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Slovakia:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

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Overview Slovakia

Contents

Slovakia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Slovakia:Historical Development

Slovakia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Slovakia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Slovakia:Political and Economic Situation

Slovakia:Organisation and Governance

Slovakia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Slovakia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Slovakia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Slovakia:Organisation of Private Education

Slovakia:National Qualifications Framework

Slovakia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Slovakia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Slovakia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Slovakia:Funding in Education

Slovakia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Slovakia:Higher Education Funding

Slovakia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Slovakia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Slovakia:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Slovakia:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Slovakia:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Slovakia:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Slovakia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Slovakia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Slovakia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Slovakia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Slovakia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Slovakia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovakia:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Assessment in Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Organisation of Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Assessment in Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovakia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovakia:Higher Education

Slovakia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Slovakia:First Cycle Programmes

Slovakia:Bachelor

Slovakia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Slovakia:Second Cycle Programmes

Slovakia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Slovakia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Slovakia:Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Slovakia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Slovakia:Main Providers

Slovakia:Main Types of Provision

Slovakia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Slovakia:Teachers and Education Staff

Slovakia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Slovakia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Slovakia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Slovakia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Management and Other Education Staff

Slovakia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Slovakia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Slovakia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Slovakia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Quality Assurance

Slovakia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Slovakia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Educational Support and Guidance

Slovakia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Slovakia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Slovakia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Slovakia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Slovakia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Slovakia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Mobility in Higher Education

Slovakia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Slovakia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Slovakia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Slovakia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Slovakia:National Reforms in School Education

Slovakia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Slovakia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Slovakia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Slovakia:European Perspective

Slovakia:Legislation

Slovakia:Institutions

Slovakia:Glossary

Gymnasia, vocational secondary schools and conservatories provide education and training in the study fields and trades, which are taxatively introduced in the system of the study fields and trades (shown in Annex to the Decree of ME SR No. 282/2009 of Law Code on secondary schools as amended by subsequent provisions).


Types of Institution

The Decree of ME SR No. 282/2009 of Law Code on secondary schools as amended by the latest amendment (No. 113/2012) regulates details on types of vocational secondary schools, types of conservatories, organisation of education in them, the range, conditions, length and process of the study, and sets the system of the fields of study for vocational secondary schools, conservatories and gymnasia and list of trades and disciplines.


Gymnasium

Gymnasium is general internally differentiated secondary school which educates students in a four-, five- or an 8- year educational programme and provides upper  secondary general education. Upper secondary general education is achieved by successful completion of the last year of minimum  four-year and  maximum  eight-year  educational programme in the field of study in gymnasium which is completed by a school leaving examination. Educational programmes of gymnasium are focused especially on preparation for study at higher education institutions, they may also prepare for execution of certain activities at public administration, culture, and sports.

In addition to the four-year gymnasium of diverse concentrations there are also bilingual gymnasiums with the length of study 5 years. At present, there are Slovak-English, Slovak-German, Slovak-French, Slovak-Italian and Slovak-Spanish schools  

The gymnasium with eight-year study that are finished after completing Grade 5 of primary school. There are also special gymnasia designed for exceptionally gifted pupils.


Geographical Accessibility

The geographical distribution of secondary schools is reflected by their network, which is, in the spirit of the Act No. 596/2003 of the Law Code on state administration in education and self-government in education and on the change and supplements to some laws, defined by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. At its creation and determination several aspects are considered, e.g., the shortest possible distance of the gymnasium from the pupil’s place of residence. In accordance with article 15 section 1 of the Act on State Administration in Education and School Self-government, the network is a list of schools, school facilities, practical training centres and practical training workplaces which are authorized to provide education and training in the territory of the Slovak Republic. As of 1st January 2013, the network also includes detached workplaces. Detached workplaces are established on premises other than those of schools and school facilities.


