The upbringing and education of children and pupils with disabilities takes place
a) in schools for children and pupils with disabilities; these schools are special schools,
b) in other schools according to the Education Act:
1. in special classes, which are generally set up for children and pupils with the same type of disability; part of the educational process can take place in the classroom together with other children and pupils of the school; some subjects or activities may be completed by a child or pupil outside a special class,
2. in classes or educational groups together with other children or pupils of the school; if necessary, such a child or pupil is educated according to an individual educational programme developed by the school in cooperation with the school's educational prevention and counselling facility; the legal representative of the child or pupil has the right to become acquainted with this programme.
Education in schools is based on the principle:
- equality of access to education and training, taking into account the educational needs of the individual and their co-responsibility for their education,
- the prohibition of all forms of discrimination, and in particular segregation.
- Pupils have a right to education that reflects their educational needs and possibilities in its content, forms and methods. They also have a right to the creation of necessary conditions, and free guidance.
The Constitution of the Slovak Republic guarantees disabled citizens special assistance with preparation for work.
Overview of support measures and guidance in primary, lower secondary and secondary education
Education of pupils and children with special educational needs is provided by
- mainstream schools or
- special schools for pupils with health disadvantage – special schools.
Mainstream schools can found special classes, which are usually founded for children and pupils with the same kind of health disadvantage.
Provision of support measures and guidance in competence of regional education (pre-primary, primary, and lower secondary education) is governed by the Education Act.
Support measures and guidance in regional education is provided by:
- Schools (kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, special schools) mainly by means of school special teachers, educational counsellors and teachers - prevention coordinators, school psychologists, etc.
- School facilities of educational counselling and prevention – the centre of pedagogical –psychological counselling and prevention and the centre of special pedagogical counselling,
- Special educational facilities - diagnostic centres, therapeutic-educational centres and re-education centres.
Special schools which provide segregated education to children and pupils with special educational needs currently specialise mostly according to the type of health disability.
Slovak education has preferred inclusive education since the 1990's.
Children and pupils from national minorities and ethnic groups are guaranteed a right both to learn the state language and to be educated in their own language.
Deaf children and pupils are guaranteed a right for education in sign language for the deaf.
Children of foreigners with permitted residence in the Slovak Republic, children of asylum seekers and children of Slovaks living abroad are provided education, housing and meals at schools under the same conditions as the Slovak Republic citizens.
The educational facilities of educational counselling and prevention are:
- Centre for Educational Counselling and Prevention and
- Centre for special pedagogical counselling
In school educational counselling and prevention, the following is performed in particular:
- special pedagogical, including speech therapy and medical-pedagogical activities, and
- social activities aimed at optimising the educational, psychological, social and career development of children from birth to the end of vocational training.
The Centre for Pedagogical and Psychological Counselling and Prevention, in cooperation with the family, school and school facilities, provides preventive educational and psychological care for children and their legal representatives, especially in cases of mental development disorders and behavioural disorders and socio-pathological phenomena in the children's population.
The Centre for Special Pedagogical Counselling provides comprehensive special pedagogical activities, psychological, diagnostic, counselling, rehabilitation, prevention, methodological, educational and other professional activities, and a set of special pedagogical interventions for children with disabilities, including children with developmental disorders. their personal development and social integration.
Special care is provided by expert employees of these facilities (mainly psychologists and special pedagogues) to children with special educational needs. The experts also engage with children’s parents and give recommendations to their teachers.
Counselling services are also provided to children’s legal representatives and teaching staff free-of-charge.
Overview of support measures and counselling in higher education
All higher education institutions are obliged to provide information and counselling services connected with the study and career to prospective students, students, and other people.
Information and counselling services of higher education institutions are one of students’ legal rights and they are provided free-of-charge.
Higher education institutions have to take support measures to equalise study opportunities in higher education for students with special educational needs.
The same conditions for higher education apply to foreigners and Slovak citizens.
A number of higher education institutions provide counselling services in their own separate counselling centres, which provide study, career, psychological, social and religious and other types of counselling.
Overview of support measure and counselling in lifelong learning
Counselling services and methodological support in lifelong learning in Slovakia are provided mainly by institutions under the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family as well as by private counselling facilities.
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2002. Act No. 131/2002 on higher education and on the change and supplement to some acts (Zákon č. 131/2002 Z.z. o vysokých školách a zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 30/12/2022).
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 30/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 1995. Act No 149/1995 on Sign Language for the Deaf (Zákon č. 149/1995 Z.z. o posunkovej reči nepočujúcich osôb) (last accessed 30/12/2022).
Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, 2008. Decree No. 322/2008 on special schools (Vyhláška č. 322/2008 o špeciálnych školách) (last accessed 30/12/2022).
Ministry of Education, Sciencem Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, 2022. Decree no. 24/2022 on counseling and prevention facilities (Vyhláška č. 24/2022 o zariadeniach poradenstva a prevencie) (last accessed 30/12/2022).