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Summer holiday ends; school system introduces changes

MORE than 3,300 elementary and secondary schools are opening their doors for around 702,000 students on September 2. The new school year is marked by several changes, including entrance exams for secondary schools, a date for national testing in maths and Slovak, and rules related to social scholarships.

MORE than 3,300 elementary and secondary schools are opening their doors for around 702,000 students on September 2. The new school year is marked by several changes, including entrance exams for secondary schools, a date for national testing in maths and Slovak, and rules related to social scholarships.

There will be 439,000 children attending elementary schools, with 54,000 of them newcomers. Another 223,000 children will attend secondary schools or grammar schools and 35,000 children will be enrolled in special elementary and special secondary schools, the SITA newswire reported.

Those willing to study at secondary professional schools or grammar schools will face stricter acceptance rules, since the measures of former education minister Dušan Čaplovič stipulate that only pupils with a grade-point average of 2.0 for the last three years of their studies can be admitted to grammar schools, while secondary professional schools are to admit only students with an average of 2.75 or better. In Slovakia, school pupils are graded according to a five-point scale, on which 1 is excellent and 5 is a fail.

The date for national testing in maths and Slovak has been set for April 8, with an alternative test date on April 21. This is approximately one month later than in previous years, reflecting the demands of schools, which claimed that students stop studying after they are tested, though the school year ends in late June.

The Ministry is also introducing several new fields of study for secondary schools, such as protection of persons and property against fire, post office client manager and forest management.

Another change will affect college students, who will be not allowed to include their income from gifts when applying for social scholarships, which reflects a student’s income. Some students who did not live with their parents were doing so in order to apply for a higher scholarship, according to SITA.

(Source: SITA)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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