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Preprimary & Primary

Preschool education in Slovenia is optional, although the age level for entering compulsory education recently shifted downward from seven years of age to six years. In the 1999-2000 school year, 64,151 children between the ages of 1 and 6 were enrolled in preschool programs—3,523 classes provided through a total of 808 institutions (either separate preschools or units within elementary schools). Taught by a teaching staff of 7,148, these children attended mainly publicly supported programs, but some attended secular or religious (mainly Catholic) private preschools. Nearly 60 percent of children between the ages of 1 and 6 attended preschool institutions in the late 1990s.

Children between the ages of 6 and 15 are enrolled in basic education. In 1995 the gross enrollment rate for basic education was 97 percent. By the late 1990s almost 98 percent of pupils successfully completed their basic education, and nearly all the basic education graduates went on to upper-secondary studies. In 1999-2000, approximately 185,554 pupils and students were enrolled in compulsory education, attending 816 elementary schools and distributed across 9,106 classes. At the close of the 1998-1999 school year, 15,140 teachers taught children enrolled in the basic education grades. The average class size for elementary schools covering the first 8 grades (9 grades, in the new system) in the year 2000 was 15 to 20 students. This was significantly lower than the European Union's maximum of 35 and lower than Slovenia's own maximum of 28. At the turn of the millennium the pupil to teacher ratio in Slovenian elementary schools was 12.4:1.

Students who complete the required basic education (previously eight years, but as of the early 2000 decade, nine years) take external examinations to progress on to the upper-secondary level. With the new education reforms of the nine year basic education divided into three cycles of three years each, students will be taking statewide examinations at the end of each of the cycles. The grades from these examinations after the first and second cycles will only be used to provide feedback to the students, their parents, and teachers. Grades from the third cycle exams will be used to determine whether or not pupils are ready for the next higher level of schooling.

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceSlovenia - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary, Secondary Education