STA, 2 September 2019 - After ten weeks of holidays, a new school year starts on Monday in Slovenia for roughly 74,000 secondary school students and 187,525 primary school children.
It was an especially big day for the 20,840 six-year-olds who entered school for the first time in their lives with schools throwing reception parties to welcome them in their midst.
In his message at the start of a new school year, Education Minister Jernej Pikalo wished everyone to benefit from school for new knowledge and friendships, assessing that school was one of the best social subsystems in Slovenia.
Meanwhile, President Borut Pahor encouraged students to welcome new knowledge with open minds, and above all to think about everything with their own heads.
As is usual for this time of year, campaigns have been launched to raise awareness among drivers and the public of the presence of schoolchildren in traffic, promote tolerance and safety.
Police officers and volunteers from motorists' associations are seeing to the safety of schoolchildren, in particular the youngest ones at spots where they are most exposed to risk.
Year-one kids were wearing yellow neckerchiefs and holding yellow balloons to alert drivers to watch out for them.
At the Simon Jenko primary school in Kranj, Slovenia's football team members helped pupils cross the street, with Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek highlighting the importance of visibility and caution in traffic.
There will be some changes awaiting primary schoolchildren such as updated syllabus for Slovenian and the optional subject beekeeping, and new optional subjects of film education and Slovenian sign language.
Marking the introduction of the latter, Pikalo visited on Monday the Ljubljana School for the Deaf, welcoming primary school children and wishing them they would feel good in school every day and not just on their first day. The school provides education for 27 year-one kids this year, including five deaf pupils.
New courses await secondary school students and an extended selection of courses in which they can do apprenticeship. Those coming of age will no longer be able to write their own excuse notes.
Teachers will benefit from higher salaries as these will go up by one pay bracket as of 1 November. Form teachers will get a pay rise as early as this month.
The longest term holidays this year will be for Christmas and New Year, between 25 December and 5 January. The first break will be the week between 28 October and 1 November.
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