6.1 General context
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Young people in Slovakia regularly express their dissatisfaction with the quality of education and training. These shortages were identified in the framework of the Structured Dialogue with Youth in 2016:
- the methodology and way of functioning of the education system do not correspond to the current time and needs of young people,
- there is no support for the development of key skills such as critical thinking and active commitment to their surroundings and community,
- the education system does not provide enough practical skills as for example financial literacy, presentation skills and similar,
- foreign mobility is only opened for "privileged" students.
The problem of early drop-out in education and training in Slovakia is present mainly among children and young people from marginalized Roma communities. As many as 18% of Roma finish the compulsory education period without obtaining lower secondary education, e.g. without proper completion of elementary school. About a tenth of the population of the 16-26 year-old Roma is going to end their education pathway early, without diploma. According to the study It makes sense, 59% of young Roma students leaved education system before the age 16.
Foreign mobility of young people is mainly supported through the EU Erasmus + program.
Since March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Slovak Republic had to adapt to the distance learning. According to the results of the survey on the state of distance learning in school year 2019/2020 conducted by MESRS (the Institute of Education Policy), the schools started the transition to distance learning most often within one week and were generally able to provide at least a partial replacement for regular teaching for most of their students - for example, it was estimated that almost 565,000 students had access to distance learning (81.5% of the pupil population). According to recalculations based on principal estimates and the estimates of class teachers 52,000 primary and secondary school students were not involved in distance learning.
According to the latest EU Youth Dialogue (2019-2020), 44% of young people does not agree with the statement that all young people have the same opportunities for developing their skills and gaining the experience they need to enter the labour market. 75% of young respondents consider access to quality education as one of the important elements for quality of life in the rural areas.
Compulsory school attendance in Slovakia is ten years long, starting at the age of 6 and lasting up to end of the school year in which the pupil reaches the age of 16 (the "Educational Act").
Information on formal education levels in Slovakia is available on the Eurydice website.
Non-formal education is defined in Slovakia only within the framework of the Act on Youth Work Support:
non-formal education in the field of youth work is the further education of young people, young leaders, youth leaders and youth workers organized by educational entities in order to acquire new knowledge, practical experience and skills necessary for working with youth, enabling its participants to complement, expand and deepen their education.
The Educational Act defines concepts related to education
Of disadvantaged groups of children and young people:
a special educational need is the requirement to modify the conditions, content, forms, methods and approaches in education and training for the child or pupil that arise from his or her health disadvantage or talent or its growth in a socially disadvantaged environment. These adjustments are necessary to develop the abilities or personality of a child or pupil and to achieve an adequate level of education and adequate inclusion in society,
pupil with special educational needs is an individual who has diagnosed special educational needs. These needs are diagnosed by institution for educational counselling and prevention.