Access to education

Slovenia

Country Report: Access to education Last updated: 31/03/21

Author

The law provides that the right to elementary education has to be ensured to asylum seekers no longer than three months since they lodged their application.[1] There is no age limit attached to this provision.

Underaged asylum seekers are ensured access to education in vocational and secondary schools under the same conditions as Slovenian citizens; adult asylum seekers are also allowed such access. Furthermore, asylum seekers are allowed access to post-secondary and higher education programmes and to programmes designed for education of adults. The law expressly sets out that, if necessary, preparatory educational assistance has to be provided to children in order to facilitate their access to the education system.[2]

In practice, all asylum-seeking children accommodated in the Asylum Home enrol into elementary school within around one week’s time from arrival. Most of them attend the elementary school Livada, where three hours of Slovene and literacy classes are held every day, followed by regular classes. When children return from school, they can attend the language and literacy classes in the Asylum Home under the programme carried out by Javni zavod Cene Štupar.

Elementary school children that are accommodated together with their families at private apartments outside of the Asylum Home go to various other elementary schools, where special educational assistance is also carried out, albeit mostly to a lesser extent than at the elementary school Livada.

Elementary school for adults is organised by Javni zavod Cene Štupar, where students are placed in a suitable class, based on initial testing of their knowledge level. They can then complete two regular school years per year.

Unaccompanied children accommodated in the branch facility Logatec are divided between two local elementary schools, where they are also entitled to additional assistance for non-Slovenian-speaking pupils. Young adults accommodated in the facility attend elementary school for adults, organised by Ljudska univerza Postojna. Learning assistance is provided by social workers and occasionally by volunteers.

Children do not face any considerable obstacles in their accessing of the education system. The same is true for adults accessing elementary school for adults. On the other hand, adults wishing to enrol into high school have to pay a tuition fee, same as Slovenian citizens. Nevertheless, cases of asylum applicants accessing high school are rare, since asylum procedures are usually concluded by the time when their level of Slovenian language would be insufficient. Universities are mostly free (same as for Slovenian citizens), but programmes carried out in English are rare. Also, one obstacle for accessing high schools and universities is that, unlike beneficiaries of international protection, asylum applicants have to pay themselves the costs of proving their previously attained education.[3]

Special needs of asylum-seeking children are taken into consideration in the same way as for Slovenian students.

Due to COVID-19, schools were closed and asylum seekers had to attend school online. This was a significant challenge, since most asylum seekers do not own or have access to a computer. Children also had problem with understanding classes and needed additional help in order to understand subjects. This help was provided by the social workers in the centres.

 

[1]           Article 88(1) IPA.

[2]           Article 88(1)-(2) and (4) IPA.

[3]           Article 88(6) IPA.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation