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Slovakia: EQAVET network supports schools to improve quality

Peer reviewing emerges as a valid method for fostering quality assurance in VET.

On 11 March 2021, the European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET) national reference point affiliated to the State Institute of Vocational Education (ŠIOV) organised, in cooperation with the European Commission, the online peer learning activity ‘Peer review – An instrument supporting quality assurance in VET’. The conference participants included a representative of the European Commission, representatives of other EQAVET national reference points, as well as foreign and domestic experts

The event took place as part of the 2019-21 Erasmus+ project ‘European quality assurance in vocational education and training – National reference points’, run by ŠIOV.

In this peer learning activity, ŠIOV presented the implementation of peer reviewing in secondary schools in Slovakia. As part of the 2017-18 Erasmus+ project ‘Mobility for quality’, the European peer review manual for initial VET was translated into Slovak. The project piloted the implementation of the peer review technique based on the international experience in a secondary technical school (STS) in Bratislava, and later in the Trenčín self-governing region, supported by the regional educational authority. In the second school, the self-evaluation was conducted with the assistance of a team composed by a teacher from the pioneering STS, two specialists from ŠIOV and a psychologist affiliated to ŠIOV.

 

School director: Peer review is an opportunity for us to look at quality assurance from a different perspective. Self-assessment helped us reflect on what we have already managed to achieve and what we can do better. The evaluation visit enabled us to get a comprehensive view of the internal and external environment, offering new ideas on enhancing quality.’

 

In October 2019, representatives of 38 schools were trained in applying peer-reviewing to improve self-assessment, and in January 2020, ŠIOV and the regional authority signed a memorandum of cooperation. Further, secondary (VET and grammar) schools submitted their self-evaluation reports. Four-member teams of specialists and 24 peers (assessors), retrained in December 2020, will visit schools in 2021 as soon as the pandemic measures allow it.

ŠIOV, also developed and has been carrying out a model of school self-assessment, containing peer-reviewing and an implementation method. Three additional regions expressed their interest in joining (two of them, the Prešov region and the Banská Bystrica region, after participating in the ‘Catching-up’ region initiative of the EU and the World Bank). 

Further, the 2020-22 Erasmus+ project ‘QUAlity Networks: fine-TUning Monitoring systems for better performances in VET (QUANTUM)’, foresees the creation of quality networks composed of VET providers, enterprises, local authorities, social partners and other stakeholders.