Schools will remain shut until further notice

Some key school-leaving exams have been cancelled, others postponed.

Albert Einstein Grammar School in Bratislava.Albert Einstein Grammar School in Bratislava. (Source: TASR)

Schools in Slovakia will not open unless the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ) allows it.

In the first wave of measures, introduced in the first half of March, the previous government closed schools for two weeks starting Monday, March 16. It has since become clear that schools will not open on March 30 and for several more weeks to come.

The ÚVZ’s decision to leave schools closed until further notice due to COVID-19 means the Education Ministry has been forced to make several changes in the teaching and examination process.

“We will do all we can to end the school year as usual,” Education Minister Branislav Gröhling said determinedly. In Slovakia, the regular school year lasts until the end of June.

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One of the changes is the cancellation of the written part of the Maturita school-leaving exams, which secondary school students were to take in mid-March. The oral part of the exam should take place within two weeks from the reopening of schools, but no later than June 30.

Cancelled testing in primary schools

In addition, the regular testing of ninth graders in primary schools known as Testovanie-9 has also been called off. The minister went on to say that all the material pupils will not have gone through by June 30 will be added to the syllabuses of higher grades.

“We will be seeking further ways to make it all easier for parents and teachers,” he added.

One way are school lessons broadcast on public-service television, to be extended from 45 to 100 minutes, with an emphasis on pupils with special needs. Minister Gröhling has already spoken to Jaroslav Rezník, the general director of the public-service broadcaster RTVS.

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The minister has moreover introduced a new website focusing on remote learning and digital education in a bid to support children, parents and teachers.

Later dates

Apart from these measures, primary school pupils in their last grade will be able to send applications to secondary schools until May 15 without any requirement of a medical check (normally required).

The enrolment of children for primary schools has also been postponed to the second half of April (April 15-30). Parents will have to come for the enrolment without children.

The enrolment process for kindergartens has been deferred to May, the minister informed.

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