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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in school education


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.2National reforms in school education

Last update: 19 March 2024


National Project Mental Health and Prevention

In September 2023, the national project entitled Systemic Support of Mental Health and Prevention in Children, Pupils and Students through the Counselling and Prevention System (Systémová podpora duševného zdravia a prevencie detí, žiakov a študentov cez systém poradenstva a prevencie) was launched. The project is being implemented by the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology, an organisation directly managed by the Ministry of Education. The project aims to create and disseminate practical prevention tools. It also aims to provide education and conduct a campaign advocating for the support of professional and pedagogical employees in prevention. The project focuses on preventing current problems such as cyberbullying, drug abuse, or eating disorders. Children will receive support throughout the education system – classes in regular schools, counselling and prevention centres, special education centres, and family and children’s centres.

The project plans to support more than 1100 pedagogical and professional employees and organise at least 7000 hours of education by 2027. It will positively impact more than 10000 children, pupils and students. The national project will introduce systematic and long-term monitoring of the mental health of children, pupils, and students in Slovakia. The first outputs of the project should be available in 2025, and the complete report in 2026. The tools of support and help for children, pupils, and students in the area of mental health can then be adjusted.



DigiEDU project


The Recovery and Resilience Plan funding allowed the Ministry of Education to invest in digitalisation of education through DigiEDU project (projekt DigiEDU). The main goal of the project is to build selected digital infrastructure and digital equipment in all primary and secondary schools, which is essential for the successful digital transformation of education.

In 2024 and 2025, the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic plans to equip primary schools and secondary schools in Slovakia with necessary digital technology defined in the entry-level ICT standards based on the ‘highly equipped and connected classroom’ model and provide 100 % coverage of schools by wired and wireless network.

Currently, the first stage of the project, which maps the state of schools' equipment, is being implemented. The collected information will be used in the second stage to determine the necessary additional equipment. The ministry will then procure the digital equipment and deliver it to schools. The total funding allocated to the projects exceeds 200 million euros.

The project aims to support the active use of digital technology, including the use and creation of digital educational content in the educational process, through the purchase and installation of digital equipment and software. It will bridge the unequal access, for example, due to socioeconomic reasons or based on rural-urban background, as equipment standards will be the same for all schools. Pupils from poorer regions, as well as pupils from lower socioeconomic classes, will obtain equal access to digital education and digital skills in school. Better-equipped key actors will engage in digital transformation more efficiently and understand the opportunities it may bring.
Investments in teachers’ technological equipment will remove barriers to online education, assigning and checking pupils’ work, or preparation for instruction. Equipping all schools to the digital entry level will ensure that all pupils will have equal access to technology and the volume and structure of the equipment will enable schools to cover marginalised communities. That means that if pupils from disadvantaged environments do not have a digital background at home, the school will be able to take over this role by lending equipment, for example, to attend compulsory distance education.

The project aims to purchase infrastructure equipment, LAN, and wifi for teachers and pupils covering the whole school; the school building infrastructure – electrical installation, data cables, etc. will have to be adapted.


Catalogue of support measures

In September 2023, an amendment to the Education Act became effective which introduced the Catalogue of Support Measures (Katalóg podporných opatrení).  As of 2026, support measures will be provided across the board by all schools and school facilities. 

The catalogue will specify support measures in education provided by schools or school facilities that are necessary for children or pupils to fully engage in education and develop their knowledge, skills, and competencies. The measures aim to support all children be it children at risk of social, health, or other disadvantage or talented children. The support will be provided at three levels – general, targeted, and specific.  Entitlement to specific types of support measures will be based on an assessment carried out by the pedagogical or professional staff of a school, school facility, or counselling and prevention centre.


National project “Systemic support of mental health and prevention among children, pupils, and students through the system of counselling and prevention”

Since September 2023, the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology has been implementing the national project “Systemic support of mental health and prevention among children, pupils, and students through the system of counselling and prevention” (Systémová podpora duševného zdravia a prevencie detí, žiakov a študentov cez systém poradenstva a prevencie).

The project aims to implement activities focusing on working with emotions, self-regulation, communication skills and self-respect of children and the youth. It focuses on the prevention of issues such as bullying and cyberbullying, drug abuse, or eating disorders. This support should be provided to children throughout the whole school system – from classes through counselling and prevention centres to special educational facilities and Centres for families and children.
The national project will map, assess, and publish the existing prevention programmes on a comprehensive electronic portal, which will be updated as necessary. The portal will also include methodologies and materials which will cover the main areas of mental health and risk behaviour. Counselling and prevention system staff will be able to access more than 320 tools.


Amendment of the Code of Ethics of Pedagogical and Professional Staff

The Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic responded to the changing social reality and growing hybrid threats by updating the Code of Ethics of Pedagogical and Professional Staff (Etický kódex pedagogických a odborných zamestnancov). The latest amendment of the code was made by a working group that consisted of the representatives of the Ministry, NIVAM (directly managed by the Ministry), State School Inspection, self-governments, and NGOs.

