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Slovakia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School 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

Responsible Bodies

As set down by the Education Act the monitoring and evaluation of quality of education and training are carried out by:

  • school or school facility,
  • State School Inspection, or
  • Ministry of Health for professional section of education for healthcare fields in secondary health schools,
  • National Institute of Certified Measurement in Education at the level of the national educational programmes .

According to Act on the State Administration in Education and School Self-governance, as amended (hereinafter referred to as the Act on State administration in education and school-self-governance) the schools of all kinds and types as well as educational establishments carrying out educational activity, have a duty to annually evaluate in the form of a report, particularly:

  • concept intention of development of schools or school facility designed for at least two years;
  • educational activity, its results and conditions;
  • outcomes concerning the school’s or school facility’s economic management.

The above reports are submitted by schools and school facilities for a statement to the school board as to a self-government school authority and to the founder for approval.

According to the act on the State administration in education and school self-governance the justification of objections against the content of report on educational activity, its results and conditions is assessed by the State School Inspection.


The State School Inspection

According to the act, State School Inspection fulfils the function of state control over the quality of pedagogical management, education and training, and equipment, including practical training in schools and school facilities, practical teaching centres and workplaces, and in educational institutions. It deals with complaints and petitions in this area.

State School Inspection:

  • is a state education authority,
  • performs external evaluation of schools and school facilities at the national level,
  • is an institution independent in its activities, which abides by law and generally binding regulations.


The State School Inspection is managed by the chief school inspector that is appointed and recalled by the Minister for five-year term of office.

The chief school inspector:

  • submits to the minister the plan of inspection activity for the respective school year,
  • submits to the ministry proposals for exclusion of the school or school facility from the network on revealing serious insufficiencies in the education process,
  • submits to the ministry the proposals for changes in the school network on revealing serious insufficiencies in the education process after prior discussion with the founder,
  • issues for school inspectors an authorisation for performing the school inspection,
  • submits to the founder a proposal of the headteacher withdrawal, on revealing serious defects,
  • creates conditions for cooperation of school inspectors and the founders.
  • upon finding serious deficiencies, submits a proposal for the dismissal of a headteacher to the founder (who is obliged to dismiss the headteacher),

Another task set out in the amendment is the task of the State School Inspection to delegate its deputies to the School Board for purposes of selection procedure for post of headteacher with a regular vote. The duty to summon the State School Inspection is upon the School Board.

The National Institute of Certified Measurements in Education

The National Institute of Certified Measurements in Education is responsible for preparation and methodical guidance of the course of external parts of examinations and testing of pupils in schools. According to the Education Act, for processing, evaluation and storage of the results of external measurement or testing; it determines the content of external parts of examinations or testing ordered by the ministry of education. It issues certificates on competence to execute the function of chairman of the commission for secondary school-leaving examination, chairman of the commission for secondary school-leaving examination subjects and evaluator of the results of external part of examinations or testing.

The National Institute of Certified Measurements in Education in schools and school facilities

  • provides for external part of examination and written form of internal part of secondary school-leaving examination ordered by the ministry of education,
  • sets down the requirements for professional training of educational employees for performing the function of chairman of the school commission for secondary school-leaving examination, chairman of the commission for the secondary school-leaving examination subjects,
  • provides for production, delivery and evaluation of assignments or tests for external examinations or testing for the schools and school facilities holding the external examinations or testing,
  • keeps the registry of results of external examinations or testing, registry of educational employees who are authorised to perform the function of chairman of the school commission for secondary school-leaving examination, chairman of the commission for secondary school-leaving examination subjects or evaluators, and provides it to the appropriate bodies of local state administration in education.

The National Institute of Certified Measurements in Education also fulfils the tasks for providing international measurements in Slovakia according to programmes that the Slovak Republic is involved in.


Approaches and Methods for Quality Assurance


Internal Evaluation

The internal evaluation/self-evaluation is divided according to individual levels of the education system.

By entry into force of the Decree on Structure and Content of Reports on Educational Activity, its Results and Conditions of Schools and school Facilities, the process of self-evaluation of school has begun.

