6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET)
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There is no ELET-related strategy at national level. This is due to the low number of early school leavers in Slovakia (6.9%) compared to the EU average (12.7%).
Partly, the ELET topic is dealt within the Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Roma Inclusion 2020 as well as in the Updated Action Plans of the Slovak Republic's Strategy for Roma Integration for period 2019-2020 which states: Increase the share of pupils from Roma communities who will receive lower secondary education during compulsory schooling attendance, in the event of early termination of compulsory schooling, increase the availability of effective second chance programs.
Within the age range of 20-64, 75% of the majority population achieved the secondary education as the highest level of education. Among Roma population, this share is only 18%.
Action plans were prepared by the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Government of the Slovak Republic for Roma Communities.
The implementation of measures in the field of education is managed by MESRS, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family and other institutions.
Monitoring of the implementation of the strategy is ensured by the Office of the Plenipotentiary for Roma Communities.
Global goal for the field of Education:
reduce differences in educational attainment among Roma compared to the average of the population by improving access to education for children from marginalised Roma communities /pupils from a socially disadvantaged environment to quality education at all levels of education.
Selected planned measures:
- increasing the participation of Roma children in pre-primary education,
- support for variable early childcare programmes,
- support for a full-day education and training system,
- second chance schools (termination of education by alternative forms),
- increasing financial support to schools where there is a higher proportion of pupils from a socially disadvantaged environment - in particular support for pedagogues and pedagogical assistants,
- to promote the smooth transition of pupils to secondary education,
- providing scholarships,
- education in the Romani language,
- qualified and sensitive diagnostics of Roma pupils atc.
Slovakia is one of 17 European countries in which the ELET in the population aged 18 to 24 is below 10%. The fulfillment of the EU 2020 strategic goal seems to be under control. However, the upward trend in 2009-2017 is worrying. Although there was a slight decline in 2018, according to forecasts, Slovakia may not reach the target in the end. The problem of early school leaving affects some regions more and some less. This is a phenomenon linked to poverty and social exclusion. The highest incidence of such cases can be expected where there is the highest rate of poverty and unemployment. Therefore, the worst situation is in the Košice, Prešov and Banská Bystrica regions, where the largest number of Roma live. As confirmed by the statements of the respondents in the interviews within the study It makes sense, the problem of ELET is largely related to Roma pupils from excluded Roma localities.
According to the study It makes sense, the most effective strategy and prevention of ELET is the opportunity to start the educational process on the same starting line as one’s peers. An important step is the creation of accessible and high-quality early childhood education and care programs. It has been shown that children's participation in these programs increases their chances of school success and increases the likelihood of graduating from high school. Unfortunately, this prevention is not effective enough in Slovakia. Proof of this is the absence of early care programs for children under 3 years, which come from socially excluded localities. The training of these children in kindergartens is also alarmingly low. In the school year 2017/2018, only 31.7% of Roma children aged 3 - 5, living in socially excluded localities attended kindergartens.
No measures are created specifically aimed at the issues related to ELET.
There are no specific measures in Slovakia to address ELET issues through non-formal education and informal learning and quality youth work.
There is no cross-sectoral cooperation in the respective field in Slovakia.