Goals of the analysis
The aim of the analysis was to find out what prevents us from realising the ideal state as defined in the education vision. Therefore the analysis aimed to analyse particular problems and their causes from pre-primary to higher education level, and to consider how they inhibit the education system from achieving the parameters defined in the education vision. Problems related to education policy as well as its implementation in various contexts were examined.
The problems and their causes were analysed in the following five areas:
Customised support for learners – diversity of learning needs that learners have; forms of educating learners with special educational needs; preparedness of schools to address the diversity of learning needs; accessibility and quality of external support; accessible and currently employed support mechanisms in education; customised education; career advice systems and opportunities for learners to participate in decision-making about their education path; financial support instruments in education.
Training and development of teachers and professional staff – attractiveness of the teaching profession; initial teacher training (selection of students for teaching programmes, education content and methods in initial teacher training, teaching internships for students), hiring and dismissing teachers; professional development of teachers (career system, further education, motivation and barriers to professional development).
Education content and methods – up-to-date content of education and its link to practice; interdisciplinarity in education; development of basic literacies, knowledge, critical thinking and thinking in context, creativity and entrepreneurship; holistic personality development, healthy life-style, and openness to new ideas; support for democratic values and active citizenship; teaching forms, methods and techniques; learning outcomes, assessment and verification).
Education openness, flexibility and permeability – flexibility and access to education for all; barriers to transition to higher levels of education, education options for disadvantaged groups – education tracks with a “dead end”; barriers to permeability between various education levels and tracks; opportunities for life-long learning, demographic changes in the population of learners, outflow of students and academic staff to abroad, transition to labour market.
Governance and financing in education – major competences of actors in education and their exercise in practice; school network regulation and optimisation; school funding; competences as school founders for municipalities, church-affiliated and private subjects; school management; school facilities and infrastructure; collection, processing and use of data in the education system; evaluation and quality control in education.
The data collection had two phases:
Qualitative – in-depth individual and group interviews aimed to identify major problems in the Slovak education system, their causes and context in the respective five areas.
Quantitative – a questionnaire survey aimed to quantify findings from the qualitative data, i.e., to explore the extent and context (e.g. school types, regions) of problems in the Slovak education system that were identified during the in-depth individual and group interviews.