6.7 Skills for innovation
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In December 2017, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted Slovenia’s Development Strategy 2030 (Strategija razvoja Slovenije 2030). This document defined the vision and objectives of Slovenia’s development through 2030. The document lists 12 development goals, among which the 2nd one refers to “knowledge and skills for quality life and work”. The goal wants to promote and enable obtaining knowledge through quality and accessibility of offers and wants to target the broadest population of different age groups, particularly concerning disadvantaged groups.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Office for Development and Quality of Education (Urad za razvoj in kakovost izobraževanja) is responsible for the development of education. Among other things, office performs various developmental tasks and develops a series of important areas of education for the present and future. In particular, the activities are focused on the following areas:
- Innovative learning environments
- ICT in education
- Entrepreneurship in education
- Human rights and education for democracy
- Prevention of violence
- Language training
- Cultural-art education
- Renovation of gymnasium programmes
- Sustainable Development
- Photocopying and respect for copyright in school
- Leadership in education
- Development of counseling in the field of adult education
- Gifted in education
- Equal opportunities
Entrepreneurship education (Podjetništvo) is explicitly recognized as a cross-curricular objective and as part of other compulsory and optional subjects. For ISCED 3, an update of the teaching subject curricula was launched in 2007. The update included the adoption of guidelines and the inclusion of a competence approach. Implementation started in 2008/09. For ISCED 3, entrepreneurship education is also part of compulsory subjects (Geography, IT and Social Sciences) and the optional subject of economics. In schools with a branch of economics, this subject is compulsory. In schools with a studies in technical engineering, the separate subject if entrepreneurship is compulsory. For ISCED 1-3, entrepreneurship is in one of the eight key competencies in curricular documents. Curricula for different subjects (such as social studies, natural science, technology, home economics) include some learning outcomes linked to developing entrepreneurial skills and attitudes. These include those in areas linked to the economy, world of work, economic rights and sustainable development. Specific learning outcomes for entrepreneurship education are included in the learning outcomes of the subjects in which it is embedded. Example for ISCED 3:
- students gain the basic skills of entrepreneurial behavior (planning, organizing, analyzing, communicating, giving directions, managing tasks, evaluation, etc.).
- students develop the ability to work in the group, to take responsibility, to evaluate and take risks and initiatives.
- students proactively plan the process of solving the chosen problem, search the information and evaluate the quality of the proposed solutions.
- students explain the changing field of work, employment and economy in modern societies and assess its consequences for the society, the life of individuals.
- students investigate the relationship of work and leisure for different social groups and the importance of social organizations in modern societies.
Several continuing professional development courses have been developed by the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training (CPI) and the SPIRIT Slovenia Business Development Agency within projects, and by the Junior Achievement Slovenia for teachers from primary to secondary education, including school-based IVET. The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training provides some materials and guidelines (smernice), which were developed within the scope of different projects and can help teachers of entrepreneurship education at upper secondary level (general and school-based IVET). Slovenia is still involved in projects aimed at developing teaching methods and materials.
Governmental fostering of innovation and entrepreneurship is implemented through programmes of the SPIRIT Slovenia Business Development Agency, which are part of the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport (Ministrstvo za gospodarstvo, turizem in šport). This public agency organizes programmes and workshops for young people (aged 15–29) under the trademark ‘It’s “happening” to youth’ (Mladim se dogaja) such as:
- Workshops in the field of promotion of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship (Krožki s področja spodbujanja ustvarjalnosti, inovativnosti in podjetnosti),
- Cooperation with young people from Basic and Upper Secondary Schools (Sodelovanje mladih z osnovnih in srednjih šol),
- National competition POPRI for the best business model (3 categories – basic school, secondary school, students) – organised in cooperation with Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport, Slovenian Enterprise Fund and Primorska Technology Park), etc.
The agency also hosts professional development trainings for educators and teachers (Usposabljanje pedagogov).
In the financial plan of the public agency, a proposed budget of 300,000 euros is proposed for stimulating young people.