When will pupils and students will return to schools?
- We do not know yet. The school closure will last until further notice. Education Minister Branislav Grohling said he will do everything to ensure children return to schools before the summer holidays.
When will the secondary school leaving exam (maturity) take place ?
- The written part, originally scheduled for March, was cancelled.
- The oral part will take place no earlier than two weeks after the schools open but no later than June 30, 2020.
What about the testing of ninth-graders?
- The nationwide testing of ninth-graders was cancelled.
When to submit applications for universities?
- May 15, 2020 is the deadline.
When will talent exams for university admission take place?
- Not earlier than one week after the schools reopen.
When will primary schools hold the enrolment of first-graders ?
- Between April 15-30, 2020, specified by the headmaster. Children and parents are not required to come in person. Electronic communication is recommended.
When will secondary school admission exams take place?
- Two weeks after schools open again.
When does the enrolment for nursery schools take place?
- Between April 30 and May 31.
“Mr teacher!” a child’s voice comes from the computer speakers, quickly joined by more.
“Hello, hello, children,” replies teacher Peter Pallo as he enters his virtual classroom. Sitting in front of his computer screen, he takes in the faces of his second-graders divided into four windows. Some of them are smiling into their webcam, some are only using the mic.
Pallo is a teacher at the Rudolf Dilong Elementary School in Trstená, a town on the borders with Poland, in the region of Orava. When his pupils are gathered for another online school day, he takes his accordion and kicks it off with a song familiar to the children. There's a commotion on his screen - the kids are standing up and as they sing along, they start the dance choreography they have learned at school.
After the short exercise, Pallo's pupils sit back in front of their computers to follow a math task the teacher has launched on his computer. The pupils switch to screen sharing so the teacher can see in real time how they are doing with the assignment.
This is a way of keeping up with the curriculum after schools were closed around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are even busier than usual,” Pallo said when asked how the crisis has affected his work.
In Slovakia, the nationwide lockdown of schools has applied since March 16. Many closed days before the state ordered them to do so. In the Bratislava Region, all schools have been closed since March 9. As of the end of March, it is not clear when schools will open again. New Education Minister Branislav Grohling admitted after he took over on March 22 that the schools might remain closed until September, although the government promises to do their best to have the kids back this school year, which officially ends at the end of June.
The closure of schools is no holiday for teachers - or parents of school kids. Teachers, who are receiving their full salaries, are expected to carry out some kind of remote teaching, each using the devices they have available. More often than not, that does not mean fancy online conference calls.
How to keep children busy during quarantine