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Education in Slovenia

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The National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia also known as Zavod Republike Slovenije za Šolstvo (ZRSŠ) is the country’s public education organization. It covers kindergartens, elementary, secondary, music and student boarding schools. Educational standards and systems are set by ZRSŠ. Slovenia’s educational system is divided into four periods. The fourth which is the university period is no longer under the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (ZRSŠ).

Primary School is considered as the first period in their educational system starting at age six and finishes at age 14. Children under the same birth year are grouped to form a class of primary grade students. One student grade or year is divided into two semesters or terms with each having either one or two holidays namely autumn, Christmas, winter and May 1st. Each holiday approximately last about a week long. Commonly, a school year starts 1st of September that ends 24th of June the following year except in the 9th grade that ends one week earlier then followed by a couple of months vacation.

First Period, covers from first grade up to the fourth grade. Students stay in one class with one teacher that teaches all subjects. A separate teacher specializing on a particular subject teaches occasionally. Students who enter the first grade are to help their master teacher lead and guide younger students to the new system. They are taught starting from reading, writing and counting. Other subjects include their native language (Slovenian, Hungarian or Italian, depending on the area of schooling), mathematics, natural and sociological sciences, music, physical education and art. Only in their fourth grade they are taught their first foreign language that is usually English. Grading system at this point up to second grade uses descriptive marks after which they are marked with number grades.

Second Period, is from fifth grade and ends with seventh grade. Students must choose at least two specialized subjects whichever interests them out of 40 subjects offered. Choices include foreign languages, astronomy, fine arts, computer science and etc.

State tests, students are to take these at the end of 3rd, 6th, and 9th grade. Results are used to evaluate student’s performance during their school years and ranks performance. A student may then join a particular high school considered as the third period of education.

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