The amendment aims to ensure that teachers do not misuse their position to indoctrinate pupils, feed them with unverified information, or question the results of scientific research. It also aims to ensure that pedagogical and professional employees observe the ethical principles outside school as well, especially at places where they can encounter their pupils, including social media. School employees must observe the Code of Ethics in compliance with the employment contract between the employee and the school.


 National Strategy for Research, Development, and Innovation 2030

In May 2023, the Government‘s  Research and Innovation Authority introduced the National Strategy for Research, Development, and Innovation 2030 (Národná stratégia výskumu, vývoja a inovácií 2030), which aims to increase the competitiveness of the economy and the quality of life through the support of research, innovation, and talent. The Action Plan for the National Strategy for Research, Development, and Innovation 2030 (Akčný plán národnej stratégie výskumu, vývoja a inovácií 2030), which was published alongside the strategy, defines the schedule of tasks required to meet the goals of the national strategy in this area. The reform also includes measures focusing on the development of the educational system’s quality. 

The action plan describes the following measures in school education:

  • Testing and ranking of Slovak and international programmes that support the initiative and entrepreneurship of children, students, and teachers,
  • Support of the development of intelligent laboratories in libraries,
  • Creation of immersive science centres.


Introductory grade

The amendment of the School Law (Novela školského zákona) introduced an ‘introductory grade’ into the education process as of 1st September 2023. It is one of the measures that aim to meet the goal of reducing the rate of early school leaving set by the Recovery plan. 

The introductory grade is designed for pupils with temporarily impaired communication ability and pupils with temporary developmental disorders who have reached the age of 6 years by 1st September and are deemed not capable of successfully completing the first grade of primary school.  Primary schools will be able to choose whether they implement the introductory grade or not. Once the pupil has completed the introductory grade, they will continue by attending education in a regular primary school. The introductory grade will not be considered as a part of compulsory school attendance.

The introductory grade aims to:

  • Support the development of speech and language abilities as a prerequisite for learning to read and write successfully,
  • Remove or at least reduce the communication impairment and eliminate education deficiencies stemming from it,
  • Prevent the emergence of behaviour disorders due to failure in communicating and gaining literacy,
  • Support social and educational adaptation and integration of children and pupils with impaired communication in regular schools.


Professional standards

In August 2023, the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic approved the professional standards in the counselling and prevention system in education (štandardy pre odborné činnosti v systéme poradenstva a prevencie v školstve).  Performance standards of professional activities, content standards of professional activities, and content standards for diagnostic activities were created by the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology (Výskumným ústavom detskej psychológie a patopsychológie) as a part of the national project 'Standards' (Štandardy) in 2019-2023. They aim to guarantee that the same professional care is provided throughout the whole of Slovakia. The standards constitute a framework for performing professional activities in compliance with five degrees of support levels in the counselling and prevention system, within which professional activities take place.


Reform of the national curriculum for primary and lower secondary education

In May 2023, The Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic approved a new State Educational Programme for Primary and Lower Secondary Education (Štátny vzdelávací program pre primárne a nižšie sekundárne vzdelávanie). The changes are a part of the curriculum reform which focuses on meeting the 21st-century educational needs − critical thinking, digital and soft skills.

The first 40 primary schools will start teaching the first-grade pupils according to the new curriculum from September 2023. All primary schools will have to start teaching according to the new State Educational Programme from the school year 2026/2027. 

The approved State Educational Programme introduces specific education targets, school leaver profiles or framework educational plans. The performance and content standards define what pupils should know at the end of each education cycle, that is the third, the fifth, and the ninth grade of primary school. There are no changes in terms of the division of education at primary schools (providing education at ISCED level 1 and 24), which remains divided into two levels and nine grades. The requirements defined in the standards will serve as the basis for the content of new textbooks, national testing, and, in particular, school educational programmes. 

The curriculum reform implementation will be gradual. Based on the feedback from teachers from schools implementing the reform, methodological materials will be created, which will serve as support for other primary schools.


The reform of the counselling system

The reform of the counselling system has been gradually introduced into practice since 1st January 2023. It aims to provide services according to the needs of children, pupils, and families and not based on diagnosis only. Inclusive teams will receive methodical support and will be able to consult their practicing colleagues. They will also cooperate with professionals from the labour or healthcare sector.

The reform introduces a counselling system which will work on five interconnected levels:

  1. class teacher, school support team, career advisor (preventive educational activities)
  2. professional staff, school social pedagogue (professional activities for children/pupils with increased need for support)
  3. professional staff in counselling and prevention centres, or in the school environment, if needed (diagnostics, re-education, rehabilitation, prevention programmes)
  4. professional staff in counselling and prevention centres (specialised professional activities) 
  5. professional staff in specialised counselling and prevention centres.

