraries regularly cooperate with local cultural centres and municipal cultural centres at organizing common cultural events, they provide for them necessary information and regional documents, and materials for preparation of events by primary and secondary school pupils. They have also good cooperation with publishing houses such as Slovenský spisovatel, Hevi, Mladé letá, Slovenské pedagogické nakladatelstvo.

In 1997-1998, the net of public libraries was made up of five state-owned regional libraries, 31 state-owned district libraries, 4 191 town and municipal libraries with professional staff, 2 255 municipal libraries with non-professional staff, 274 items of public libraries, and one library of Matej Hrebenda for the blind.

6.1.4.2 School libraries

The primary mission of the school library is the improvement of educational process. A majority of school libraries are headed by teachers - volunteers, but the personnel turnover of the volunteers is very high and the teachers lack the required vocational training.

During the period surveyed, in primary and special schools and educational establishments the following organizational types of libraries were established:

- pupils’ libraries;

- teachers’ libraries;

- joint pupils’ and teachers’ libraries;

- pupils’ libraries integrated with child divisions of public libraries.

6.1.4.2.1 Analysis of situation in school libraries

The state-of-the-art of school libraries is evaluated on the basis of annual statistical statements. Systematic statistical findings in the school library nets began to be realized from 1988. The aim of the survey is to map out the present state of school libraries and their number, the premise, personnel and financial provision, library stocks, services and other activities. In table form we provide only the indicators for 1990, 1995 and 1998 as the inter-year values do not show any substantial differences.

The number of primary schools as well as other educational establishments is not identical to the number of libraries, since there are two types of libraries working in majority of schools - teachers’ and pupils’ ones; at schools with a large number of pupils there are even two pupils’ libraries - one for the lower stage and the other for the upper stage of primary school.

Tab. 2: Number of schools and school libraries at primary schools (PS) and special schools (SS) in 1990, 1995 and 1998

 

1990

1995

1998

Primary schools

2 523

2 497

2 496

Total school libraries (PS)

4 009

4 551

4 599

Out of it pupils’

1 850

2 109

2 122

teachers’

1 810

2 010

2 043

integrated

349

432

434

Special schools

337

400

384

School libraries (SS)

560

453

427

Out of it pupils’

245

194

171

teachers’

220

185

180

integrated

95

74

76

Total school libraries

4 569

5 004

5 026

Out of it pupils’

2 095

2 303

2 293

teachers’

2 030

2 195

2 223

integrated

444

506

510

In 1998, there were 5 026 libraries operating at primary and special schools, which represents an increase by 457 libraries as compared to 1990. While the number of school libraries increased proportionately to increase of primary schools by 590, the libraries at special schools decreased by 133 despite the special schools’ increase.

From the total number of school libraries, there were 2 293 pupils’ libraries, 2 223 teachers’ and 510 integrated libraries (pupils’ cum teachers’ and pupils’ cum public). In contrast to 1990, the number of all libraries increased: pupils’ libraries by 198, teachers’ libraries by 193, and integrated by 66.

To document the school library activities we present data on number of readers in tab.

Tab. 3: Number of readers in school libraries

 

1990

1995

1998

Total readers

448 308

369 140

364 454

Out of it at primary schools

423 710

355 222

350 087

special schools

24 598

13 882

14 367

% of readers from the number of pupils and teachers

48.4

44.6

45.2

at primary schools

50.6

50.9

50.9

special schools

73.4

41.1

42.2

In 1998, the total number of readers remarkably decreased by 83 854 compared to 1990. In primary schools, however, the percentage of school library readers represents a slight increase by 0.3, in special schools a remarkable decrease by 31.2%.

The question of financial provision of school library activities represents another area of problems the solution of which is a prerequisite of their functionality. The total expenses for school library activities dropped from 16 188 770 Kcs to 13 986 942 Sk in 1990 and 1998, respectively. The average financial costs per one library represented 2 979,70 Kcs in 1990 as compared to 2 271,20 Sk in 1998. The insufficient financial expenditures effect first of all the quality of library stock accession and technical and technological provision of the school library activities.

