Schools and study (Education) – maturitná téma
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Schools and study (Education)
THE SCHOOL YEAR:
The school year in Slovakia starts on 2nd of September and ends on the 30th of June. We have 2 terms – a summer term and a winter term. In July and August we have holidays. We also have a few days off school in autumn, during Christmas and a week holiday in spring. We have on average 6-7 lessons a day. Lessons are 45 minutes long. Between the lessons we have breaks that are 5 or 10 minutes long. We also have a lunch break which is usually 30 minutes long. Students are evaluated by marks on the scale from 1 to 5 – 1 is the best and 5 is the worst.
Lessons on the first stage of primary school include:
- Slovak language, reading and writing
- Prvouka - Introduction to Environment and Society (1st and 2nd year)
- Science (3rd and 4th year)
- Homeland Study (3rd and 4th year)
- Religion or Ethics
- Physical Education
Lessons on the second stage of primary school include:
- Slovak language and literature
- Foreign language; usually English or German
- Farming and Technical Education
- Physical Education
- Religion or Ethics
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN SLOVAKIA:
The general education in Slovakia is free of charge – you don’t have to pay if you go to a state school but in most private schools you have to pay fees. School attendance in Slovakia is compulsory for children aged from 6 to 16 years.
Education in Slovakia has the following stages:
1. PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION - it includes nursery schools and kindergartens. They are for children from 3 to 6 years old.
- PRIMARY EDUCATION- Primary school education starts at the age of 6 children. Primary school is divided into two stages. First stage lasts for four years (1st – 4th year of study). Second stage lasts for five years (5th – 9th year of study). After graduating from the primary school children continue their study at secondary school after passing the entrance exam. On the first stage every class has its own teacher to teach all lessons. On the second stage, every lesson is taught by a different teacher.
- SECONDARY EDUCATION – After primary school graduation students continue their study at secondary schools on which they were accepted based on study results or entrance tests. There are a few types of secondary schools in Slovakia.
- Grammar school, High School (Gymnazium): 4-8 years; provides general secondary education and prepares for further study at universities and other higher education institutions.
2. Specialized Secondary School: 4-5 years; provides specialized education and usually prepares students for further study at higher education institutions.
3. Conservatories: 4-5 years; special type of professional school providing specializing in fields such as Music, Singing, Dancing and Dramatic Arts.
4. Vocational School: 2-4 years; prepares students for careers that are based in manual or practical occupations.
Secondary Vocational School
There are two types of secondary vocational schools: secondary vocational schools and secondary specialized schools. Secondary vocational schools consist of general education and vocational training and students regularly attend practical classes, training centre and real working places to learn practical skills in the given profession. Vocational education is Slovakia is offered in two, three or four years of study.
Study at the three-year vocational schools finalized by final examination that qualifies graduates for performing workers' trades and vocational activities corresponding to the branch they were trained for. Based on study results students can continue their study at two-year vocational school to complete their secondary study with school leaving examination called maturita. Besides full-time two-year vocational school there are part time also called evening schools providing education for people who are already employed and cannot attend education day time. Vocational professions include professions such as builder, mechanic, cook, waiter, hairdresser, baker, butcher, etc. Four-year study finishes with school leaving examination. After graduation at the four-year study students obtain maturita certificate.
Secondary Schools and Grammar Schools
For most secondary schools students have to pass entrance examination. Secondary school education usually lasts for four years though there are schools that provide five-year education e.g. Hotel Academy. There are eight-year grammar schools (gymnazium) that pupils enter after finalizing the first stage of primary school.
Grammar schools are considered as prestigious schools as the study is formed in order to prepare students for higher education especially universities. Though gymnasia provide general education, many grammar schools have specialized classed specializing e.g. in languages, programming or mathematics. Secondary specialized schools specialize in branches such as health, economy, sport, art, agriculture, wood industry, pharmacy, chemistry, pedagogy, hotels, industry, hotel academies etc.
Learning system at secondary schools is similar to primary schools. Lessons last 45 minutes and there are breaks between the lessons though usually longer than at primary school. Students at secondary schools usually have 6 or 7 lessons per day. Study at secondary school finishes with school leaving examination and students obtain maturita certificate. School leaving examination consists of two parts, written and oral exam. After obtaining the maturita certificate, students can apply for higher education including University study.
- HIGHER EDUCATION- After secondary school graduation students can apply for a university study. To enter a university, students have to pass an entrance exam. Students are chosen based on the secondary study results and entrance exam results.
Full university education in Slovakia lasts five year, some faculties are organized in 6 year study, e.g. human medicine (MUDr.). University study in Slovakia is organized in the following stages.
Stage one, bachelor study lasts 3-4 years and graduates obtain Bachelor title (abb. Bc.).
Stage two usually lasts 2 years and graduates obtain the following titles:
- Master (abb. Mgr.)
- Engineer (abb. Ing.)
- Doctor title is based on studied branch (MUDr., MVDr., MDDr.)
The university title is obtained after writing a diploma work and passing state exam on a promotion ceremony.
Some Slovak Universities:
- Comenius University in Bratislava
- The University of Constantine’s Philosopher in Nitra
- The University of St.Cyril and Methodius in Trnava
- Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica
- The University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice
- The Technical University Košice
THE BRITISH SYSTEM OF EDUCATION:
The compulsory school attendance in Britain starts at the age of 5.
Children start primary education – it is divided into infant schools and junior schools. Pupils at most of the primary and secondary schools have to wear uniforms, which are usually different for every school.
At the age of 11, most children start secondary education - it is compulsory until the age of 16, when the students take an exam called “GCSE” (General Certificate of Secondary Education). Students, who pass the GCSE exam can attend a 2-years long course and take A-levels examination. They can go to university only if they pass A-levels.
THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF EDUCATION:
In the USA there is no national system of education. Each of the 50 American states has its own laws that regulate education. Children begin school at the age of 5 or 6 and finish at the age of 16 or 18.
American children attend:
a) elementary schools
b) middle school – children attend the middle school for 3 years
c) secondary schools that are called high schools (junior high and senior high)– when they finish, they get a high school diploma. During the school attendance, children have to take the Stanford Achievement Test– the results of this test are important if the student wants to attend a college or a university.
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