Back to schoolA few words about the education system in Slovenia
No time for nostalgia. It is what it is. In this blog post I want to describe how education is organised in our country. The post will be a bit more serious and most of the information is summed up from the webpage of the Ministry of Education in Slovenia. When we talk about education in Slovenia we talk about the three stages: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary education is provided by public and private kindergartens, basic schools, basic schools with an adapted programme, music schools and educational institutions for children with special educational needs. Secondary education is provided by upper secondary schools and secondary schools. It is classified as general or vocational technical and secondary professional or technical education. The third segment is provided by both public and private institutions and it consists of higher-post secondary vocational education and higher education. Higher post-secondary vocational education is provided by higher vocational colleges, while higher education is provided by faculties, academies and independent higher education institutions.
- Vocational college that is usually focused on developing practical skills in areas such as Tourism, Wellness, Economics, Logistics, Security, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science. Two year study ends with a diploma.
- University or Institute Bachelor’s Degree: This programmes include studying for a major such as Management, Marketing, Business, Construction, etc. They last about 3 years and end with a thesis. Students can continue on with their studies and get to an even higher level.
- Master’s Degree: This programme lasts for 2 years and ends with a Master’s thesis.
- PhD Degree: Students can receive PhD degree during another 2 – 4 years, depending on the field. This programme ends with a PhD thesis.
To sum up – education in Slovenia is really well organised. I think that during my study years I acquired a high level of education, comparable to the rest of the world. Our strong virtue is a good command of numerous foreign languages. One of our beloved sayings has always been “the more languages you know, the more you are worth.” Financially it is not too pricey to study in Slovenia overall. Yes, some parents will always complain about the cost of books, stationary, public transportation, but they do not know how much those things generally cost elsewhere in the world. It is a big chunk to some family’s budget for sure– but then again, we know that it goes for good and quality education, for good food, transportation, educational excursions. My kids learned how to ski, roller blade, cross-country ski and swim in school. They are already speaking good enough English to come by with our friends who are visiting. They are making friendships that might last forever. They are exposed to some life lessons, to ups and downs, to books that are fun to read and to those with which they struggle. Looking at their Math I am happy my path in life went the other way and I don’t need it anymore – believe me 6th and 7th grade Math represents science fiction for two tour guides in the household and an eternal gratitude to grandparents and neighbours. The excitement of the year is focused on the annual “School in nature”. This is where they take each grade of primary school kids to a certain area and they are there for 5 days. For many kids that is the first time they are away from home, without parents. So it is exciting. This year our sons are super excited about it, one will go and learn how to cross country ski in the mountain ski resort and second one will go to the seaside and learn about the sea. And no matter how much they yawn and comment about school, homework, teachers and waking up early, they still love it. It is an important chapter in their life and in the life of their parents. Hopefully covid-19 will not disturb their year again. Wearing masks is not a big deal – kids are much more adaptable than adults. They understand a lot of things much better than we do. But taking away the thrills of hanging out with schoolmates, pranks and doing silly things, enjoying the little freedom to be away from parents, making friendships that last for a lifetime – that can never be returned. So I am wishing to all the kids of the world to have an undisturbed school year with as many wonderful moments as they can possibly have!