The School System
Slovak children begin their education at primary schools at the age of 6. The school year starts on 1st September and ends on 30th June. Children gradually learn to read, write and count. At the end of each school year pupils get reports. The school year is followed by long-awaited two months of holidays. In the final year of primary school many pupils face a problem where to continue studying.
Many pupils choose to study at secondary schools, for example industrial, medical, economic or at an apprentice training centre or art school. Gifted students study at grammar schools which prepare their students for university studies. At the present time there are also private and religious secondary schools. Secondary schools usuallylast for four years. At the end of the study students sit for the school-leaving examination.
If students want to study at college or university, they must successfuly pass the entrance exams. One of our best-known universities is the Komenský university, others are for example the P.J.Šafárik university in Košice or the Matej Bel university in Banská Bystrica, etc.
Obligatory education in Britain begins at the age of 5 and no children leave school before they are 16. Classes usually start at about 9 a.m. and finish at about 4 p.m. The first type of school a child goes to is primary school which is split up into Infants( 5 – 7 ) and Juniors( 7 – 11 ). During this time each class of children, normally around thirty is taught by one teacher for a whole year. This teacher takes them for all subjects. At the age of eleven most children now go to comprehensive school where they study until they are sixteen. Some children attend secondary modern schools which give them a good practical education( 11 – 16 ). Then there are grammar schools, they are selective schools for more gifted children which are oriented towards university study. Private secondary schools are attended by about 5 per cent of the school children( 11 – 18 ). The most famous of them are: Eton, Harrow and Winchester.
At the age of 16 pupils take exams. Most take the General Certificate of Education( GCE ), Ordinary level, usually called just O-levels in as many subjects as they want( they choose from 1 to 10 subjects ). If the pupils get good O-level results, they can stay at school until they are 18. Here they prepare for A-levels( advanced levels ). The most successful students continue studying at universities, for example at Oxford or at Cambridge.
Teachers have always tried to help us in any difficult situation. They have always been willing to understand us. They have been friendly, just, lenient and helpful.
I prefer humanities such as English, History, Philosophy and French. I had to prepare harder and devote more time to math, physics, chemistry and biology. I have taken in from each subject as much as possible, hoping that I will make use of it in my future life.
I hate early-morning lessons but I had to overcome my feelings as most of my classmates.
Our school is an eye-opener for me, I got a lot of professional knowledge and skills.