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Education. Studying at primary and secondary school and university in Slovakia.

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Free education

If you have been granted the status of temporary protection or asylum in Slovakia or you have applied for one of these form of legal residence, you children are entitled to free education.

This applies to kindergartens, primary and secondary schools.

Compulsory school attendance in Slovakia is up to the age of 16, but it only applies to children with permanent residence in Slovakia. It does not apply to persons who have been granted the status of temporary protection. Therefore, if you do not have a permanent residence in Slovakia, you can freely decide whether to place your child in a Slovak school or not.

Education system in Slovakia

Most schools are public and are provided free of charge, as the state contributes financially to their operation. Some schools are run by churches or private companies, and these schools may be subject to tuition fees.

Children and students go to school from Monday to Friday except public holidays and school holidays.

Nursery

Age: children at the age of 0-3

Nurseries provide day care for children at a very early age. Children are taught basic hygiene habits, socialization, movement and speech development.

Kindergarten

Age: children at the age of 4-6

Children are usually admitted to kindergartens only when they can independently handle basic needs such as using the toilet and talking. Kindergartens develop hygienic habits, social behaviour, expressive skills, sports and intellect in children.

Primary school

Age: children at the age of 6-15

Children start primary school at the age of 6 or 7, depending on their level of readiness. Elementary school has 9 grades and these are divided into 1st grade (grades 1 to 4) and 2nd grade (grades 5 to 9). Primary schools provide general education in subjects such as Slovak language and literature, foreign languages, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Geography, History, artistic skills and sports.

Secondary school

Age: students at the age of 15-19

Children must first complete their studies at primary school and successfully pass an entering exam for secondary school. Secondary schools are divided according to the focus of study.

  • Secondary grammar school – provides general education, which is perceived as preparation for university studies. The studies at a secondary grammar school are completed with a school leaving exam (maturita), after which it is possible to continue further studies at a university.
  • Secondary vocational school – provides education focused on a specific skill and preparation for a specific profession. Studying at a secondary vocational school is completed with a certificate of apprenticeship, which does not allow you to continue your studies at a university. Some secondary vocational schools offer studies completed with a school leaving exam, which allows you to continue further studies at a university.
  • Secondary sports school – prepares young people with sports talents for a professional carrier in the relevant sports field or for further studies at a university. The study is completed with a school leaving exam.
  • Secondary school of industrial arts – provides students with artistic education mostly focused on art and design. It can also provide study fields focused on artistic and pedagogical activities. The study is completed with a school leaving exam, which allows you to continue further studies at a university.
  • Conservatory – prepares students for a professional career in arts. You can study pedagogy, acting, dance and music here. The study can be completed with a final exam and/or a school leaving exam.

University

Age: students at the age of 19 and more

Students must first graduate from a secondary school with a school leaving certificate. Some universities condition admission to study by passing an entering exam, other universities accept students based on the academic results achieved at a secondary school.

The university studies are divided as follows:

  • 1st level – Bachelor degree, 3 years of study.
  • 2nd level – Master, Engineer, Doctoral degree, 2 years of study. In some study fields, the 1st and 2nd level are combined into one level.
  • 3rd level – Doctoral degree, 2-4 years of study.

More at Education system in Slovakia.

List of schools

  • IEDU.sk – List of kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, conservatories and dormitories in Slovakia.
  • Kampo.sk – List of secondary schools in the Prešov Region.
  • Mojastredna.sk – List of secondary schools in the Žilina Region.
  • Bratislavskykraj.sk – List of secondary schools in the Bratislava Region.

How to register your child for school

Recommendation of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic.

  1. Visit the kindergarten, primary or secondary school where you would like to place your child.
  2. Provide the school principal with a document stating that you have been granted the status of temporary protection or asylum or a document showing that the procedure for granting the status of temporary protection or asylum has started.
  3. The school will then determine your child’s level of education and Slovak language proficiency.
  4. Based on this, your child will be assigned to the appropriate grade.
  5. Inform the school principal about any facts concerning your child, such as special dietary requirements, special educational requirements, need for an individual approach.
  6. Information about your child’s hobbies will also be useful, as well as any information about his/her concerns or the fact that he/she finds it difficult to cope with life in Slovakia and the current situation.
  7. If necessary, the school will put you in touch with a professional employee at school or in a counselling facility who will help your child better cope with a difficult life situation.
  8. Your child will be given time to adapt to the new environment and a teacher to help him/her learn or improve Slovak.

Entry medical examination

Before entering a kindergarten or school, children must undergo an examination by a paediatrician.

The staff at the school or kindergarten will provide you with a form for the paediatrician or you can get it at download HERE (DOCX file, 16 KB). You need to submit the completed form of the child’s medical fitness, including information on mandatory vaccinations, to the kindergarten or school.

You can choose a paediatrician anywhere in Slovakia.

Advice and help

If you have any questions, contact NIVaM regional coordinators.

Recognition of foreign educational documents

In order to continue your studies at school or perform a regulated occupation, it will be necessary for the Slovak authorities to recognize your previous education.

Prepare all required documents that you have or that you are able to get additionally.

In most cases, you need to have a certificate of education obtained in Ukraine. If you do not have this document yet, contact Ministry of Education of Ukraine.

The Slovak side requires neither the verification of the authenticity of educational documents (apostil / superlegalization) nor a confirmation of the accreditation of an educational institution (university).

Then apply for recognition of education in Slovakia.

  • In order to recognize a completed part of studies at primary or secondary school, contact the principal of your school in Slovakia.
  • In order to recognize documents on the completed studies at primary or secondary school, contact Regional Office of School Administration.
  • In order to recognize a completed part of studies at university and a number of credits obtained, contact the study department at your faculty in Slovakia.
  • In order to recognize your university diploma, contact the study department at your faculty in Slovakia or Centre for recognition of educational documents.
  • In order to recognize your university diploma to perform a regulated profession (e.g. health care, social care, teaching, transport), contact the state organisation for respective profession. More at regulated professions in the Slovak Republic.

In order to verify your actual knowledge, you will have to pass a supplementary exam at a secondary school or university that offers the same study program as you have completed, after the recognition of the educational document.

You can find the instructions on how to file an application at Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic.

What if I don’t have any of the documents?

The authenticity of some documents can be verified through available databases, so it will also help if you submit photos or copies of educational documents, if available.

In case that you are unable to submit some of the required documents for objective reasons, you can provide a self-signed affidavit about the facts to be certified.

If you don’t have any documents, contact Centre for recognition of educational documents.

Distance learning options for Ukrainian students

Your child can participate in distance learning within the Ukrainian education system and at the same time study at a Slovak school.

  • All-Ukrainian school online – the main educational platform containing videos, assignments and exercises based on the official Ukrainian curriculum (18 main subjects).
  • Electronic textbooks – approved by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine.

Work at school

Are you a teacher? An assistant? A special pedagogue? Register on the website of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic, so that schools can find out about you. Then, they will be able to contact you with any job offers.

Continue at registration form.

Frequently asked questions

I am from Ukraine and I have a problem with the registration of my child for school in Slovakia. What should I do?

First of all, try to solve the issue with the school management. If you fail, contact NIVaM regional coordinators.

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