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Slovakia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream 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

Definition of the Target Groups

Education and training of children, pupils and students with special education needs are realized either by mainstream schools or by schools for pupils with special education needs.

The highest guarantee of special education is the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, which guarantees the general right for education for all Slovak citizens in Article No. 42; and in the Article 38, Section 2 it guarantees to health disabilited persons special assistance in preparation for their profession.

The Act No. 245/2008 of the Law Code on Education and Training (the Education Act) and amending certain acts defines:

  • child/pupil with special education needs,
  • child/pupil with health disability,
  • child/pupil sick or with weakened health,
  • child/pupil with developmental disorders,
  • child/pupil with behavioural disorders
  • gifted child/pupil.

The Act guarantees that pupils with special education needs are provided with education corresponding to their individual abilities by means of special forms and methods appropriate to their impairment.    

To pupils with sensory impairment such as deafness or visual impairments are guaranteed the right to education in their language by means of sign language or Braille.

The Act No. 245/2008  on Education and Training (the Education Act ) enables admission of pupils with special education needs into mainstream primary schools.

The integration into the system of special education is aimed at children and pupils in which special medical, psychological and educational testing showed such defects in mental, psycho-social and physical development for which they cannot be successfully educated in mainstream  schools and facilities despite using compensation-rehabilitation aids.

The proposal of admission to the system of special education and education within school integration is commented on by experts from the sectors of health and education; in some cases,  the sector of social affairs and family can be involved as well.

In case of child with health disorders, the starting point should rest in the medical diagnosis that is carried out in the sector of the Ministry of Health. Within the framework of screening examination − by 36th month of the child’s age at the latest − the physician identifies  potential defects in various areas of the health state, and he sets an indicative diagnosis with recommendation for further professional medical examinations.

The medical diagnosis is usually followed by  physician’s recommendation for further examinations of the child in counselling facilities of the education sector.  The medical diagnosis is supplemented by psychological and special education examination.

If a defect in the development of mental, somatic or perceptual functions appears due to which the child cannot be successfully educated by methods that are used for his/her other peers, another diagnosis is carried out in  special-educational counselling centres. Subsequently, concrete special-educational interventions are also defined in these facilities.

Upon reaching the age of three years, the child is recommended one of the forms education either in a special or mainstream kindergarten in the form of individual integration.

Special kindergartens integrate children according to the type of their disability. In mainstream kindergartens, handicapped children may be educated in special classes or they can be individually integrated among their peers  – inclusive education.

In counselling facilities of the education sector, i.e. in special-educational counselling centres', and in case of developmental disorders, in centres of pedagogical-psychological counselling and prevention, special educational diagnosis is determined over a longer period by means of special educational diagnostic and psychological methods which supplement and make the previous examinations more precise. The team of experts composed of  a physician, psychologist, social worker, and special pedagogue, rehabilitation worker and technician, or other specialists give complex evaluation of the child – pupil with health disadvantages.

Finally, a special pedagogue determines the final special-educational diagnosis, namely, after assessment of all examinations. At the same time, special education needs are defined by stating educational prognosis. The complex evaluation given like this is a part of the "Proposal for admission of the child, pupil with special education needs to the special school, special kindergarten, primary school and to secondary school".

Within the framework of special educational diagnosis the children with health disadvantage are differentiated as follows:

  • child with mental handicap(brain injury or injury of its functions)
  • child with impaired communication ability (at phonetic-phonologic, syntactical, morphological, lexical or pragmatic level)
  • child with hearing impairments (remarkable defects of hearing and speech)
  • child with  visual impairments  (inborn or acquired impairment of sight)
  • deaf and blind child
  • child with physical disability
  • child with multiple disabilities  (combination of sensory impairments mental  handicap)
  • child with autism or other pervasive developmental disorder
  • child with learning difficulties dyslexia or discalculia with hyperactivity disorder (ADD, ADHD)
  • child sick and physically weakened
  • maladjusted child – with problems in the field of social adaptability

The child with health disadvantage  with special-educational diagnosis is recommended to be integrated into the special-educational care in the system of counselling and into the educational process as soon as possible − before starting the compulsory school attendance.

