Schools around Slovakia wrap up the coronavirus-marked school year today

Parents of school kids who did not return to schools post-COVID are no longer entitled to what is known as the pandemic nursing benefit.

(Source: TASR)

It has been the most unusual school year anyone in Slovakia can remember. Pupils and students of primary and secondary schools wrapped it up on June 30, the last days they took to their school desks in 2019/2020.

On July 1, the summer holiday begins for 454,175 pupils of primary schools and 196,443 students of secondary schools, as well as 33,721 students of special schools.

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After the coronavirus pandemic reached Slovakia in March and closed all schools in the country as of March 16, the first- to fifth-graders returned to schools on June 1. Their older schoolmates only followed them on June 22.

The return to school remained voluntary for children and their parents and also schools. Some of them opened only for a day or two at the end of the school year, to hand out the school reports to their students.

More than 650,000 pupils and students spent at least three months at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Verbal evaluation

Some students and pupils will not find the usual grades on their school report. The regular Slovak system grades pupils on a scale between 1 (best) and 5 (worst). This year, teachers were able to evaluate their pupils without giving them these final marks, and merely provide verbal evaluation, or a combination of both.

First-graders will not find the numerical marks on their school reports as a rule.

The biggest primary schools in Slovakia, as for the number of pupils, are the primary school at Školská Street in Stupava (1,219 pupils), Tajovská Street in Senec (1,168 pupils), two towns in the vicinity of Bratislava, and the eastern-Slovak village of Jarovnice (1,101 pupils).

The Education Ministry also recognises 889 pupils who were exempted from the obligation to attend school, because they were studying abroad, 69 were studying in a European school and 12,119 were in schools outside of Slovakia.

Moreover, 165,865 children attended kindergartens and 1,785 special kindergartens. These remain in operation also during the summer. Kindergartens and their administrators, usually municipal authorities, decide on the operation during the summer.

Pandemic nursing benefit ends

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Parents of children who attend primary and secondary schools who were receiving the pandemic nursing benefit for their children while schools were closed in recent months would not be entitled to the benefit anymore.

The reason is that schools are closed in summer based on schooling law and not because of the emergency situation. June 30 is the last day parents whose children did not return to schools receive the pandemic benefit.

However, if a child gets sick during the summer and needs a day-long and personal nursing, parents may apply for the regular nursing benefit. They will need confirmation from their paediatrician.

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