19 Jan 2018

Knowledge gap between poor and rich Slovak children is alarming

Each year, Slovak fifth-graders undergo national tests aimed at exposing the level of education of different regions. The 2017 results leave no doubt as to the chances of underprivileged children in comparison with wealthy schoolmates. 

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Knowledge gap between poor and rich Slovak children is alarming - NewsMavens
Class Room. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

The results are comparable to the previous year and, overall, they are fairly satisfactory. 

"But when we examine the results of individual regions, we see significant differences," director of the National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements (NÚCEM), Romana Kanovská, claims.

The difference between the East and West of Slovakia is significant. The lowest results in mathematics and Slovakian were reported among pupils in Košice, Prešov and Banskobystrický kraj. Pupils from the Bratislava region were the best. 

Statistics are ruthless. The quality of children's education in Slovakia is strictly tied to their economic status. Everyone knows it is not fair, as children should not be punished for being poor, but at the same time few have the will and determination to change it.

With each year's results, we are blatantly reminded that we should draw more attention to the problem. However, I have no doubt that, next year, we will witness the same pattern repeat itself. 


Details from the story:

  • The national tests are called "Testovanie 5" and more than 90% of all fifth-grade pupils in Slovakia (circa 10 years old children) participated in them last year.
  • Pupils are tested in mathematics, Slovak language and literature as well as Hungarian language and literature.
  • Underprivileged children scored less than half (27%) of the average result (66,3%).
  • Children from the regions with higher unemployment scored less.
  • In search for a solution, the Ministry of Education plans to invest more in schools that provide all-day education and care for children from the families with lower socioeconomic status and non-challenging environment.
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy