STA, 16 December - A school in the lakeside town of Bled has been closed mid school year, hence leaving 33 pupils without classes. They are now home-schooled. The school was operating without approval and did not meet the required conditions, the web portal 24ur.com has reported. It also promoted itself as a Waldorf school despite not getting Waldorf certified.
The plan for the school, named Radost Življenja (Joy of Life), had been long time in the making and in early 2020 it started to materialise. After facilities and staff were already secured and pupils enrolled, it transpired that the school had problems in obtaining approval to actually operate.
Its application to be accredited was denied by the Education Ministry, as the school was not in compliance with state standards, the ministry said.
The school was also beset with financial problems as unpaid bills had been piling up. It was shut down on 19 November, 24ur.com said on Wednesday.
Parents who enrolled their children in the school knew that the educational institution was not yet approved at the time, the ministry added. The parents had been granted a home-schooling status, under which parents may either educate their child at home themselves or are helped at this activity by someone else.
The latter is not required to meet any conditions, however the home-schooled children must pass an assessment carried out by the primary school in which they are enrolled. If they fail to do that, they are no longer allowed to be home schooled.
Seeking assistance after being denied state approval, the Bled school's head teacher Valentina Erznožnik contacted the Livada primary school in Ljubljana, which was willing to enrol the former's pupils.
Goran Popović, the head teacher of the Ljubljana school, explained that Joy of Life had not been the only school under which children were enrolled in Livada and home schooled at the same time. Such pupils have their exams at the end of the school year, he added.
The Bled school promoted itself as a Waldorf school, however it seems that it did not obtain a relevant certificate to do so.
Iztok Kordiš, the director of the Ljubljana Waldorf School, does not consider the Bled school to be worthy of Waldorf status. The Joy of Life school had called itself a Waldorf institution before it was actually opened without even familiarising itself with the procedures needed to be implemented to become such a school, he said.
"We have to look after quality and the Waldorf name. Not everyone can just think of it and become a Waldorf school," he told 24ur.com, adding that the Bled school had been doing everything its own way and acting as if it had it all sorted out.