REVIEW #6: A Vision of a Fundamental Reform of Educational System in Slovakia (And Elsewhere)

One of the crucial problems in Slovakia – and elsewhere – is an educational system (especially its primary and secondary levels) failing to adapt to the challenges of modern society. There is one ultimate reason behind it: the prevailing central planning approach has resulted in rigidity, bureaucracy, and purely formalistic requirements disconnected from the real world.

Therefore, it is not enough to fine-tune the existing system. It must undergo a fundamental reform in its funding and teaching content (curricula), and include proper incentive structures for all stakeholders: students, parents, education providers, policymakers, and politicians.

Rather than design a new system of primary and secondary education using a top-to-bottom approach, it is preferable to define conditions within which the new system would evolve as a result of the actions of all relevant stakeholders. Thus, a successful vision must design new incentive structures that encourage the desired outcomes: increased flexibility, more diversity and higher quality in provision of educational services, more responsibility of “consumers” of educational services, and less rigidity from politicians and policymakers. Let us take a look at a brief description of the current system and its major weaknesses.

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Jan Oravec