The public administration in the Slovak Republic is carried out at several levels by both the state administration and territorial administration:
- The central body of state administration in education is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (or the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic in the case of schools and school facilities founded by them) and the State School Inspection;
- At regional level the school administration is executed by district authority at in the county – the school department and municipalities;
- At local level there are municipalities and
- Institutional level is represented by schools and school facilities.
General administration at national level
The area of competence, organisation and tasks of the bodies of state administration in education, municipalities, and districts and of the bodies of self-government in education are laid down by the Act No. 596/2003 of the Law Code on state administration and self-government in education and on change and supplement to some acts (SK).
Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic
The central body of state administration in education is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The Minister is appointed by the President on the basis of Prime Minister’s and State Secretary’s proposal while the State Secretaries are appointed by the Government of the Slovak Republic. The Minister approves materials related to performing his rights and duties as a member of the Government, approves bills, decrees and directives of the Ministry submitted to the Government, agreements on co-operation with the central bodies, the main tasks of the sector at governance and execution of state administration, the final budget of the Ministry, submitting to the President of the Republic proposals of nomination of professors of higher education institutions, appoints and recalls the Chief School Inspector defines the organisational and functional structures of the apparatus of the Ministry, and fulfils a number of other tasks within his competence. In the absence of the Minister, on his commission, the State Secretaries ensure and fulfil tasks implicit in the competence of the Minister within the defined range.
The Ministry as a central body of state administration governs the execution of state administration in education and checks up this execution. It determines the network of schools and school facilities, principles of pedagogical management of schools, it establishes and abolishes fulfilment of the tasks of the sector research, for preparation of the basic pedagogical documents and in-service training of staff, for securing the sector information system, sector institutions and school information centres. It works out bills, the concept of development and norms for space, material and tool equipment of schools and school facilities, issues generally binding rules, and fulfils a number of other tasks. For fulfilling these tasks within the area of its competence the ministry sets up and dissolves the budgetary or partially-budgetary organisations.
The organisation structure of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic (SK) has two levels. The first level includes the sections, independent departments, Minister’s office, office of the head of service and personal office, State secretaries’ offices and Secretariat of the Accreditation Commission. The second level includes sections, departments and offices of directors general of the sections. The present organisation structure of the Ministry is as follows:
- Minister - Office of the Minister of Education
- State Secretary – Office of State Secretary
- Head of Service Office, Office of Head of Service
- Personal Office
- Section of Regional Education
- Section of State Care for Sports and Youth
- Section of Finances and Budget
- Section of Higher Education Institutions
- Section of International Cooperation, European matters and lifelong education
- Section of Informatics
- Section of Structural Funds EU
- Department of Control
- Department of Legislation and approximation of law
- The Legal department
- Department for Public Procurement
- Department of Internal Audit
- Department of Internal Administration
- Department of Crisis Management
- Secretary of the Accreditation Commission
- Institute of Educational Policy
The State School Inspection
It was established by law in January 2000. It is a budgetary organization and its organization parts are school inspection centres. In its activity it is independent, regulated by acts and other generally binding regulations. The State School Inspection is managed by the Chief School Inspector who is appointed and recalled by the Minister of Education for five-year period of office (Section 12 of Act No. 596/2003 of the Law Code). The State School Inspection, being a body of State administration, fulfils the function of state control over the level of pedagogical management, over the level of education and training and material-technical conditions, including practical lessons. In this area it also settles complaints and petitions (Section 13 of Act No. 596/2003 of the Law Code).
For more information see chapter Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education.
General administration of pre-school and school education
Constitution of the network of schools and educational establishments is an important instrument of management which is assigned to the ministry of education according the Act No. 596/2003 of the Law Code on state administration and self-government in education, as amended by the subsequent provisions.
A pre-school establishment can be founded by the body of state administration in education, church, religious community, municipality, other legal entity or natural person. The founder governs the activities of pre-school establishments. Pre-school establishments falling in the network of pre-school establishments with half-day, all-day, week and continuous educational care (kindergarten and special kindergarten) are methodically regulated by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. Pre-primary education is carried in the establishments according to educational programmes – school and state ones. The ministry staff meeting approved the State educational programme ISCED 0 – pre-primary education. It is the top curriculum document in force which defines the requirements (aims) common to all children attending the kindergarten. It defines the basic minimum (basic curricular including the required skills to be mastered by children), guaranteed by the state through kindergartens and the teachers who fulfil the conditions of professional and pedagogical competences. It is the starting point for development of the school educational programmes of particular kindergartens. Following the Act No. 416/2001 of the Law Code the founding competence (i.e., establishment and dissolution) of kindergartens at selfgoverning execution was transferred to municipalities, that of special kindergartens to the district authority at the regional seat (following the Act 596/2003 of the Law Code).
The primary schools are governed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic concerning the matters of education and training. The primary schools are divided according to the founder into public, private and church schools. According to the Act No. 416/2001 of the Law Code (SK) as of 1 July 2002 the municipalities will function as founders of schools in the frame of transferred execution of the state administration. The district authorities at the regional seat set up and dissolve primary schools only under special conditions.
