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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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