Care for children from 6 months to 3 years of age is provided by facilities of care for children up to 3 years of age, formerly known as nurseries. Nurseries are not a part of the educational system, they are considered and organised as a social service.
Preprimary education (ISCED 0.2) in the Slovak Republic is provided in kindergartens, which are usually designed for children aged between 3 and 6 years. Exceptionally, children aged 2 can be admitted.
Pre-primary education is compulsory for any child who reaches the age of 5 years by 31 August. Children younger than 5 years of age are not legally entitled to a place in a kindergarten.
More information in the chapter Organisation in centre-based ECEC.
In the Slovak Republic the compulsory school attendance takes ten years and lasts until the end of the school year in which the pupil attains the age of 16 years. Compulsory school attendance starts at the age of 6 years. If the child who has attained the age of 6 is not adequately physically or mentally developed, the guardian of the child shall apply for, or the preschool facility shall propose, the postponement of the start of compulsory school attendance by one school year, upon examination by the respective counselling (psychological) establishment.
Primary and lower secondary education is provided by primary school, which has two stages:
- stage - grades 1-4 (ISCED 1) and
- stage - grades 5-9 (ISCED 2).
After successful completion of primary school the pupils continue fulfilling compulsory school attendance in the first grade of secondary school.
More information in chapter Organisation of Single Structure Education.
Secondary schools provide general or vocational type of higher secondary education (ISCED 3).
Gymnasium provides general secondary education and prepares students for the study at higher education institutions.
General education is a part of education at secondary vocational schools and conservatories with orientation on vocational training. Secondary vocational schools provide preparation for the execution of professional activities, mainly technical, economical, pedagogical, health, socio-legal, administrative, artistic and cultural, but also for the study at the higher education institution.
The conservatory provides for complex artistic and artistic-pedagogical education. It prepares pupils for professional artistic employment and for teaching artistic and special subjects in educational programmes of artistic orientation.
Studying at secondary sports schools focuses on preparing pupils with sports talent for study at higher education institutions and the pursuit of occupations and professional activities in sports.
School of applied arts provides pupils with comprehensive education in arts that focuses on visual arts and design. It can also provide artistic pedagogical education.
More information in chapter Organisation.
Education at primary schools and secondary schools is free. In other than public schools education may be provided for a fee.
The system of schools also includes basis art schools and language schools, which provide education in arts and foreign languages according to the respective educational programme.
Higher education (ISCED 6-8) can be provided only by higher education institutions, which can be public, state and private institutions. Military and police higher education institutions are the state budgetary organisations, health-care higher education institutions are state semi-budgetary organisations.
More information in chapter Types of Higher Education Institutions.
Adult education is provided by institutions of further education follows the level of education achieved in school education.
More information in chapter Main Providers.
|Age||Level of education||ISCED level||Facilities||Certificate||Title|
|(2)3-5||preprimary||ISCED level 0.2||kindergarten||-||-|
|6-9||primary||ISCED level 1||primary school||certificate with supplement – pupil received primary education||-|
|10-15||lower secondary||ISCED level 2||primary school||certificate with supplement – pupil received lower secondary education||-|
|8-years gymnasium||certificate with supplement – pupil received lower secondary education||-|
|15-17||secondary vocational school||certificate with supplement – pupil received lower secondary education||-|
|15/19-20||upper secondary||vocational||ISCED level 3||secondary vocational school||certificate of final examination+certificate of apprenticeship||-|
|certificate of school leaving examination+certificate of apprenticeship||-|
|conservatory||certificate of school leaving examination||-|
|secondary sport school||certificate of final examination+certificate of apprenticeship||-|
|certificate of school leaving examination+certificate of apprenticeship||-|
|general||gymnasium||certificate of school leaving examination||-|
|secondary sport school||certificate of school leaving examination||-|
|19-21||postsecondary||follow-up study||ISCED level 4||secondary vocational school||certificate of school leaving examination||-|
|postsecondary||secondary vocational school||certificate of final postsecondary examination||-|
|19-22||higher vocational||ISCED level 5||secondary vocational school||certificate of graduation examination and graduation diploma||Diploma specialist (Diplomovaný špecialista) "Dis"|
|conservatory||certificate of graduation examination and graduation diploma||"Dis.art"|
|School of applied arts||certificate of graduation examination and graduation diploma||Diploma specialist (Diplomovaný špecialista) "Dis"|
|higher||I. degree (Bachelor)||ISCED level 6||university/higher education institution||higher education diploma, diploma supplement and certificate of state examination|
|II. degree (Master)||ISCED level 7||university/higher education institution||higher education diploma, diploma supplement and certificate of state examination||Master (Magister) (Mgr.), Master of Arts (Magister umenia) (Mgr. art.), Engineer(Inžinier) (Ing.), Engineer of Architecture (Inžinier architekt) (Ing. arch.), Doctor of General medicine (Doktor všeobecného lekárstva) (MUDr.), Doctor of Dental Medicine (Doktor zubného lekárstva) (MDDr.), Doctor of Veterinary Medicine(Doktor veterinárnej medicíny) (MVDr.)|
|II. degree (Doctor‘s)||ISCED level 7||university/higher education institution||higher education diploma and certificate of state examination||Doctor of Natural Science (Doktor prírodných vied) (RNDr.), Doctor of Pharmacy (Doktor farmácie) (PharmDr.), Doctor of Philosophy (Doktor filozofie) (PhDr.), Doctor of Law (Doktor práv) (JUDr.), Doctor of Pedagogy (Doktor pedagogiky) (PaedDr.), Doctor of Theology (Doktor teológie) (ThDr.)|
|III. degree (PhD)||ISCED level 8||university/higher education institution||higher education diploma, diploma supplement and certificate of state examination||Doctor (Doktor) (PhD.)|
Home education of pupils who attend compulsory school education is governed by the Education Act as a form of individual education.