The integration of the basic school of art into the network of schools in the Slovak Republic is a basic prerequisite of the school existence. Upon the integration into the school network, the school may be established and becomes a part of the education system of the Slovak Republic. According to the Act No. 596/2003 of the Law Code the founders of the public basic schools of art are municipalities and self-governing regions. The founder of a private basic school of art may be a physical or legal entity.
The secondary schools of the Police Corps and Army of the Ministry of the Interior are governed by the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic within its jurisdiction. In general educational matters the above mentioned ministries act in accordance with agreement of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The founding competencies of SOU secondary schools in the frame of transferred execution of the state administration are also in the competencies of self-government regions as of 1 July 2002.
According to the Education Act the education and training in primary and secondary schools and school facilities are carried out according to the state and school education programmes.
The state educational programme is a binding document which sets general aims of education and key competences. The educational aims are set in such a way as to secure a balanced development of pupils’ personality. The state educational programme also defines the framework education content. It is a starting point for creation of the school education programme, considering specific conditions and needs of the region too. The state educational programme is issued and publicized for individual levels of education by the ministry of education, science, research and sport.
They are issued for vocational education upon discussing them with the employers, founders of schools, professional and special-interest associations with nation-wide area of competence and the ministries in the scope of their sectorial area of competence. The school education programme is the fundamental document of the school issued by the headteacher upon having discussed it in Pedagogical Board of the school and the School Council. It contains all requisites needed for realisation of teaching at school. The agreement of the school educational programme with the State educational programme is checked by the State School Inspection. For monitoring and evaluation of the quality of education and training at the level of the state programmes the new Act empowered the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic to establish the National Institute of Certified Measurements of Education.
General administration of higher education
In agreement with the Act No. 131/2002 of the Law Code on higher education (SK), as amended, the tasks of the higher education institutions at constructing the knowledge-based society are enforced, there is a space for interconnection of higher education and the needs of the society, and the support of European dimension of higher education in the form of common study programmes, as well as a new amendment of engagement of higher education institutions of EU member countries on the territory of the Slovak Republic.
The Ministry of Education, Science, research and Sport of the Slovak Republic creates conditions for development of higher education institutions and higher education, coordinates the activity of higher education institutions, breakdown of finances from the state budget among individual higher education institutions, approves the establishment, merger, division and dissolution of faculties of higher education institutions, establishes sector institutes and workplaces for the fulfilment of higher education institutions’ tasks, etc.
A higher education institution is a self-governing institution being established and dissolved by law. The name, arranging and the seat are also set by the law. If the public higher education institution is divided into faculties, the faculties are established too. Members of the academic community are guaranteed freedom of scientific research and publishing its results, freedom of artistic and further creative activity, the freedom of teaching lies mainly in the openness to the different science opinions, science and research methods and artistic movement, the right to teach and learn with the free choice of study, the right to elect academic self-governing bodies and the right to be elected. The right of freedom of speech and expressing own opinions and ideas during teaching, etc. The use of academic freedom and rights has to be in accordance with the principles of democracy, humanity and legal regulations.
Advisory bodies at national level
The Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (SK) (hereinafter referred to as the "Agency") is a public body that performs the activities of external quality assurance of higher education. The Agency decides on the scope of higher education institutions' entitlements to carry out higher education in the Slovak Republic; The Agency issues standards for the internal quality assurance system for higher education, standards for study programs and standards for habilitation and inaugural procedures. The draft standards have the opportunity to be heard by the public before they are adopted. The Agency also assesses applications for state approval to operate as a private higher education institution.
The Accreditation Commission for Further Education (SK) verifies the competence of an educational institution to carry out educational activities, ensures the evaluation and control of the level of provided accredited educational activities, provides special counselling in the field of further education for the central and regional bodies of state administration and the bodies of self-government, prepares proposals for concept-based activities of the Ministry in the given area.
The Accreditation Commission for specialised activities in the area of work with youth (SK) was established for the reasons of guidance, consultations and judgement of applications related to issuing confirmation on receiving the professional competence for performance of specialised activities in the area of work with youth.
The advisory body of the ministry of education in the area of teachers career development is the Accreditation Council for continuous education of pedagogical and professional employees (SK). It was established in 2009 on the basis of the Act on pedagogical and professional employees as the advisory body of the ministry of education, for the reasons of accreditation of conituous education programmes. Its task is to assess individual programmes of continuous education and to elaborate professional comments on them.
The Accreditation Commission for the area of physical culture (SK) as the advisory body of the Ministry of Education, Science, research and Sport of SR. It assess and on the basis of fulfilment of conditions of the law makes recommendations to the Ministry of Education, Science, research and Sport of SR to issue confirmation on the accreditation to legal persons and natural persons which act in the area of physical culture.
The Education Act established Curriculum Board (SK) as a professional, initiative and advisory body of the minister of education in key areas of education and training, particularly, in the field of innovation of the content of education and training, educational reforms and new models of evaluation.