Admission Requirements and Choice of School

In compliance with the Education Act No. 245/2008 of the Law Code on education and training, pupils and other applicants have the right to study at secondary schools according to their abilities, knowledge, interests and physical fitness. The admission to secondary schools is conditional upon successful completion of primary school and it is approved by the headteacher.

The access to an eight-year gymnasium, eight-year sports gymnasium and a dance conservatory, is also given for those who successfully completed Grade 5 of primary school.  The secondary school headteacher shall define, after having consulted it with the pedagogical board of the school, the form, content and volume of the entrance examination according to educational programme of primary school as well as other conditions of the admission procedure. These are promulgated well in advance so that the applicants for study at gymnasium can become familiar with them.

At the decision-making on admission the headteacher of the secondary school takes account of the fact that the applicant is a successful participant of the Subject Olympiad or a Winner of the competition which is related to field of study he/she has applied for. In the event the subject of verification are the special skills or talent, the results contained in the national testing of pupils of Grade 9 of primary school are taken into account.

Primary school pupils can submit at the same time two applications for the study at secondary schools. In case they are interested in the school which requires the verification of special skills and talent, they can submit another application. The applicant with decreased working ability, shall append a statement of the appropriate medical judgment on his/her ability to pursue the field of study chosen.

The admission of applicant to secondary school is upon the headteacher, based on results of the admission procedure. For preparation, course and processing the results of the entrance examinations and for assessment of the applicant’s preconditions for study the headteacher establishes a selection committee as an advisory body. The list of applicants with the results of the admission procedure is publicised on a school poster within three days from completing the examinations. The list contains the names of applicants according to the total number of credits achieved in exams and information if he/she passed or failed.

According to the last amendment to Act no.245/2008 of Law Code, the possibility of admission of an applicant to study of a study field without taking admission exam changed. Only a student that achieved at least 90% success rate in every subject in the national Testing 9 of pupils of grade 9 of primary schools can be admitted to the study of a study field at vocational secondary school without taking admission exam.

The applicant who was admitted to the study will receive a notification from the secondary school concerning the date, place and the way of registration together with the decision on admission. The secondary school shall perform the registration of the admitted applicants who were delivered the decision on admission to the secondary school on the basis of a registration card issued by the appropriate primary school. The primary school shall issue only one registration card for the applicant, which is transferable. The registration card shall remain will the secondary school that the applicant shall enroll in. If the applicant is successful also at other secondary school and shall prefer the study at this secondary school, he/she shall cancel the registration and shall hand over the registration card to the secondary school he/she shall enroll in. The results for entry to the first year of secondary schools are valid only in the school year for which he took the examinations.

The entrance examination consists of the verification of knowledge on profile subjects or the evaluation of abilities, skills and capabilities necessary for mastering a chosen study field. Thus to an eight-year gymnasia or eight-year sports  gymnasia pupils are admitted after the verification of their special abilities for this study and, to eight-year sports  gymnasia, also their health fitness. Entrance exams may consist of maximum of three profile subjects. The profile subjects of entrance exams for secondary schools with minority teaching language are accompanied by the examination of the teaching language of the secondary school.

The headteacher of a secondary school preferably admits an applicant for study who has a changed working ability to those applicants who equally meet the admission conditions.

Foreigners can also be admitted to study at a secondary school if they show required knowledge of the teaching language.

The profiling subjects for entrance examinations are determined by the ministry of education on the basis of proposals by the headteacher of secondary school. The headteachers set up the form of entrance examination, its content and extent, as well as other conditions for admission.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils/Students

Teaching at secondary schools is organised in classes according to age. The classes are coeducational. There is not a strict division of pupils according to their abilities. In each grade there are usually pupils of the same age. Individual subjects are taught by teachers having appropriate qualifications.

Study at all secondary schools is to a greater extent organized as full-time study in classes with maximum of 30 pupils, which can be extended to 33 pupils in cases defined by law. Part-time form of study can be organized as evening or distance learning. Distance learning is not used yet. Full-time study can be combined with part-time study and education according to individual educational programme or individual learning plan is also allowed.

