Slovenian educational system
It is laid down by law that public schools are secular and the school environment autonomous; political and denominational activities are forbidden in public schools. The Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia(1991) stipulates freedom of choice in education, and guarantees the autonomy of higher education institutions.
Language of instruction is Slovenian; the Italian and Hungarian ethnic minorities have the right to have education in their own language. The Constitutions also protects the status and gives special rights to members of the Roma community who live in Slovenia. Children of migrants have the right to compulsory basic education under the same conditions as other citizens of the Republic of Slovenia.
Over the previous decade, the main priorities have been to improve the education levels of the population and offer all Slovenian citizens equal educational opportunities, regardless of their residence, cultural or linguistic origin, health condition, social background or gender.
Pre-school education, compulsory basic education (integrated primary and lower secondary education), basic music education, upper secondary, higher education and adult education are in the domain of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. In the management of public education institutions, the government plays several roles: it is the regulator, the founder, the main finance contributor and the supervisor.
The Slovenian education system is organised into several levels of education:
- Pre-school education (predšolska vzgoja) is optional, and encompasses the centre-based child care and early general pre-school education. Children aged over one year can enrol in kindergarten, which they can attend up to enrolling into basic school. Public kindergartens are founded and financed by municipalities.
- Compulsory basic education (osnovna šola) in Slovenia is organized in a single-structure nine-year basic school attended by pupils aged six to fifteen years. Public basic schools are founded by municipalities. Basic education is financed from municipal and state budgets.
- Upper secondary education (srednješolsko izobraževanje) takes 2 to 5 years. Educational programmes include vocational, professional and gimnazija (general) programmes. Decisions concerning the founding and financing of upper secondary schools and the distribution of education programmes are taken at the national level.
- Tertiary education includes short-cycle higher education (višje strokovno) and higher education (visokošolsko) study programmes. Higher vocational education is provided by higher vocational colleges that offer two-year vocational education. The traditional higher education study programmes are offered by public or private universities and single higher education institutions.
Adult education is marked by its considerable diversity of programmes and institutions.
Provision of special needs education in Slovenia follows a multi-track approach towards inclusion, which means that a variety of services between mainstream education and segregated settings are offered.
Slovenia has a well-developed system of basic music and ballet education, which enables children and youth to develop their musical talents alongside attending basic school.
For further information, please consult the introduction articles of Organisation and Governance and of each educational level: Early Childhood Education, Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education, Upper Secondary Education and Post Secondary Non Tertiary Education, Higher Education and Adult Education and Training.
For a brief description of other main topics regarding the national education system, please read the introduction article of Funding in Education, Teachers and Education Staff, Management and Other Education Staff, Educational Support and Guidance, Quality Assurance, Mobility and Internationalisation.
For information on recently adopted or planned reforms and policy measures, please consult topic Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments.