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.
In December 2020, the Ministry responsible for education adopted the Rules on norms and standards for funding and provision of public service in adult education (sl). The Rules is the background document for decisions on funding the public service in 2021. This includes counselling service in adult education, and the basic school programme for adults.
In September 2020, the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia issued the audit report Reading literacy of children in the Republic of Slovenia (sl). It was associated to the Ministry of education, science and sport, the Culture Ministry, National education institute Slovenia, and Slovenian book agency, as well as the cooperation among those institutions in the period from 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2018.
The audit report included several recommendations for improvements in future operations.
The recommendations addressed to the Ministry responsible for education relate to
- Continuous development of school librarianship
- Implementation activities of the National strategy for reading literacy for the period 2019 to 2030
- Development and monitoring the realisation of goals and indicators for the assessment of success rate in developing reading literacy of all children, namely on a distinct track to improving the level of reading literacy of all children. One will aim in particular to decrease the share of children at the lowest proficiency levels as much as possible, as well as raise awareness of education staff about the importance of reading literacy of children and their continuous professional development.
The Court of Audit addressed explicitly the need for developing continuously analytical contextual references to support the planning of educational policies with quality analyses of secondary and background factors, with special aim on the problem areas.
In July 2020, one held the national meeting of stakeholders and social partners to discuss the development of the new master plan for education of adults for the period 2021–2030 (sl). The vision of the new plan is to give all adult citizens in Slovenia the same opportunities for quality education through their life. The activities for the development of the plan started in spring 2019 when, the Minister of education call out to other ministries, social partners, local communities and other stakeholders to participate and started the process of the development of the new master plan for education of adults for the period of 2021–2030. Thus, Slovenia implemented the recommendation of the second phase of the Skills strategy (OECD 2018). Until summer, various responsible actors at different levels of professional and other meetings started the discussion (Professional consultation on the new scheme of the basic school for adults, Andragogic convention, Meeting 320 of the Economic and Social Council).
In May 2020, the Minister responsible for education adopted on the basis of the Decision by the Council of experts of the Republic of Slovenia for adult education, the adult education programme Slovenian as the second or foreign language (sl).
In May 2020 and according to the Adult Education Act (sl), the Council of experts of the Republic of Slovenia for adult education approved the Guidelines for counselling service in adult education that is pursued as public service, and the background material for the development of officially recognised education programmes for adults.
In March 2020, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Climate change fund resources utilisation Programme 2020–2023 (sl). It applies among other to education and training. Under legitimate utilisation purposes, it provides for learning aimed at sustainable transition, namely with the action of adding the goals and contents of climate change in kindergarten and basic education programmes, upper secondary, short cycle higher vocational education and adult education programmes. The planned activities include the revision of national guidelines for education and training for sustainable development, education programmes, subject-curricula and other curricular documents with similar goals and contents.
In February 2020, the Councils of experts of the Republic of Slovenia for general education and vocational and technical education passed the amended upper secondary education programmes. The programmes include a new component or other forms of educational activities: a compulsory set of contents on active citizenship, as well as non-compulsory contents in gimnazije and interest activities in vocational and technical education. Furthermore, the Council of experts of the Republic of Slovenia for general education approved in February the subject-curriculum and catalogues of knowledge for the above set of contents. The revised programmes will come into operation with the school year 2020/2021.
At the beginning of 2020, the Ministry of education set up the first national Strategic council for entrepreneurship education. The council seats experts in education and economy, science and youth, all with experience in promoting entrepreneurship education in various organisations, in which they have implemented with success changes in various environments. The strategic council will aim to progress the current implementation of entrepreneurship education in the system and develop a strategy with the action plan for entrepreneurship education. The council will develop effective guidelines that will bring concrete results in practice: self-incentive and entrepreneurial youth with the right notch of ethics and moral.