The further advisory bodies of the ministry of education are:
Board for System Changes in Education (SK) School Four-Partite (SK) Board of Minister for Nationality Education (SK) Board of Minister for Sport (SK) Board of Government for Professional Education and Training (SK)
General administration at regional level
District authority at the regional seat
In agreement with the Act No. 345/2012 of the Law Code (SK), the regional school offices have been dissolved as at 1 January 2013. Its authorities were taken over by the district authorities – school boards – at the regional seat. The district authority at the regional seat is set up and dissolved according to network of schools and school facilities.
- primary schools, if required by special conditions,
- secondary schools and centres of practical training, if required by special conditions,
- kindergartens for pupils with special educational needs,
- primary schools for pupils with special educational needs,
- secondary schools for pupils with special educational needs,
- practical schools,
- apprentice training centre,
- special educational establishments,
- school facilities that are a part of the above schools or educational establishments,
- schools in which the education and training are carried out in a foreign language on the basis of international agreement,
- special educational guidance centres,
- educational-psychological counselling centres,
- student residence hall.
In addition, the district authority at the regional seat:
- decides at the first level about equivalence of certificates issued by primary and secondary schools abroad,
- executes state administration at the second level in matters of schools and educational establishments which were founded by it, in case that are at the first level the decision-making is upon the headteacher of school or educational establishment, or, the headteacher of primary school that is founded by municipality which is not a school office,
- decides at the second level on matters of jeopardy of early childhood education or neglecting the care for compulsory schooling of pupil at the first level of which the decision-making was upon the municipality,
- provides for organization and financing of the cooperation with the founders within their territorial area of competence, with legal entities, civic associations providing for sports, including competitions, children and pupils of schools falling within its territorial area of competence,
- elaborates the background materials for statistical processing of data on education and training in schools and educational establishments within its territorial area of competence,
- provides for processing and provision of information in the field of education and training within its area of competence,
- in relation to schools and educational establishments, for which is founder authority it secures the premises, capital investment of schools and educational establishments, issues lists of vacancies,
- provides methodological and counselling activities,
- appoints chairmen of examination boards for final examinations, secondary school-leaving examinations, graduates’ examinations and state language examinations,
- secures the legal counselling for headteacher of schools and educational establishments upon their request,
- checks up the observance of generally binding rules in the field of education and training and in the field of school catering in schools and school facilities within its territorial area of competence in the set up area,
- handles complaints, incentives and petitions of citizens and guardians of children and pupils in the set areas of schools and school facilities it had founded.
The self-governing region
- establishes and dissolves within the transferred execution of the state administration and according to the network of school and school establishments, the secondary schools, apprentice schools and the centres for practical teaching,
- appoints the headteachers of schools and school facilities he had founded, on the basis of the selection procedure, to be carried out by the school self-governing authority – the school council; he recalls the headteachers of schools and school facilities he had founded,
- within the framework of regional self-government, it establishes and dissolves according to the network of schools and school establishments, the basic schools of art, centres of out-of-school activities, language schools at primary schools, youth houses, establishments of school catering, centres of practical training, service centres of schools, school centres of special-interest activities, open-air schools and free-time centres with the territorial area of competence of the self-governing region.
In addition, the self-governing region:
- prepares the plan of investments and breakdown of finances allotted to regional school offices for schools and educational establishments, established by them,
- provides for premises and material and technical equipment for teaching process, didactic material and technology, financial resources for operation and maintenance, financial resources from State budget as well as from its own resources,
- executes the state administration at the second level in matters of schools and school establishments, which it founded and where the decision-making at the first level was done by the head teacher,
- discusses with the school board and headteacher the concept of school development, budget and material conditions for their activities, personal and social conditions of the employees, proposal to introduce the study branches and specialization, report on the results of educational process at schools,
- carries out the subsequent financial audit in the field of management of finances allotted and checks up efficiency and purposefulness of their use,
- approves, upon request, the school educational programme of secondary school and the educational programme of the school facility he had founded,
- handles complaints, incentives and petitions of citizens in the set up area; in case of need it applies the State School Inspection for a help.
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 19/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2008. Act No. 245/2008 on education and training (Education Act) and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Zákon č. 245/2008 Z.z. o výchove a vzdelávaní (školský zákon) a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 19/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2008. Act No. 345/2012 on some arrangements in the local state administration and on amendments to certain laws (Zákon č. 345/2012 Z.z. o niektorých opatreniach v miestnej štátnej správe a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 19/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2001. Act No. 416/2001 on transfer of certain competencies from the state administration to municipalities and higher territorial units as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 416/2001 Z.z. o prechode niektorých pôsobností z orgánov štátnej správy na obce a na vyššie územné celky v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 19/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 1991. Act No. 455/1991 on entrepreneurship (Business Act) as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 455/1991 Zb. o živnostenskom podnikaní v znení neskorších predpisov (živnostenský zákon)) (Zákon Federálneho zhromaždenia) (last accessed 19/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2003. Act No. 596/2003 on state administration in education and school self-government and on change and supplements of some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Zákon č. 596/2003 Z.z. o štátnej správe v školstve a školskej samospráve a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 19/12/2022).