Education in Slovakia

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The Education in Slovakia consists of a free education system based on 10 years of compulsory school attendance.

The school system is divided into:

  • first grade of primary school- age 6 to 10, works as platform for next studies
  • second grade of primary school- age 10 to 15, after first grade students can apply on 8 years long high school, or continue in additional 5 years long second grade of primary school.
  • 8-years long high school studies- age 10 to 18, if student successfully manage to get to this programm, he can get higher level of education, finishing in graduation
  • 4-years long high school studies- age 15 to 19, students that successfully finished theirs second grade of primary school can apply for 4 years long high school studies. This is also higher and more general curicullum.
  • middle technical, industry or art school- age 15 to 19, students interested in arts, or crafts often go to special kinds of schools, where are more specialized type of education. It's not nessesery to go to university after you graduated this type of schools.

Since around 1990, Slovakia has had serious problems with financing public education. This lack of sufficient funding has resulted in unprofessional performance by teachers nationwide. In absolute figures (average monthly salary is something about 14 000 SKK, i.e. app. €350), Slovak teachers barely make enough to get by.

See also: Comenius University

Nonetheless Slovakia has a very high level of educated individuals and has thus far managed to avoid the brain-drain that has plagued most post-Soviet States.

Some Slovak high schools are specialized in mathematics or programming, for example Gamca or GJH.

In Slovakia, the brightest students from elementary schools advance to highly-selective high schools called Gymnaziums. These high schools are known for their rigorous academic programs; msot students who attend them later continue their education at the university level.

The high schools that are the most competitive are usually located either in Bratislava or other main cities. The most prestigious high schools are Gymnázium Vazovova, Gymnázium Metodova, and Gymnázium Jura Hronca in Bratislava and Gymnazium Šrobárova in Košice. These three schools annually accept less than 12% of applicants. The top graduates of these schools continue their education in law, medicine or economics; a few of them have been accepted to the some of the best undergraduate institutions in the world, including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

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