Education outside the school environment
Currently most recognized programme which focuses on the development of non-formal education in Slovakia is the national Project of IUVENTA – Slovak Youth Institute, supported by European Social Fund, called KomPrax. This project has begun in 2011 with the expected end in 2015. It provides basic education to three target groups: young leaders, leaders of the youth groups and those working with the youth. Target group is represented by the youth aged 15-17 years. By the end of the Project, a total of 8,000 participants should have go through a basic training and a number of those involved in non-formal education should be up to 12,000 people.
´Youth in Action´ is another important and international EU Programme which supports non-formal education. Various projects, mainly international ones oriented on non-formal education and development of young people are supported by this Programme. Programming period ends in 2013 and is currently working on its successor. It belongs to minority of programmes focusing on young people lacking opportunities. This Programme also brought an interesting tool to promote awareness of young people competencies which are developed through its activities – Youthpass. Except basic information about the project in which young people took part in, the certificate includes a list of competencies developed according to their own self-reflection.
A new project which currently focuses on the development of non-formal education is the national Project ´PRAKTIK´, launched by the end of 2012. Activities are again performed by the Slovak Youth Institute – IUVENTA. Primarily, this Project focuses on the development of non-formal education in free time activities centres. Its ambition is to develop regional methodological centres, which would verify the methodology in practice in specific subject areas.
One of the priority topics in 2012-2013 of the Slovak Youth Institute – IUVENTA is a strategy of non-formal education in working with the youth. This strategy mainly focuses on raising awareness of non-formal education in youth work and enhancing its quality.
Author: Ing. Tomáš Pešek