The information education of pupils is an important item of library activities. The events on information education at schools are largely carried out in cooperation with public libraries, but the interest in these events has been recently decreasing on the part of schools.

Based on available data it may be stated that the school libraries provide only basic services, namely, in a very limited scope. This state is caused by a number of factors, in particular:

6.1.4.3 Cultural-educational and educational activities of museums in Slovakia

An indivisible part of spiritual culture of the society is the increase of level in the field of scientific and technical knowledge and the support and spread of knowledge. Museums contribute to increase of culture, especially, on the basis of authentic communication of museum with the public, to transfer and promotion of the challenge of past generations of historical development of science and technology, and thus to adoption of traditions of its nation.

A starting point of the presentation activity and thence ensuing cultural-educational activities of museums are the museum expositions as well as the number of short-term exhibitions documenting and promoting individual fields of history and presence of the society, science and technology. Thus, for example, the Natural Historical Museum organized an exhibition entitled "We Want to Live Without Drugs", and the Slovak National Museum organized an exhibition "From a Child Home to Kindergartens".

The museums keep in contact with the most numerous group of school youth through projects of instructional-educational thematic units, interactive demonstrations and a scale of various cultural-educational events in connection with permanent expositions or topical exhibitions. They organize out-of-exhibition activities in the form of attractive events of different kinds held on various occasions. For example, the Slovak Technical Museum organized technical-instructional cycles throughout the year on Chapters from the History of Science and Technology carried out through the system of lectures by the Museum experts just like the Portraits of Outstanding Inventors.

The separately conceived thematic blocks are also required on the part of schools as a link-up to concrete thematic area, in close connection with a topical exposition or an exhibition.

The museums make the world of science and technology and the one of natural rules closer to the child visitors. In the period examined the staff of the Slovak Technical Museum carried out seven years of successful and popular contest of child creative art entitled "Technology through Child Eyes" later on enriched by theme "Universe through Child Eyes", traditionally connected with exhibition of the best works. These actions were meant to enlarge the scope of child imaginations and knowledge on the basics of technology, to cultivate in them the skill of observing, technical imagination, memory for technical formations and details.

The afternoons with computers in technical museum where the children could get acquainted with computer games, earned great popularity particularly at the beginning of computer era. The child visitor is always welcome at museums, and the parents and adult visitors in general are not the last to deepen their general knowledge through the mediation of the former.

On the occasion of International Day of Museums the festivities take place, such as days of open doors with a varied structure of various museum activities with emphasis on topical exhibitions, technical themes and jubilees in the respective year. From among interesting and popular activities a mention should be made of child competitions in drawing, investigating excursions in non-typical premises of restoring and preserving workplaces, demonstrating working methods of exhibit preservation, listening to reproduced music on period music instruments from Edison phonograph up to HIFI. The entrance to mining exposition is usually decorated by the period mining lights – Davy lamps and candlesticks which make the visits of the event more joyful.

All the activities and events follow the aim to make the visit of each museum a cultural event for spirit encouragement and heart delight.

Among the most attractive cultural-educational objects of the Technical Museum in Košice is undoubtedly the object of planetarium. The planetarium was made accessible to the general public in 1975 as the first of its kind in Slovakia. The visitor gains a great amount of concrete knowledge on astronomy. The planetarium is used by primary school teachers throughout the year to acquaint the pupils with the basics of orientations in the sky, the knowledge of astronomy and more complex laws of astrophysics. Great attention is also paid by incidental visitors who are designed the planetarium programmes during weekends and holidays, aimed at spread of basic astronomic knowledge of the mankind.

According to requirements of institutes of health and non-health orientation there were moving exhibitions organized in various localities of the country, composed of 10-12 panels with topical themes on nourishment, anti-smoking, physical movement, and anti-drug topics.

For example, in the Slovak National Museum as well as in various towns of the SR exhibitions "Say No to Drugs" are arranged with medical-educational videofilms and television shots on anti-drug topics. This all-Slovak event will arise interest especially among pupils, young people as well as parents, pedagogues and educators.

6.1.5 Distance education

Distance education is a new form of education in Slovakia which is indirectly connected to the presently known part-time study (on-the-job-training). Programmes of distance education attempt at meeting individual requirements of students. The basic principle of distance education is to provide possibility of education for all who want to study but who cannot do so for various reasons or do not wish to complete the classic form of study.

In September 1996, the network of distance education as a community of organizations for the support and realization of distance and lifelong education was established. It consists of a national centre, local centres and methodical centre of distance education. It gives access to each applicant to education at renown higher education institutions and accredited educational institutions in Slovakia. The network of distance education provides, particularly, the mediation of information on courses and educational programmes, support at development, processing, production and distribution of study materials, mediation of courses and educational programmes for the public, provision of counselling services in the field of education, monitoring the quality of teaching and teaching materials, monitoring educational process realized within the network, and provision of link with international educational networks of similar nature. In the present offer of the Slovak Net of Distance Education there are 24 complete study programmes in the field of management, marketing, banking, finance, environment, country-ecological planning, biodiversity protection, information technologies, GIS, preparation for study in Maths, Physics, Chemistry, and dozens of courses which are accredited by the Ministry of Education of the SR, or which prepare the students for admission or advancement in higher education institutions.

6.2 Policy, management and funding

In the past decade, several government departments participated in using the media for basic education: ministry of education, ministry of culture, ministry of health, ministry of labour, social affairs and family, ministry of the interior, ministry of justice and ministry of defence, and other sectors.

The educational broadcasting is a subject of written agreement between contracting parties (e.g., SRo and ministry of education, SRo and ministry of health). The agreement contains the amount of finances of the sector for production of educational programmes for kindergartens and primary schools, and for telecommunication services connected with their distribution (the spread of information through audiocassettes is considered more suitable, particularly from the point of view of appropriate involvement of the programme into the teaching process).

From 1993, the Ministry of Education gives financial support to the private educational journals and child magazines, including the new ones which appeared after 1990. In 1995 it contributed to the issue of 16 educational journals and child magazines in the amount of 4,2 mil. Sk, in 1996 for 23 journals in the amount of 9,1 mil. Sk, in 1997 for 23 journals in the amount of 8,6 mil. Sk, in 1998 for 24 journals in the amount of 10,8 mil. Sk, and in 1999 for 31 journals and magazines in the amount of 10,3 mil. Sk (with exception of Ucitelské noviny and the printing costs). A part of costs for magazines for children and nationality press is covered by the Ministry of Culture of the SR.

The Ministry of Health of the SR provided for the professional and financial aid by concrete advertising means for implementation of the National Programme for Health Support.

Besides the government financial means there are also nongovernmental organizations, foundations and private companies which participate in organizing educational activities and developing the programmes through sponsors.

6.3 Quality, effectiveness and outcomes

The editors of educational programmes in the SRo and STV are predominantly graduates from faculties of arts in the fields of Journalism, Ethics, foreign languages, Theory of Culture. No pedagogical training is required from them. The articles with education content designed for pre-school and school-age readers are prepared by the staff in the respective branch (of education, psychology, etc), by teachers, and others.

Cooperation with civil service institutions of STV and SRo as well as some commercial and regional electronic media served for spread and educational use of TV shots and radio programmes. Until 1990 there was an agreement between STV and the Ministry of Education of the SR on preparation of the educational programmes which were subsidized by the Ministry (the agreement is not valid today any more). Under this agreement there was a collegium established (composed of professionals from the education sector) which assessed the educational programmes. In 1997, the Managing Editor’s Office of Education in STV was abolished, while the educational group survived.

The SRo and the Ministry of Education of the SR conclude quarterly agreements on cooperation in development of educational programmes; at editing a pedagogical counselling board is functioning on the Radio (workers from methodical centres, faculties of education, National Institute for Education, head teachers, teachers, and others).

At the provision of educational programmes and various promotional means in the past decade, the cooperation took place with the respective staff of the ministry of education, ministry of culture, ministry of social affairs and family, ministry of the interior, ministry of justice, ministry of defence, and other sectors, Slovak Academy of Sciences, National Institute for Education, methodical centres, teachers, psychologists, musicians, writers, editors of various journals, etc.