The schools of all kinds and types as well as school facilities divided according to the new Education Act performing educational and instructional activities have the duty to annually submit information in the form of reports, particularly on:

  • children and pupils, including those with special education needs,
  • results of evaluation and marking of pupils according to the level of education provided,
  • study fields and trades and their concentrations,
  • educational employees and fulfilment of qualification requirements of the teaching staff in school,
  • in-service teacher training,
  • activities and presentation of the school to the public,
  • projects, in which the school is involved,
  • results of inspection activity carried out by the State School Inspection in school,
  • spatial and material-technical conditions of the school,
  • financial and material provision of educational activities,
  • aims set by the school in its concept intention of the school development for the respective year and evaluation of its fulfilment,
  • the areas in which the school achieves good results and the areas in which the school fails and the level of its education, including the proposal of measures, must be improved,
  • results on successfulness of the school at admission of its graduates to further study,
  • psycho-hygienic conditions,
  • leisure-time activities,
  • cooperation of school and parents, children, pupils and other institutions participating in education.

The reports are made:

  • by head teachers and school facility heads
  • in cooperation with other head educational employees and teaching staff
  • significant help is provided by methodical associations and curricular review groups, which are founded as head teacher's advisory bodies.

The head teacher is obliged to publish the results of external evaluation performed by the State school inspection in the report on the educational activities for the respective school year. The head teacher is obliged to publish the report by the 31st December and provide the report to the school board and the founder on request.

School board as a state administration authority is entitled to comment on the facts described in the evaluation report.

The State School Inspection will assess the legitimacy of objections to the report’s content.

In addition to preparation of reports on educational activity, its results and conditions, the internal evaluation is also carried out:

  • Methodical associations at the first level of primary schools and kindergartens,
  • Curricular review groups at the second level of primary and secondary schools.

In their meetings, the methodical association and curricular review group, as head teachers’ advisory bodies, regularly

  • assess the educational process,
  • assess achieved educational results of pupils,
  • unify criteria for evaluation of pupils’ performance in each subject and grade.
  • analyse achieved results of pupils (review tests, knowledge tests) and compare them with the results of external measurements (nationwide testing of 9th grade primary school pupils , secondary school leaving examination measurement, PISA, PIRLS...,)
  • takes measures to remedy shortcomings and increase quality of the educational process.

Pedagogical council, as the head teacher’s counselling body

  • discusses work schedule,
  • assesses its fulfilment, results of educational and training activity for the period assessed and for the whole school year.
  • discusses educational measures imposed by the head teacher
  • discusses theoretical and practical issues concerning teaching and education with an emphasis the school's specific needs.

At the end of the assessment period (twice a year) the headteacher approves the assessment and marking of the educational results and behaviour of pupils.
Self-evaluation of a school or a school facility can be carried out by the institutions on a voluntary basis by means of available self-evaluation methods and tools, ISO, CAF, etc.; thus, the quality of the educational process can be increased.

External Evaluation

The external evaluation is divided from the view of both the national and international evaluation of individual levels of the education system.


External Evaluation by the State School Inspection

Details on the organisation of school inspection, its task fulfilment, and the manner and procedures of the inspection performance are defined by the Decree of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic no. 137/2005 of Law Code on School Inspection.

School inspection is performed according to the inspection activity plan for the respective school year approved by the Chief school inspector or upon request.
The main tasks are constituted by complex (evaluative) inspections, for which the State School Inspection developed uniform evaluation criteria for each type of school published on its website.

Evaluation areas:

  • pedagogical management,
  • education and training conditions (personal, spatial and material-technical),
  • educational process (teaching and learning).

Selection of schools for the respective school years is performed according to the inspection activity plan; inspection teams are created from school inspectors according to the type and size of schools.

State school inspection has:

  • a uniform methodology of inspection work,
  • defined areas, criteria and evaluation indicators,
  • evaluation tools.

The methodologies (procedures) take into account the changes in education and incorporate several elements, which include methodologies of inspectorates – of states associated in The Standing International Conference of Inspectorates (SICI) a member of which is also SSI. The goal of the new methodology, which is innovated in relation to the changes in legal regulations, is to increase the objectivity and professionalism of carrying out school inspection and to support the process of schools’ self-evaluation.

School inspectors perform inspection by methods, forms and means so that enable them to acquire relevant information.