At secondary schools there is possible to divide classes in teaching compulsory and optional subjects into two and more groups and for teaching of non- compulsory subjects it is possible to create groups of pupils from different grades.

It is possible  grouping  pupils of different classes of the same grade for teaching Religious /Ethics education. If the number of pupils in one group for teaching of Religious education or Ethics education  decreases  under 12, it is possible  grouping  pupils from different grades as well.


Organisation of the School Year

Details on  organisation of the school year are shown in the Decree of Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the SR No. 518/2010 of Law Code on details of organisation of the school year in primary schools, secondary schools and basic schools of art, practical schools, vocational schools and in language schools.  In the SR, the school year starts on 1st September and ends on 31st August of the next year. It is divided into the period of school classes and the period of school holidays. The period of operation of school classes starts on 2nd September and ends on 30th June of the next calendar year. The period is structured into the first term and the second term. The first term starts on 1st September and ends on 31st January of the next calendar year. The second term starts on 1st February and ends on 30th June of the current calendar year. At schools where the vocational training takes place during the summer holidays (some secondary schools), the second term ends earlier than 30th June and its date is set by headteacher of the school.

The period of school holidays consists of autumn holidays, Christmas, mid-year holidays, spring, Easter and summer holidays.

Autumn holidays last three days. They are annually set by the ministry of education, usually for the end of October. Christmas holidays last from 23rd December to 8th January of the following calendar year. Mid-year holidays take one day following after the end of the first term. Spring holidays take one week.  Their beginning is set by the ministry of education usually in the period from the second half of February until the first half of March. Easter holidays last four days. Summer holidays last since the end of the school in the second half of the year until the beginning of the school teaching in the new school year.

The detailed information on organisation of the school year is annually publicised in Pedagogical and Organisation Guide, which is distributed to all schools and available on website of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the SR. Starting with 2011, the ministry of education has publicised this information for three successive years in advance.


Organisation of the School Day and Week

The timetable determination depends mainly on the teaching plan. Teaching plans are drafted for orientation, giving headteachers and teachers of secondary schools space for the internal and external differentiation of pupils. The structure and proportionality of teaching subjects in the teaching plan have to correspond with the function and type of school. For secondary schools – gymnasia and vocational secondary schools, there exist several variants of teaching plans.

The timetable at secondary schools is based on the weekly number of hours for individual subjects and it is drafted by the headteacher. In the drafting of a school timetable, but mainly of a daily timetable, health, pedagogical, psychological and psycho-hygienic principles are respected. The lesson lasts 45 minutes, lesson of vocational training and practical training takes 60 minutes. As a rule, after the third period there is the main break lasting 20 minutes.

Between other lessons are 10 minutes breaks. If lessons of the same class continue in afternoon hours, the break between morning and afternoon lessons is at least 30 minutes. Lessons alternate according to their demand in such a way so that the pupil has enough time for relaxation.

At schools pupils are taught five days a week. The teaching starts usually at 8:00am, the soonest at 7:00am. Teaching of pupils younger than 18 years is finished usually before 6:00pm, at latest by 8:00pm. Pupils’ lessons per one day last at most 8 teaching hours. Vocational training of pupil of Grades 1 and 2 in one day lasts at most 6 teaching hours. Vocational training of pupil of Grades 3 and 5 in one day lasts at most 7 teaching hours.

Headteacher of secondary school can release the pupil from compulsory subjects or physical activities on the basis of medical statement.


Legislative reference

Act No. 245/2008 on education and training (Education Act) and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Act of the National Council of the SR).
Act No. 596/2003 on state administration in education and school self-government and on change and supplements of some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Act of the National Council of the SR).
Decree No 231/2009  on details of organisation of the school year at primary schools, secondary schools, basic  schools of art, practical schools,secondary vocational schools and language schools as amended by subsequent provisions (Decree of the Ministry of Education of the SR).