Children with special education needs are assigned to classes within mainstream schools or to  separate classes for children with special education needs. If a class for children with special educational needs is established in a mainstream school, a special directive is followed when assigning pupils, determining the number of pupils, and organizing educational and training activity. Due to more difficult organization of the lessons and preparation of required documentation, a maximum of three pupils with health disabilities can be integrated into one class with other pupils. Per every pupil with health disability the number of pupils in the class decreases by two. A specialized class may be established with the founder’s consent for students who require compensatory programme in terms of education and training and for pupils who were educated at the school with the educational programme for pupils with health disabilities. Such class is established for at least four but not more than eight pupils from one or more grades. If the number of pupils drops below four, the class is abolished. The headteacher places pupils in such class based on the proposal from the class teacher, educational counsellor, after obtaining the opinion of the educational counselling and prevention facility and after obtaining the informed consent of the pupil’s legal guardian. Pupils are included in special class only for necessary time.


Education and training of gifted children

Education and training of gifted children or pupils is realised according to the Education Act at schools with the orientation at development of:  

  1. gifted children and pupils: general gift and specific gift,
  2. artistic talent of children or pupils,
  3. sport talent of children or pupils.

Under gift of children and pupils we understand above average developed cognitive skills in one or more intellectual areas. Pupils with general gift are pupils with special education needs on the basis of diagnosis determined  by the facility of educational prevention and counselling. The artistic talent of children or pupils is evident in some of areas mainly in fine arts, literature and drama, and dance. Sport talent of children or pupils is evident in some of the areas of  individual or collective sports.

Education and training of gifted children or gifted pupils is realised via educational programme fostering particular talent.  Schools create for gifted children conditions for development of particular childrens’ or pupils’ talent by means of applying specific educational methods and organisational forms of education.
It is possible  to establish the class for development of pupils’ talent in mainstream schools with approval of their founder. The condition for creation of the class with extended schooling of particular subjects is professionally qualified staff, technical and material equipment of educational process. The headteacher assigns pupils into the class with extended schooling of particular subjects or groups of subjects based on testing of special knowledge and skills and talent if such testing is required. The pupils are integrated into this class on the basis of informed consent of their guardians. Classes with extended schooling can be divided into 2 groups, in case there are more than 23 pupils.


Specific Support Measures

While providing education and training of integrated children and pupils with disability, it is necessary to collaborate with special-pedagogical counselling centres, special school pedagogues, and school psychologists in such way that education, training, counselling, and potential rehabilitation make the maximum development of childrens’ abilities and skills possible.

The facilities of special-pedagogical counselling deal with children and young people with special education needs. Their aim is to provide intervention and professional support to achieve optimum development of their personality for the benefit of their social and work involvement in the society. The counselling provides for diagnostic, psychotherapeutic, educational, reeducative, rehabilitation, corrective and other services, and closely specialized activities to children and young people in the form of ambulant care, short-term training stays and visits in the environment where the child lives. The facilities also provide counselling activity, consultation activity and methodical assistance to families, guardians, pedagogical workers and other stakeholders.

A part of documentation of a pupil with special education needs (health disorders and other health disadvantage) in school integration consists of an individual educational programme of the pupil which is worked out. If necessary, teachers of the pupil with special education needs cooperate with school special pedagogue or facility of special educational counselling.

Individual educational programme contains basic information on the pupil, on the specificities of influence of its diagnosis and prognostication on educational process, on requirements for adjustment of the classroom environment, educational procedures, organization of educational process, curricula, provision of compensation aids, special aids, and personal assistance. The recommended structure of an individual educational programme:

  • The present health state, the type and degree of the disability, educational level of the pupil and characteristics of personality preconditions for learning.
  • Curricula,  or their modification to be followed when educating and training the pupil. Recommended increase of time load for some subjects, integration of some special subjects into teaching to compensate for the disability, for example, subjects like development of communication skills, individual tyflopedic care, etc.
  • Special teaching and technical aids, modification of teaching materials to be provided for education and training of the pupil.
  • Characteristics and description of special educational service.
  • Long-term and short-term goals of educational process, method of assessment and marking  of pupil´s achievements.
  • Continuous evaluation of individual educational plans of individual subjects which were recommended for the pupil.


Legislation

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).