Inspections are performed mostly by:

  • observation,
  • analysis and synthesis, comparison,
  • survey, questionnaire, opinion poll
  • interview,
  • analysis of pedagogical documentation and results of pupils,
  • consultation, inspection of classes, inspection tests,
  • inspection of the premises,
  • technical means,
  • participation in the management staff meetings, meetings of advisory bodies of the headteacher or school facility head, participation in competitions and exhibitions of pupils’ creativity.

In schools and school facilities the school inspection checks up:

  • adherence to generally binding rules and internal rules and decisions concerning education and training,
  • process of education and training and its results,
  • professionalism in teaching,
  • spatial and material-technical conditions of educational process, as well as their efficient and purposeful usage,
  • provision of further education of teaching staff,
  • fulfilment of qualification preconditions of headteachers of schools and school facilities.
  • In connection with the Education Act, other tasks of State school inspection were defined in 2008:
  • to check the agreement between the school educational programme and the national educational programme, and the aims and principles of education and training,
  • to check the agreement of educational programme and the aims and principles of education and training,
  • to check the level of quality of education and training at individual learning,
  • to monitor and evaluate the quality of education and training.

According to the seriousness of the shortcomings found, the school inspection implements the following measures:

  • recommendation
  • reminder
  • taking measures on the part of the controlled entity
  • taking measures
  • setting commission examination at finding shortcomings at assessment
  • setting sanctions according to law.
  • State school inspection performs the following types of inspection:
  • complex (evaluative) -  performed once in five years,
  • thematic and informative – performed as necessary,
  • follow-up inspection – performed in schools which were required to take measures to remedy the previously found shortcomings. The inspector checks whether the measures imposed were implemented by the head teacher.

School inspection findings and evaluation are recorded in the form of a report on school inspection results, which is composed and discussed by school inspectors with the head teacher.

The conclusion of the report defines:

  • positive aspects of the school
  • negative aspects of the school
  • measures  to remedy the found shortcomings – if found by inspectors – which lead to the improvement of school's quality.

The findings and information from all tasks and inspections performed for each type of school are processed cumulatively for the Slovak Republic in the form of a report and they are

  • published on State School Inspection website,
  • provided to the Ministry of Education and to the entities involved in education,
  • presented in the meetings of head teachers and school founders, conferences, events connected with education and training,
  • published in print media.

The State School Inspection will prepare a report for the Slovak Republic based on the conclusions of all inspection tasks in the respective school year, which will be submitted by the chief school inspector to the minister of education every year: The report on the state and standard of education and training in schools and school facilities in the Slovak Republic in the respective school year based on the  inspection findings and other  findings.

The report will contain:

  • findings from the performed inspections and complaint investigations,
  • recommendations for each type of school and school facility,
  • suggestions and recommendations of the State School Inspection to the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, its directly managed organisations, head teachers and founders of schools and school facilities, higher education institutions.

The report serves as a source of information on the current state for the respective school year for:

  • schools and school facilities,
  • state administration authorities,
  • founders,
  • school self-governing authorities,
  • educational institutions,
  • higher education institutions,
  • departmental research institutions,
  • parents,
  • non-governmental organisations whose activity is related to education and training of children and youth.

School inspection is performed by State school inspection by means of school inspectors. School inspection of subjects such as religion and religious education are performed by school inspectors and persons authorized by the relevant church or religious society according to their internal regulations.

To become a school inspector one must

  • satisfy higher education qualification prerequisites for the respective kind, type and level of school or school facility,
  • have eight-year teaching experience at school or school facility,
  • complete  qualification examination I or its substitute, or
  • have at least three years’ experience in managerial position in education sector or  in position of methodologist or that of school inspector, or, qualification examination II or its substitute.

A school inspector must be capable to use the Slovak language in official contact, to master the language of the respective national minority in connection with his working activity, and fulfil personality and moral prerequisites and qualifications for professional inspection work

External Evaluation by the National Institute of Certified Measurements in Education

National Institute of Certified Measurements in Education performs external evaluation in:

  • primary schools – in the 9th grade
  • in secondary schools – final examination, school-leaving examination

Primary schools

External testing – nationwide testing of  9th grade primary school pupils is carried out according to the educational standards of the state educational programme and it monitors its content and performance components.

The external testing of pupils of primary school  involves all primary school pupils of the respective year, including those with special education needs (with specially adjusted conditions for conducting the external testing), except for pupils educated according to educational programmes for pupils with mental deficiency.

