STA, 22 June 2020 - The Education Ministry is working on a number of possible scenarios for schooling regime in the next school year, Minister Simona Kustec told the press on Monday, saying everything would depend on the epidemiological situation. But school will definitely start on 1 September, she stressed.
Addressing the press after the first hundred days in office, the minister of education, science and sport said that active and intensive preparations for autumn were under way.
"We don't yet know what the epidemiological situation will be then but we must not be caught off guard," she stressed, noting that the models of education the ministry was working on were being formed based on experience gathered in the hundred days of remote learning.
The goal is to have as much schooling as possible conducted at school, Kustec said, noting that the final details were being ironed out regarding the possible models of schooling.
School principals were informed of this today, while a detailed presentation of the models will be sent to them at the beginning of July.
The decision on how school will actually start in September will be made in the last week of August, she said.
According to Radio Slovenia, the ministry is also working on a model envisaging a combination of remote learning and education at school for secondary schools under which a group of students would go to school for a certain period of time, while the other group would study from home, and then they would switch.
Most secondary school students finished this school year from home because of restrictions in public transport and student dorms, and it is assumed that those restrictions would remain in place in the autumn as well.
Kustec said the period between 16 March, when schools were closed, and 18 May, when the first three grades of primary schools returned to school, had been most "unusual".
But despite the peculiar circumstances, pupils and students will finish the year by meeting their obligations. "This process was a great challenge and we were successful because we joined forces, and together we understood what needs to be done and how to keep our lives going," she said.
Kustec and President Borut Pahor thanked everyone involved for their efforts in a video address on Sunday, with the president saying that this experience would be a story to tell children and grandchildren.
Looking into the future, Pahor said that undoubtedly new technologies would be even more important in the learning process than they were now. "But there is also no doubt that in the future school, teachers and learning will be more than just that."
He said school was also friends and crushes, teachers who guide their students, and parents and family members, who celebrate their successes and stand by their side in difficult times.
Kustec noted that EUR 18.8 million had been allocated to those affected by the coronavirus crisis in education as part of the three government-sponsored stimulus packages. Eight millions were spent on student bonuses, and another eight to help teachers in private and public kindergartens, student dorms and those employed in sport, she said.
Four days after the epidemic was declared on 12 March, 190.156 primary school children and 72,783 secondary school students switched to remote learning in Slovenia. After more than two months, the first three grades of primary schools returned to school on 18 May. Ninth-graders followed a week later and the remaining primary school children returned to school at the beginning of the month.