Individual education is allowed for
- pupils whose health does not allow participation in school education (ISCED 0.2-3)
- primary school pupils (ISCED 1-2) upon the legal representative’s request and
- children fulfilling compulsory preschool attendance at kindergarten (ISCED 0.2) upon the legal representative’s request.
Parents can ask the headteacher of the school the pupil was enrolled to for the permission for individual education and for pupil’s exemption from attending school.
Individual education of children in compulsory preprimary education
The application for individual education also includes
- period of individual education to be permitted,
- reasons for permitting individual education,
- proof that the person who will be providing the child’s individual education meets the qualification requirements and
- other facts that influence child’s individual education.
For children who cannot attend kindergarten because of their health, the application also includes a written consent from a pediatrician or a recommendation from a counselling and prevention facility. The parent kindergartens will provide education to these children through their pedagogical employees with a weekly minimum of two hours. At the end of the half year, the pedagogical employees will present a written report on the individual education of the children to the kindergartens’ head teachers.
Education of a child who was allowed individual education upon the parent’s request is provided by the child’s parent. Completed full secondary general education or full secondary vocational education is required.
In cooperation with the parent, the kindergarten will define the content of the individual education of the child. In the course of the month of March, the child will take part in education at the kindergarten, which will assess whether the content of individual education is adhered to.
Permission for child’s individual education can be revoked by the headteacher of the child’s parent kindergarten
- upon the a child’s parent’s request and
- based on the chief school inspector’s proposal or
- if the content of the individual education is not adhered to.
Individual education of pupils fulfilling compulsory school attendance
The application for individual education must be accompanied with the following documents submitted by the pupil’s parents
- individual educational programme principles and goals of which must be in compliance with the Education act,
- period for which the individual education is to be permitted,
- description of space and,
- a list of textbooks and learning materials to be used in individual education,
- proof that the person who will be providing the pupil’s individual education meets the qualification requirements and
- other facts that influence the pupil’s individual education.
The application for individual education for pupils who cannot attend education in school because of their health also includes a pediatrician’s statement or a recommendation from a counselling and prevention facility. Education of these pupils is provided by the school with a weekly minimum of two hours.
The parent of a pupil who was permitted to be home education must provide a person who will be responsible for pupil’s individual education. The person must meet the qualification criteria set for teachers at the relevant level of the primary school that is the second degree of higher education. The person will be financially remunerated.
The pupil will then take commission exams in the respective subject matter in each compulsory subject every half year. The school will issue a certificate to the pupil based on the commission examination results.
Monitoring of the quality of education in individual education is performed by the State School Inspection. Monitoring of professional-pedagogical and material provision of education is performed by the school the pupil was enrolled to. Therefore, parents must allow an authorised school inspector and an authorised employee of pupil’s school to enter and perform inspection.
The headteacher can withdraw the permission for individual education if:
- pupil’s parents do not fulfil the requirements for individual education,
- the pupil fails at the end of the evaluation period,
- upon chief school inspector’s proposal,
- upon the proposal of the person providing the pupil’s individual education.
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2008. Act no. 448/2008 Coll. on social services and on the change and supplement of Act no. 455/1991 Coll. on Trade Licensing (Trade Licensing Act) as amended (Zákon č. 448/2008 Z. z. o sociálnych službách a o zmene a doplnení zákona č. 455/1991 Zb. o živnostenskom podnikaní (živnostenský zákon) v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 14/12/2022).
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 14/12/2022).
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 14/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2009. Act No. 568/2009 on lifelong learning and on the change and supplemet 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 14/12/2022).