In primary schools, it takes place

  • prior to advancing to the upper stage of education (at the end of the 9th grade),
  • in the form of a written test to verify pupils' knowledge in subjects of the national/native tongue and Mathematics
  • annually, on the same day in all primary schools with the respective grade,
  • on the date set by the Ministry of Education,

The responsibility for the organisation of primary school pupils’ external testing falls upon the headteacher.

Secondary school

The goal of the final examination is to verify:

  • pupils’ skills and knowledge in the subject matter determined by the curricula and educational standards,
  • how the pupils are prepared to employ the achieved competencies in their occupation and professional activities they have been trained for
  • at the secondary school leaving exam,  how pupil's are prepared to used the achieved competencies in further studies.

The Decree on completing the study in secondary schools defines:

  • the list of secondary school leaving examination subjects in which external part is held (English language, French language, Hungarian language and literature, mathematic, German language, Russian language, Slovak language and literature, Slovak language and Slovak literature, Spanish language, Italian language, Ukrainian language  and literature),
  • Instructions on completing the external part,
  • Details of secondary school leaving examination assessment and marking.

External part of the secondary school leaving examination

  • is comprised of a written test, which is set and assessed by the National Institute of Certified Measurements in Education,
  • is held at the same time throughout the Slovak Republic,

The supervision at completing the external part of the examination and error correction is carried out by a pedagogical employee who is not an employee of the school holding the external part of the secondary school leaving examination.

The State School Inspection monitors the course of the nationwide testing of primary school 9 grade pupils and the performance of the external and internal part of the school leaving exam in the secondary school.

In November 2013, the National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements conducted sampled testing of the 5th grade primary school pupils.
In November 2014, a follow-up testing was performed, which ran in two forms: paper and electronic. The aim of the testing was to check the testing tools that are being prepared for Testovanie 5 as well the organisational provision of the project. Pupils were tested in Mathematics, Slovak language and literature, Hungarian language and literature.

In 2013, the National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements launched a national project Improvement of Educational Quality at Primary and Secondary Schools Using Electronic Testing, which focuses on electronic testing in areas like Language and Communication, Man and Nature, Man and Society, Mathematics and Information Processing. The project will finish in November 2015.

External Evaluation at International Level

The National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements, charged with the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic conducts several important international measuring of results and of educational context, which meet the criteria of the comparative pedagogical research. The aim of the international measuring is not to evaluate performance of individual pupils or schools, but to observe results of the educational systems of participating countries and their changes over time, to reveal not only their strong sides, but weak sides too, and to search for possibilities for improvement. The results are published at Www.nucem.sk.

  •   PISA

In the Slovak Republic, the schools carry out measurements aimed at international comparisons of knowledge and skills of pupils aged 15 years. The Slovak Republic has been involved in the OECD PISA study since its 2nd cycle in 2003.  The last PISA testing, which monitors the pupils’ performances in the field of reading, mathematics and natural science literacy with the main emphasis on reading literacy, has been carried out in 2011. In 2012, the results have been publicised in the form of National Report.

In April 2012, a pivotal testing of international analysis PISA 2012 was conducted. The main subject of this cycle of the analysis was mathematical literacy, and for the first time in history of PISA testing financial literacy of 15-year old pupils was tested. The results of PISA 2012 financial literacy testing were officially published in July 2014. The results of PISA 2012 study in the area of Problem Solving were officially published in April.

Pilot testing of PISA 2015 took place in April 2015.

  • TIMSS

Pilot testing of TIMSS 2015 took place in March 2015.

  • TALIS

In June 2014, the results of TALIS 2013 were officially published.

  • ICILS

In November 2014, the results of the first cycle of the International computer and information literacy study - ICILS 2013 - were officially published.


Legislative References

Act No. 245/2008 on education and training (Education Law) and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Act of the National Council of the SR).
Decree No. 137/2005 on school inspection (Decree of the Ministry of Education 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. 318/2008 on completing the study in secondary schools as amended by subsequent provision (Decree of the Ministry of Education of the SR).
Decree No. 9/2006 on structure and content of reports on educational activity, its results and conditions of schools and school facilities (Decree of the Ministry of Education of the SR).