Bratislava, November 2 (TASR) – Education Science, Research and Sport Minister Martina Lubyova (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) agrees with extending mandatory pre-school education for children from the previously planned period so that it begins at the age of five, the ministry’s communications department informed TASR on Thursday.
The department added that the minister has already discussed the issue with Government Proxy for Roma Communities Abel Ravasz (Most-Hid).
“However, implementing the change will make amendments to the respective legislation necessary. It will have to be preceded by intensive talks with representatives of the Slovak Towns and Villages Association as the founder of nursery schools,” said Lubyova, adding that implementing the steps will influence their budgets.
If the necessary steps are taken in time, mandatory pre-school education might become reality as early as in 2019, said Ravasz. “It can’t happen earlier than that, as towns and villages need to be given time to create the necessary capacities for this,” he told TASR. According to the Education Ministry, these extra capacities might be built using EU funds available to the Interior and Agriculture Ministries via several operational programmes.
Ravasz noted that the benefits of mandatory pre-school education have been an issue for several years. “This would mean a lot to children from excluded communities. They would finally be provided with space to familiarise themselves with a new environment, while nobody would expect any achievements from them. Children would establish new friendships and would learn basic social habits,” stated Ravasz.