The NPDE, approved by the Government on 27 June 2018, introduces a 10-year implementation plan. Its three main cross-cutting priorities are: (1) development of lifelong learning, (2) integration of persons from marginalized Roma communities into society, and (3) compliance of the educational process with the requirements of the labour market. The purpose of the NPDE is to provide a long-term concept of the content of education, as well as further education with the aim of personal development and acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills necessary for successful employment of graduates.
Legal base (E.g. Law, regulation, implementing provision, other)
Government decree - Programme Statement of the Government of the Slovak Republic
TIMESPAN: In what year did the initiative commence?
PERSPECTIVE: is the initiative based on evidence derived from skill forecasts or foresight activities?
The purpose of the NPDE is to provide a long-term concept of the content of education (incl. further education, informal education, personal development) covering the long-term objectives and goals of the Slovak Republic in a 10-year perspective. It is based on the forecasts and analysis developed mainly by the Institute of information and Forecasts on Education, Value for Money Department of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic and Institute of Education Policy.
To which POLICY AREAS(s) does the initiative apply?
Preparation of conditions for the national system of recognition of results of non-formal education and informal learning through a new System of Verification of Qualifications.
What methods of undertaking skills assessments and / or skills anticipation does the policy instrument utilise?
Exploratory foresight through expert panels and scenario-building to better define the fields of education for which training programmes of post-secondary specialization and higher professional study will be created.
Expert panels for regional education, higher education and science were created. A special standing group of foreign experts was created to support the 7 selected Slovak experts, among whom the authors of the document "Learning Slovakia" were consulted.
Assessing the skills needed for the 21st century to align continuing education curricula with labour market needs.
Establishment of a harmonized system of mapping the future employment of graduates from the ministry level.
Use of skills intelligence
How is labour market information / skills intelligence used within the initiative?
NPDE aims to develop a new national system of recognition of results of non-formal education and informal learning that will enable the elaboration of a qualification framework of competences harmonised at national level.
NPDE aims to develop a new national system of recognition of results of non-formal education and informal learning that will enable the design of new standards and accreditation in the field of higher education, promoting student-oriented education, active involvement of stakeholders in curriculum development, planning, monitoring and evaluation.
Students will be able to make a more informed choice on their career through the professional support of counsellors supported by better information on labour market needs and available educational offers.
Main responsible body
Main body or organisation with overall responsibility for the initiative.
Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic
Other involved organisations
Which other organisations have a role in the initiative?
Other ministries: Ministry of Finance - responsible for preparing financial prognosis and assessing the financial impact of the measures introduced; Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family - bringing together the stakeholders for labour market and education policies in participatory approaches
Regional and district administration bodies responsible for education - implementing measures at regional and district level
Advisory bodies at national level for the ministry in setting up new measures: Methodology and Pedagogy Centre; National Institute for Education; Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information; IUVENTA - Slovak Youth Institute, other state administration bodies
Social partner: employer organisation
Professional organizations in the field of education and science - partners in consultation process for setting up new measures
Social partner: trade union
Trade Union of Workers in Education and Science of Slovakia - partner in consultation process for setting up new measures
Training providers at regional and district level involved in providing the training programmes developed within NPDE
Research centres, universities
Public consultation with the most relevant higher education and academic institutions on the potential causes of skills mismatches and future scenarios of labour market structure (new types of educational programmes)
General public - public discussions about educational offers and labour market needs
Who are the intended beneficiaries?
Young people making the transition from education into work
The career guidance and counseling is improved by introducing counsellors at district and regional levels in order to support the students' choice of career path early on during the formative years of their education. Transition between education and work is also supported by several measures raising the attractiveness of dual VET, including the promotion of in-company internships and dual VET uptake in tertiary education.
Young people with low levels of basic skills /early leavers from education or training
The career guidance and counseling is improved by introducing counsellors at district and regional levels in order to support the students' choice of career path early on during the formative years of their education. Transition between education and work is also supported by several measures raising the attractiveness of dual VET, including the promotion of in-company internships increasing basic skills needed for labour market.
Adults with low basic skills
Adults with low basic skills benefit from newly developed training offers developed after assessing the key competences of adults needed for the active participation in the labour market.
Adults in employment with upskilling potential
The increased flexibility of the qualifications system will ensure that adults in need of upskilling could choose from a variety of educational offers better aligned with key competences needed on the labour market and the acquired skills are certified in each region in a harmonized way.
Adults in employment with reskilling potential
The increased flexibility of the qualifications system will ensure that adults in need of reskilling could choose from a variety of educational offers better aligned with key competences needed on the labour market and the acquired skills are certified in each region in a harmonized way.
Minority groups in the population
NPDE specifically aims at supporting the minorities within the education system, in particular continuing education and lifelong learning (e.g. funding for providing basic needs of minority children, such as food or school materials, working group on analysing the support of minority children, quality system of education in the language of national minorities).
Groups under-represented in certain sections of the labour market
NPDE specifically aims at supporting the traditionally underrepresented society segments within the education system, in particular continuing education and lifelong learning (e.g. funding for providing basic needs of children from underrepresented groups, such as food or school materials, working group on analysing the support of children from underrepresented groups, special measures, incl. legislative changes to support transition from primary to secondary education in order to mitigate early school-leaving).
Teachers, representatives of schools and school facilities, pupils and students, parents, general public are invited to consult the programme measures and thus benefit from measures, such as new educational offers better aligned with their actual needs and requirements.
SUCCESS FACTORS in the implementation
The NPDE is based on a professional and public debate in which the broadest possible social agreement should be reached. The success factor relates to ensuring the highest possible involvement of all stakeholders in the development process of new measures aimed at providing equal opportunities and incentives to develop relevant labour market skills in the lifelong learning process.
BARRIERS in the implementation
Given the long-term nature of the NPDE, the main barrier is that the initiative should have a continous strategy, financial framework and implementation of measures beyond the general political framework cycle (until 2027). The main risk in implementation of concrete measures is related to the uncertainty of the financing system.
Monitoring and evaluation
MONITORING and EVALUATION: Is progress measured regularly? What are the indicators used to measure progress of the policy instrument? Have any evaluations been conducted?
The NPDE is a rolling document that is regularly revised in two-year cycles and supplemented as necessary depending on its state of implementation.The programme and its measures is monitored regularly accroding to the given Implementation Plan divided into five two-year action plans.
UPDATES: whether there have been any major updates of the initiative since it has been implemented?
But the NPDE counts with the updates, specially in relation to the continous monitoring of labour market needs
EVIDENCE ON EFFECTIVENESS: How effective is the policy instrument?
Several reform steps were already taken in 2017 and 2018 under the "zero" action plan, such as the gradual reduction of the share of pupils admitted to 8-year grammar schools; increasing the normative financing for schools with the language of instruction of national minorities by approx. 5 percentage points; increase of funding for teaching assistants; measures aimed at diversifying and supporting the dual education system providers; change of the methodology for determining performance plans for secondary schools; change in the methodology of performance planning for 8-year grammar schools.
SUSTAINABILITY: How sustainable is the policy instrument? Do you expect the instrument to continue over the next few years and why?
Given the long-term nature of NPDE, its development was based upon a broad participatory consultation process and expert input, which ensures that its strategy, objectives and measures are not modified along changing political agendas and bureaucratic procedures – main issue is financial sustainability, which was guaranteed until now by all central administrations.