Education in Slovakia

According to Article 42 of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic every citizen has the right to education while the details are stipulated in special regulations.

Fundamental law regulating education in Slovakia is Act No. 245/2008 Coll. on Upbringing and Education (the School Act).

Pursuant to this act, citizens of the Slovak Republic have the right to free of charge education in state primary and secondary schools. The act stipulates conditions under which students have the right to financial assistance from public funds.

Education of children

Children of foreigners with residence in the territory of the Slovak Republic, asylum seekers and Slovaks living abroad are provided with upbringing and education, accommodation and meals at schools under the same conditions as citizens of the Slovak Republic which means they can study at state (not private and church) schools free of charge and they may as well borrow basic textbooks free of charge. Basic and advanced language courses of the Slovak language are organised for children of foreigners to eliminate language barrier at primary and secondary schools. System of primary and secondary schools consists of primary school, primary school with kindergarten, apprentice school, secondary apprentice school, secondary grammar school, secondary vocational school and special schools.

There is a ten year compulsory school attendance in Slovakia. It lasts maximum until the end of the school year in which a pupil reaches sixteen years of age, if the act does not stipulate otherwise. Completing zero class in the primary school is considered as the first year of compulsory school attendance.

Education of adults

The Constitution of the Slovak Republic entitles foreigners, among other matters, also to education-related rights. According to Article 33 of the Constitution belonging to any national minority or ethnic group must not be used to the detriment of any individual. This principle is also reflected in the legislation governing education and applies also to access to education.

Following Article 34 citizens belonging to national minorities or ethnic groups in the Slovak Republic shall be guaranteed their universal development, particularly the rights to promote their culture together with other members of the minority or group, to disseminate and receive information in their mother tongues, to associate in national minority associations, to establish and maintain educational and cultural institutions. In addition to the right to learn the official language, the citizens belonging to national minorities or ethnic groups shall, under the conditions laid down by a law, also be guaranteed the right to be educated in their language.

An especially important area is recognition of certificates and diplomas regulated by Act No. 293/2007 Coll. on Recognition of Professional Qualifications as amended.

Relevant regulations:

Interesting document: 
Council Directive 2004/114/EC on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service.