In 2000, the European Commission created Memorandum on lifelong learning and since then, lifelong learning, as a basic principle, has been applied in systems of education in the Slovak Republic as well.
In 2001 followed at the national level by a consultation process in the form of a nationwide discussion of central government authorities, non-governmental organisations and social partners.
In 2004, Memorandum on lifelong learning was followed by the Concept of lifelong learning in the Slovak Republic (Koncepcia celoživotného vzdelávania v SR - pdf), which put individual goals of the memorandum into the context of the existing strategic documents in the Slovak Republic focusing on education and employment.
From the strategic point of view, the lifelong learning system in Slovakia was also dealt with by the Strategy of lifelong learning 2011 (Stratégia celoživotného vzdelávania), goal of which was to support the creation of conditions for the transition to a functional lifelong learning system for all.
The strategy defines the citizens, educational institutions, counselling centres, employers, professional and union associations as well as local and regional self-government authorities, recruitment agencies and non-governmental organisations as key actors in the system of lifelong learning.
During the Slovak presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2016, adult education became a key strategic initiative of the European Commission – New skills agenda for Europe. Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults recommendation is key for the Slovak Republic in relation to a relatively big proportion of long-term unemployed adults with low qualification level.
The most recent results of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (Program medzinárodného hodnotenia kompetencií dospelých (PIAAC)) represent an important source of information when proposing new policies and determining national and regional priorities in adult education.
In 2018, Slovakia joined the Manifesto on Adult Learning in the 21st Century. The manifesto is a document of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and it focuses particularly on the promotion of the concept of lifelong learning and support of access to and participation in non-formal education for everyone.
Current priorities (also) in adult education are presented in the National Skills Strategy, which was prepared in cooperation with OECD during 2019 and published at the beginning of 2020.
Its four priority areas are:
- Strengthening young people’s skills
- Support of increased participation in adult education
- Decreasing of skill discrepancy
- Strengthening the use of skills at the workplace.
On November 2021, the new Strategy for Lifelong Education and Counselling for the years 2021-2030 (Stratégiu celoživotného vzdelávania a poradenstva na roky 2021-2030) was approved. Its task is to respond to the dynamically changing labour market with measures. It thus responds to the need to provide lifelong education and counselling where citizens have a problem as individuals or where a systemic deficiency has been identified in the areas of skills for the population or specific target groups.
In 2022, the Action Plan for the Strategy for Lifelong Education and Counselling for the years 2022-2024 (Akčný plán k Stratégii celoživotného vzdelávania a poradenstva na roky 2022 – 2024) was approved. The task of this document is to elaborate and specify the measures approved in the Strategy for the given period of the coming years 2022-2024.