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. 

family

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.
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