In August, the ministry responsible for digital transformation issued the draft Decree on managing the facility for assuring access to computer equipment. It provided based on the Promotion of Digital Inclusion Act, access to computer equipment and ways of exercising the right to borrowing computer equipment, including by determining the period of equipment borrowing of at least 6 months. The Government shall decree the number and type of equipment for eligible persons.
The new law introduced the setting up of the facility for providing access to computer equipment in the scope of which, the entitled persons by law could borrow the computer equipment for a definite time. The facility aimed at decreasing the digital gap among individual groups of citizens as to the individual’s capabilities and accessibility of ITC. The Public Scholarship, Development, Disability and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia will be the administrator of the facility.
The draft decree determined the administration of the facility, logistics and technical tasks that can be provided by external subcontractors, type of equipment that can be borrowed, borrowing period and extension conditions, compensation in case of equipment not being returned or damaged, as well as particulars that are key for continuous operation of the mechanism.
In August, the ministry responsible for digital transformation issued the draft Decree on the content of the plan to promote digital inclusion. It determined based on the Promotion of Digital Inclusion Act the contents of the plan promoting digital inclusion that should include the following chapters:
- Background for adopting the plan
- Evaluation of the situation in digital inclusion, including the analysis on the existence of less favourable position of individual group in digital inclusion
- Definition of the target groups of actions of promoting digital inclusion
- Definition of the target level of digital competences for specific target groups
- Definition and description of promoting digital inclusion for each of every target groups
- Establishment of financial implications of actions for promoting digital inclusion
- Development of indicators of effectiveness of foreseen actions for promoting digital inclusion.
In June, the ministry responsible for digital transformation advertised a call for applications for co-funding non-formal adult education in digital competences for 2023. The aim was to improve the awareness of priority use of digital tools for the life of an individual and society as a whole, and improve the trust in digital technologies, understanding of digital technologies and the responsible and safe use. Goals included:
- Acquisition and improvement of basic digital competences of citizens of Slovenia 30 years and older
- Acquisition and improvement of advanced digital competences of citizens of Slovenia 30 years and older
- Promotion of interest in digital technologies, their understanding, and responsible and safe use.
Public call for applications was open to self-employed entrepreneurs and legal persons under private and public law including public and private institutions, societies, associations of societies, cooperatives, institutions and respresentative social partners at the level of the state that were registered for the provision of non-formal education on the day of application submission. The indicative net funds available were €5,900,000.00. The public call for selection of operation is co-funded by the European Union from the European social fund.
In June, the ministry responsible for digital transformation advertised a public call for proposal for Experimental projects – development of digital competences and basic skill in computer science and informatics. The target group were the existing generations of kindergarten children, basic and upper secondary school students, students in residential halls, basic schools with adapted programmes and institutions for education of SEN children and young people. The focus was on lessons and decreasing the gap between the labour market needs and education. The call was divided in three segments:
- Transformation of teaching and learning for life in a digital era
- Comprehensive development and assessment of digital competences of learners
- Development of basic skills of learners in computer science and informatics.
The public call is open to kindergartens, basic school, gimnazije, upper secondary vocational and technical schools, basic schools with the adapted programme, institutions for education of SEN children and young people, residential halls for students, public higher education institutions and public education institutes and public research institution, namely as consortium partners. The funds of the Recovery and Resillience Facility of €9,000,000.00.
In June, the ministry responsible for education advertised a call for applications for subsidising tuition fees for further education and training of education staff in the 2023/2024 academic year. See chapter 14.4.
In June, the ministry responsible for equal opportunities laid before the Government of the Republic of Slovenia the draft Resolution on the national programme for equal opportunities of women and men until 2030. See chapter 14.2.
In May, the ministry responsible for digital transformation advertised the call for applications for co-funding training of children and young people in digital skills and promotion of occupations in the field of natural sciences and techniques. It aimed at programmes of non-formal training and stimulation of interest in digital technology, its understanding, and responsible and safe use, as well as acquisition of digital competences of up to level 6 of the DigComp 2.2. Under this principle, the call targeted training programmes for children and young people. The targeted activities were divided in three segments:
- ICT for girls and women
- Advanced digital technologies
- Improvement of digital competences of children and young people.
It addressed different groups within individual segments, namely girls and women of 6 to 29 years of age, and children and young people of both genders of 6 to 29 years of age. The indicative funds were €5,460,000.00.
In April, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the new Promotion of Digital Inclusion Act. The major new provision was the setting up of a mechanism which would allow for the free leasing the common computer equipment to eligible persons in priority order. Target groups will no longer be determined in advance as by current law but will be determined according to indicators which consider the actual societal circumstances. The indicators are:
- Educational Qualification
- Status of activity (preschool children, basic school students, upper secondary students, higher education students, education staff, higher education teachers, active working adults or otherwise, invalids, persons in a pension scheme, etc.)
- Level of urbanisation of the area of permanent or temporary residence
- Income scale.
With the amended schedule of promoting digital inclusion introduced by the new law, one aims to provide for an exacter forecasting of the needs, availability and targeted actions.
In March, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Digital Slovenia 2030 strategy. It determined guidelines and goals with indicators for eliminating the largest developmental gaps hindering faster development of digital transformation in all areas from gigabytes infrastructure to the digital transformation of the economy, digital public services, the path towards the smart society 5.0, cyber security, digital competences and inclusion, and related contents such as support environment and green transition.
In the area of digital competences and inclusion, the strategy determines goals:
- Furnishing digital rights to every and all citizens
- Introducing contents of digital competences in the compulsory learning programme of the education system
- Providing pedagogical digital competences of all education staff
- Improving the digital literacy of citizens
- Increasing the number of staff in ICT
- Decreasing differences in the share of men and women in ICT.
In November, the ministry responsible for education issued a public invitation to apply for the training of education and leadership staff in education to improve competences in digital literacy, sustainable development, and financial literacy (the aim is to train at least 20,000 members of the education and leadership staff and develop recommendations for proper classification and assessment of the competences in all phases of career development, as well as recommend new approaches to continuous education and training. The total of funds available until 2026 was set provisionally at €17,576,000.00.
In October, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia approved Slovenia’s participation in the project by the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO). The project was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). The project aims to raise interest among young people in continuous education in natural sciences. One foresees the development and advocating for the integration of contents of space technologies in basic and upper secondary education programmes. It will include the review of current subject-curricula and the development of a plan and material necessary to include the contents of space technology. In Slovenia, the ESERO offices were set up within the operation of the public institute CŠOD (Centre for school and extracurricular activities) and the public institute CŠOD (Centre for school and extracurricular activities). The centre is involved in rounding up the contents of education for sustainable development and information communication technologies. In their numerous centres across Slovenia, they are promoting learning outside, the topic of sustainable and technological development, space and Earth research, etc. The Herman Potočnik Noordung Centre will also participate in the project as it is the centre’s mission among others to promote space technologies and coordinate companies and other institutions which operate around space technology development.
In June and in the scope of the recovery and resilience plan, the ministry responsible for education issued a call for application for Pilot projects to modernise higher education for green and resilient transition. The pilot projects shall aim to examine and consider the right solutions – the results of the subject-curricula modernisation linked to the market and future vocations. The projects will have to address impartially the demand for providing digital knowledge and competences for green transition (sustainable development) – with a focus on providing quality student experience according to the principles of flexible study paths in a flexible learning environment, as well as according to the concepts of lifelong learning. The latter includes setting up support to higher education teachers in adapting their teaching. The result of the projects shall also have to include proposals and recommendations for modification of infrastructure.
In May, the minister responsible for education signed a decision to approve the "Center for all-round coordination of digital education" project. The Centre operates on the recovery and resilience plan. Its purpose is to boost the operational using of digital technologies and thereby improve digital competences of education staff and learners. The goal is to set up an operational comprehensive support ecosystem for sustainable and quality digital education. This ecosystem will support the aims of the Modernisation of education system for green and digital transition reform. There is a total of €1.61 m planned for the implementation, namely in the scope of the recovery and resilience plan for the period of 2022 to 2026. The project operator is the ministry responsible for education.
In April, the minister responsible for education signed the decision to approve the Modernisation of education programmes by modernising the key programme documents (kindergarten curriculum, basic school gimnazija subject-curricula, and knowledge catalogues for general subjects of upper-secondary vocational and technical education) project. The purpose of the project is to include meaningfully in the programme documents the digital competences and basic contents of computer science and informatics, and sustainable development competences and financial literacy. In February 2022, the Council of experts of the Republic of Slovenia for general education adopted the Platform for the kindergarten curriculum modernisation and the Platform for modernisation of basic school and gimanzija subject-curricula. In April, one appointed the curricular council to monitor and steer the modernisation. It met for the first time in August 2022. There is a total of €4 m planned for the implementation in the scope of the recovery and resilience plan for the period of 2022 to 2025. The project operator is the National Education Institute Slovenia.
In April, the Ministry of education, science and sport adopted the Digital education action plan (ANDI) for 2021 to 2027. It covers the following areas:
- National coordination of digital education
- Didactics of digital education
- Amendment to the education and study programmes, and work posts
- Education and training of education staff, leadership, and other educators, as well as lifelong learning
- Digital education ecosystem
- Protocols for education in extraordinary circumstances
ANDI includes also measures to identify activities for each area to pursue the relevant goals.
In March, the Slovenian national assembly adopted the Promotion of Digital Inclusion Act. Its purpose is to improve the digital inclusion of citizens and make comparable progress in digital development of economy and society. The law indicates the following objectives:
- raise awareness of benefits of using digital tools for individuals or society as a whole, as well as building up trust in digital technologies
- develop interest in STEM skills and knowledge, in particular in digital technologies (computer programing, robotics, artificial intelligence, and similar)
- improve the understanding of digital technologies and related responsible and safe use
- improve skills to apply digital competences
- increase in number of digitally competent employees
- awaken interest in upper secondary, short-cycle higher vocational and higher education programmes that include professional digital competences; and closing up the gender gap in this field, and
- raise entrepreneurial competences in relation to digital competences and develop entrepreneurship based on digital competences.
The law makes provision for the financial credit incentive – digital voucher for the purchase of computer equipment or taking part in education programmes of digital competences. The Slovenian government decreed in May the arrangements for the implementation and eligible persons. According to the decree, third educational cycle basic school students, all upper secondary students and higher education students could start redeeming the digital voucher ‘22 of €150 from 15 June 2022. Adults of 55 years of age and older can only redeem the digital voucher after they completed the subsidised non-formal education programme of digital literacy. Eligible persons can collect the voucher until 30 November 2022
In March, the Slovenian national assembly adopted the Resolution on the National Programme of Adult Education 2020-2030.
The vision of the Resolution is for all adult residents of Slovenia to have equal opportunities and incentives to acquire quality learning and education for all-round development and sustainable living through their lifespan.
Objectives of the resolution are:
- more adults in lifelong learning
- improve basic skills and knowledge of adults
- raise the level of educational qualification
- improve the skills of citizens for a successful responding to the labour market demands
- facilitate the development and research in adult education, and
- improve and strengthen the activity of adult education.
In February, the Slovenian national assembly adopted the Resolution on the 2021–2028 National Programme for Culture. It includes or relates to all current relevant strategies in culture, among other the Resolution on the National Programme for Language Policy 2021–2025 and the National strategy for reading literacy 2019–2030. The latter was developed in interministerial coordination led by the ministry responsible for education. The strategic goals of the Resolution 2021–2028 is to promote intersectoral coordination of culture with other sectors. The document includes a special chapter on “education in culture-arts” or intersection area of culture and education of which the planned development is to a greater part joint responsibility of ministries responsible for culture and education respectively.
In January, the ministry responsible for education issued a public call for development initiative on the subject of key and transversal competences, quality in education and professional development of education staff. It received 159 questionnaires completed in part or in full: 77 were submitted by the educational institution, 32 by public development institutes, 19 by higher education institutions, 7 by research institutes and 24 by other organisation. The majority initiatives submitted addressed the improvement of personal, societal and learning competences, healthy attitude towards oneself and prevention of violence. They also addressed the development of reading literacy and language competences, digital competences, cultural awareness and expression, entrepreneurship. Several initiatives related to the activities in educational institutions (for example teamwork) and educational activities (for example cross-curricular aspects, holistic approach and so forth). The ministry responsible for education will consider where appropriate and relevant the contents of initiatives in the context of planning the measures and instruments for the period of the cohesion policy 2021–2027.
In July 2021, the Ministry responsible for education consulted the public on the draft Resolution on the master plan for adult education 2021–2030 (sl). The resolution defines public interest in adult education that encapsulates the objectives and indicators of the plan, priority areas in adult education, actions on the provision of adult education, scope of relevant funding, ministries responsible for individual actions, as well as the manner of harmonisation during the realisation of objectives, and the manner of monitoring the implementation of the plan. The master plan shall include respective programmes and activities of competent ministries that will be public service.
In June 2021, the National assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Resolution on the National Programme for Language Policy 2021–2025 (sl). The focus of the programmes is language education and language infrastructure, common language culture and language landscape, legal instruments and other binding documents of the Slovenian language policy, as well as the Slovenian presidency of the council of EU in the second half of 2021. This strategic document provides a firm platform for professionals and policy makers to steer language situations in a sound and systematic manner within the Slovenian society, as well as the platform for public invitations to tender and for co-funding of projects in the scope of language policies.
The most common goal of the language policy in the relevant period is to provide for quality language life for all. A huge part of the programme focuses on the language education broken down to the following topics:
- Slovenian as first language in Slovenia
- Slovenian as first language globally
- Slovenian as a second language
- Languages of the Italian and Hungarian national communities and the Roma community
- Languages of members of different minority ethnical communities
- Languages of migrant communities
- Foreign languages
- Persons with special needs and adapted manners of communication
- Language in higher education, and so forth.
The actions defined in the programmes aim to provide proper circumstances for pursuing activities and by that open access to learning and competence in languages, as well as improving communication skills of all citizens of the Republic of Slovenian of all ages for which will deem necessary for all relevant stakeholders to cooperate. The Resolution emphasises the importance of interaction with the reading literacy strategy.
In February 2021, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia nominated the Reading literacy national council. One of its key responsibilities will be monitoring the implementation of the strategy that will be specified in more detail with the action plan. The council is made up of experts in reading literacy, namely from preschool education to education later in life, and cover different aspects of the literacy development, and the representatives of the ministries that bear key roles in developing literacy. The ministry responsible for education will provide administrative and technical support, as well as funds for the council’s operations.