In 1990, the cooperation between the Institute of Health Education (ÚZV) and STV deepened at the regular programme development "Meeting with Physician". This half-an-hour programme, mapping out the most serious health problems in Slovakia, was broadcast under the mutual agreement for four years in monthly periodicity and consisted of 25 minutes’ health educational videofilms at the creation and production of which both contracting parties participated. The videofilms were simultaneosly spread within the network of health-educational, school and cultural establishments.

Further health-educational activities were connected with development of traditionally good cooperation at the sector of "Schools Promoting Health" within which the issue of periodical "Datelinka" (Clover) and collections of works was provided and two videofilms were produced on spread of the idea of these schools and its implementation in Slovakia. Special cooperation was carried out with a congress centre "Istropolis" in Bratislava with which a series of educational events aimed at drug-addicts prevention was carried out in the 1997/98 school year. Taking part in the events were the parents and pupils of Bratislava primary and secondary schools who besides projecting the videofilms "White Groves" and "A lift to the Heaven", had discussions with experts and producers of the above films.

Another form of cooperation is that with editors of popular weeklies Život, Slovenka, Rodina, etc., and several dailies in which the questions of educational character have been treated by the respective experts.

Concerning the evaluation of educational programmes and press, only occasionally are done surveys monitoring social requirements, finding out opinions and wishes of listeners, or demands of listeners as regards greater amount of programmes or articles with educational content (e.g., in STV and SRo it is substantiated by lack of finances). The STV carries out continuing research of watching educational programmes; it continuously follows the viewers’ opinions being focused on two criteria only – the rate of TV watching and point evaluation of defined programme. The viewers’ programme demands are not followed. Televiewers, radio listeners, and readers react positively to educational programmes and published articles since they are used for spread of knowledge of subject matter instructed, and they have positive influence upon pupils’ motivation. At the same time, they are interested in acquiring a greater amount of information on the given problem, but do not propose a greater amount of educational programmes.

As regards the content of programmes mediated by mass media of communication it may be stated that the number of programmes and articles aimed at the solution of global problems of mankind (health and environmental protection, humanization of the society, questions of world peace, etc.) increased, but the number of programmes directly aimed at population education did not increase. As compared to 1990, the space of SRo educational programmes designed for early childhood development and for adults was enlarged but the weekend educational programmes have been reduced.

When assessing the press as a mass means of communication and its significance in education, for illustration, we will point out one of investigations carried out by Pedagogue Agency. It was investigated, inter alia, in what degree the teachers are educated through journals. From comparison of 1991 and 1994 it appeared that the present press is less accessible for respondents due to unfavourable financial situation at schools and in families, nevertheless, the number of teachers reading regularly the professional and daily press increased (from 31% to 36% and from 57 to 59%, respectively). In 1994, no professional journals were read by 4% of respondents, and no dailies by 9 % of respondents.

Foreign media, particularly foreign radio and television, but also press, to a large extent, equally contribute to general education and improvement of literacy among children, young people and adults in the SR The territory of Slovakia is covered by cable distributors more and more; thanks to geographical position of Slovakia the marginal areas or even the whole area is covered by television signal from the Czech Lands, Austria and Hungary, Ukraine and Russia and Poland. By means of satellite antennas and cable distributors the German, French and other television stations are watched a great deal. Thanks to it the nationality and ethnic minorities improve their knowledge in native tongue and watch educational and artistic creation which is included in programmes of individual stations. Foreign-language programmes contribute to improvement foreign language competencies of the population of the Slovak Republic and extend their overall educational view.

The computer network Internet, used still more and more, has a special significance in this relation. The education sector is provided with the access to computer network best of all. To support the school hardware and software, various programmes have been implemented for several years by now. At present, it is for example INFOVEK project which is carried out under the auspices of the chairman of the National Council of the SR.

Internetization of education system will of course become a catalyst of the reform of our education system, so needed transit from memorizing the information and passive adoption of subject matter to active individual retrieval of information through internet and self-learning. It is important that these habits become cultivated already in basic school. It will be possible to change the entire character of teaching and teacher’s work.



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