Two types of centres are to be set up:

1. Counselling and prevention centre that will perform most professional activities except for the highly specialised ones. The centre will take over the professional activities to date performed by the pedagogical-psychological counselling and prevention centre and the special pedagogical counselling centre. It will perform diagnostics, re-education, rehabilitation and prevention programmes. What is new, is coordinated, multi-disciplinary care, which will be provided to children both with and without disabilities. Children or pupils can access the counselling and prevention centre as before – upon the request of the legal guardian, paediatrician, headmaster, specialist doctors and health-care professionals, or upon their own request, if they are of majority age. 

2. Specialised counselling and prevention centre that will replace the present special pedagogical counselling centre. This centre will work with disabled children. It will perform several highly specialised professional activities. Children can access the specialised centres upon the recommendation of the counselling and prevention centre, paediatrician or specialist doctor.

Both types of newly set up counselling facilities will also provide closer support to school support teams, which provide support to children and youth directly in school.



Action plan for solving bullying in schools and school facilities for 2022 and 2023

The action plan for tackling bullying in schools and school facilities for the years 2022 and 2023 (Akčný plan riešenia šikanovania v školách a školských zariadeniach) was developed by the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic on the basis of the Programme Statement of the Government of the Slovak Republic for the years 2020-2024 (Programového vyhlásenia vlády Slovenskej republiky na roky 2020 – 2024). The action plan was approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic on January 12, 2022 at its meeting. 

The document focuses on three main objectives, namely

  1. education of pedagogical and professional staff working in education in the approach to bullying,
  2. strengthening cooperation with state administration bodies for the purpose of mutual information and efficiency of cooperation a
  3. creation of measures to eliminate future risks, including the setting of concrete steps in the field of crisis management for school principals.

The Department of Education is also preparing a new directive on bullying for schools and school facilities.

Support of primary and secondary education in the form of a call for proposal

The Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth to support primary and secondary education as part of the Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Slovak Republic in 2022 has published calls for applications for programmes: 

Call for "Increasing the capacities of primary schools" (Výzva na zvyšovanie kapacít základných škôl)

The purpose of the call is to increase the capacity of primary schools where the number of pupils exceeds their capacity. Likewise, support for ensuring equal access to education for all pupils and removing obstacles to access to education.

The amount of funds designated for the call is EUR 33,847,4401.

A call to "Eliminate the two-shift operation of elementary schools" (Výzva na odstránenie dvojzmennej prevádzky základných škôl)


The intention of the call is to expand the capacities of primary schools through new buildings, additions, superstructures and renovations of existing buildings. By the end of 2026, double-shift operation should be eliminated in at least 49 elementary schools in this way. The amount of funds designated for the call is EUR 34,610,868. 

A call for "Debarrierisation of larger secondary schools" (Výzva na debarierizáciu väčších stredných škôl

The purpose of the challenge is to simplify access to education at secondary schools for students with disabilities.

The amount of funds designated for the call is EUR 32,607,212. 


Call for proposal "Nursery, primary and secondary school health worker" (Výzva „Zdravotnícky pracovník v materskej, v základnej a v strednej škole“)


The aim of the call is to support kindergartens, primary and secondary schools through the employment of a health worker as a non-pedagogical employee for the 

  • provision of health and nursing care,
  • implementation of screening with the aim of early identification of health problems in children and pupils,
  • preventive and advisory activities in the area of healthy lifestyle support and disease prevention and other activities.

This is a pilot verification of this position in schools. The funds will be provided for the personal expenses of the healthcare worker in the period from 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2024. 

The first round of the call for proposal for the creation of Regional Teacher Support Centres (Prvé kolo výzvy na vytvorenie Regionálnych centier podpory učiteľov)


The goal of the challenge is to create Regional Teacher Support Centres, where teachers and school principals can find help and support in implementing changes within the framework of the Education for the 21st Century reform. Teachers will have the opportunity to find their mentors. Their task will be to provide colleagues - teachers with individual advice and help with the transition to a new curriculum and a new teaching system.

The amount of total funds allocated for the call is EUR 10,099,800. 

Call for proposal "Smarter Together 3" and "More Successful Together 2" (Výzva „Spolu múdrejší 3“ a "Spolu úspešnejší 2")


The goal of the call is support for those primary and secondary schools that, through high-quality and affordable tutoring for their pupils, will create conditions for improving their knowledge and skills in lessons outside of class to a specified extent. 

The amount of total financial resources intended for the published call is €6,475,600.

Call for proposal "Compensation of the fee in the children's school club for pupils from a socially disadvantaged environment and in material need 2"( Výzva „Kompenzácia poplatku v školskom klube detí za žiakov zo sociálne znevýhodneného prostredia a v hmotnej núdzi 2“) 

The aim of the challenge is to support the participation of socially disadvantaged pupils in the activities of the school children's club. By compensating the fee for children's school club, the main obstacle to the participation of pupils from a socially disadvantaged environment, or from families in material need to the activity of children's school club, will be removed. 

The amount of total funds allocated for the call is EUR 2,335,425.