Children will not return to schools as scheduled

Test part of secondary school leaving exam will not take place.

(Source: Sme)

The lockdown, currently in place in Slovakia until January 24, will impact the operation of schools.

Children were supposed to have originally returned to school on January 11 after the prolonged Christmas holidays. Yet the Education Minister Branislav Gröhling, alongside epidemiologists and representatives of municipalities, decided that children will continue with distance learning.

Kindergartens will remain closed or continue offering their service only for parents from a critical infrastructure and those who cannot work from home.

The ministry has presented the following plan to gradually open schools after January 11. The plan relies on the recommended coronavirus testing of older pupils, parents of younger pupils and staff.

Distance learning continues

Primary and secondary schools continue distance learning from January 11.

“We recommend opening school clubs mainly for children of healthcare workers and for children of parents from critical infrastructure or those who cannot work from home,” explained the education minister.

The Education Ministry came up with a manual on how children can return to schools Read more 

Between January 11 and 18, pandemic sick leave will be paid to parents who have to stay home with their children on account of closed schools.

The ministry also recommends that municipalities test all their employees. The costs will be reimbursed.

The Education Ministry also proposed a plan for opening schools after January 18:

Kindergartens and the first to fourth grades of primary schools and special schools should open. The ministry recommends testing parents and employees.

Parents will be able to excuse children for five more days, so in case of need, the child can stay home until the end of the lockdown on January 25.

Grades five to nine of primary schools and secondary schools will continue with distance learning.

Students in their final year of secondary school will be able to return to schools, providing all students and employees of the school undergo testing.

After the lockdown

After the lockdown ends on January 25, kindergartens and grades one to four of primary schools will have already been opened for a week. The ministry still recommends testing employees and parents or the legal guardians of pupils.

We do not need a test to enter a shopping mall, so why do it in schools? Read more 

Grades five to nine of primary schools could resume in-person education, too. The Public Health Authority will give the conditions for the return and testing of children in these grades, as well as school employees.

Secondary schools will open as well, also under the condition of testing of students and employees. The testing should take place from January 22 to 24.

The Education Ministry stressed that the scenario can change and will depend on the development of the pandemic situation in the country.

The Ministry also prolonged the deadline for evaluating children for the first semester until March 31.

Changes for final years

The annual nationwide testing of fifth-graders (known as monitoring) will not take place at all this year.

For ninth-graders, the monitoring will take place between June 9 and 10, the alternative date being June 24 and 25.

Changes will affect admission exams for secondary schools. Standard admission exams will take place on May 3 (or May 4 if needed). The second date is stated as May 10 (or May 11 if needed).

Older pupils still stay home. Exception made for those in material need Read more 

Talent admission exams will take place on May 5 (or May 6 and 7 if needed), or alternatively on May 12 (or May 13 and 14).

The changes are set for the final year of secondary schools. The test part of maturita, the school leaving exam, will not take place at all.

The essay part of maturita will take place after April 12. The exact date will be set before March 31.

The oral part of maturita will take place after May 17, 2021. In case of need, it can be ongoing for two weeks.

“We also call on schools to reflect the distancelearning in the maturita questions and the extent to which they learned a certain curriculum,” the head of the department stressed.

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