The primary reason for the creation of the Lifelong Learning (LFL) and Lifelong Guidance (LFG) strategies was the system need to link the existing subsystems of education (formal, non-formal education and informal learning), into functioning relations, open them mutually and supplement them with lifelong guidance in such a way that they meet the real needs of citizens, employers, public administration and educational institutions.
The strategy applies to primary schools, secondary schools, higher education institutions, further education and adult education.
In April 2007 the government approved the Strategy of Lifelong Learning (LFL) and Lifelong Guidance (LFG) by the Decree No. 382/2007. It contains a proposal of the system, aims, analysis and financing lifelong learning and lifelong guidance, a proposal of the system of education quality control and system of recognition of the non-formal education and informal learning results.
Aims of the Lifelong Learning Strategy
The main aim of the strategy consists in completing the system of lifelong learning and system of lifelong guidance.
A functional system should make it easier for citizens to acquire new knowledge, skills and abilities flexibly by means of quality education regardless of their current life situation.
For fulfilling the main aim it is inevitable to complete the following priorities:
- Monitoring and prognosticating of education needs of citizens and employees
- Provision of the system of quality control in lifelong learning and lifelong guidance
- Recognition of non-formal education and informal learning
- Efficient investment in lifelong learning and lifelong guidance
- Development of key competencies for lifelong learning
- Provision of complex information services for lifelong learning and lifelong guidance and development of learning regions
- Efficient planning and using the resources from structural funds for completion and development of the systems of lifelong learning and lifelong guidance
Special starting points and strategies
- Millennium – National programme of education and training in the Slovak Republic (2000)
- Concept of lifelong learning in the Slovak Republic (2004)
- National project “Creation, development and implementation of the open system of lifelong learning in the SR for the needs of labour market“ (2004)
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, as a central body of the state administration responsible for lifelong learning coordinates implementation of concrete measures and prepares in cooperation with the particular ministries, state administration, self-governance, social partners the consecutiveness of steps in which the strategy is implemented.
A priority political measure within the framework of implementing the lifelong learning was the adoption of Act on lifelong learning, which regulates the relations between the formal, non-formal education and informal learning.
The Act defines the basic concepts associated with the theme, the types and forms of further education. It brings a new element into the system of lifelong learning, and the recognition of further education at eligible institutions.
Other supporting institutes that law has defined are an information system of further education and monitoring and forecasting of education needs. Both support tools serve primarily as guidance systems, which are essential for promoting lifelong learning.
In April 2007 the Slovak Government adopted the Strategy of Lifelong Learning and Lifelong Guidance (hereinafter referred to as the “2007 Strategy”) with an estimated completion date of 2015, which indicated several key priorities to support the system of lifelong learning in the Slovak Republic.
One of the 2007 Strategy’s outcomes was the adoption of Act on lifelong learning, which established several important mechanisms for the further development of the lifelong learning system.
Updated Lifelong Learning Strategy 2011 (SK) has been approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic by its Resolution No. 657/2011 of 12 October 2011 as an essential starting material on development of lifelong learning in Slovakia. The Slovak Republic has been thus involved in completing the Europe 2020 Strategy, which considers the advancement of its member countries in this area as a key one.
The aim of the Strategy innovation is to focus on the development of the key skills and competences of individuals enabling them to raise their qualifications and support their personal growth. The Strategy will help them to continually educate themselves to be employable, to be able to integrate properly into society and develop their personality.
The goal of the Lifelong Learning Strategy 2011 is to support the creation of the necessary conditions to develop a functioning system of lifelong learning for everyone. The 2011 Strategy concentrates mainly on the most problematic areas of lifelong learning in the SR, which affect its further development.
Key priorities of the 2011 Strategy:
- Attitude of individuals and their motivation towards lifelong learning
- Bringing learning outcomes closer to the employers’ needs
- System and structure of guidance services with emphasis on the adult population
- The individual’s competency level to promote professional and personal growth: financial literacy, entrepreneurial competencies, ability to communicate in world languages, digital literacy, active citizenship
- Financing of further education
The Strategy’s cross-sectional priorities are: to measure the achieved learning outcomes, which is comprehensively described in a separate chapter of the Strategy, and to verify and evaluate professional competence according to the qualification and evaluation standard in the given qualification.
Assessment of the Lifelong Learning Strategy and the Action plan of Lifelong Learning Strategy for 2015
In January 2016, The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport presented an informative Report on the implementation of tasks set out in the Lifelong learning strategy 2011 (SK) at the Slovak Government meeting.
The report is divided into two parts:
- Lifelong learning strategy – assessment of the current situation
- Action plan of the lifelong learning strategy 2011 – assessment of tasks
The goal of the report is to describe the current state of the implementation of tasks set out in the lifelong learning strategy 2011. Creation of the assessment report was a prerequisite for further systematic progress in the area of lifelong learning in Slovakia.
Revision of strategy in lifelong learning
National reform programme of the Slovak Republic 2020 (SK) involves revision of the life-long learning strategy in the section on education, science and innovation, which should react to the current issues in education more specifically. Its task is to use measures to dynamically react to the changing labour market, character of labour in the context of the fourth industrial revolution and systematic changes in education for everyone.
Information system of further education
Information system for further education (SK) is a tool of free access to citizens, employers, public administration and institutions to education. It contains a database of educational institutions, lectors and accredited educational programmes. The administrator of an information system for further education is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
Information system of the further education consists of:
- Register of educational institutions which provide accredited educational programmes
- Register of accredited educational programmes,
- Register of participants in further education,
- Information regarding the verification of professional competence,
- List of qualifications.
Institutions providing further education are legally obliged to provide the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic to 15 February of the following year statistical data in a DALV type report.
Lifelong learning guidance system is gradually developed in order to cover all target groups of population and to comply with the definition of OECD (2004) to become a career counselling service for all throughout their lives.
Educational counsellors who work in primary and secondary schools, but also class teachers and others enhance their skills and competences in the field of career counselling by specialized innovative studies and other educational programmes realised continuously since 2004 by Methodological educational centres (directly managed organization MESRaS SR providing further education to educational and professional staff in resort).
For more information on lifelong learning guidance see chapter Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach.
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2019. Act No. 138/2019 on pedagogical employees and professional employees and on the change and supplement to some acts (Zákon č. 138/2019 Z.z. o pedagogických zamestnancoch a odborných zamestnancoch a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 19/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2009. Act No. 568/2009 on lifelong learning and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provision (Zákon č. 568/2009 Z.z. o celoživotnom vzdelávaní a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (Last accessed 19/12/2022).