OSZ IMT Reflection from Study Visit in Slovenia – Day 1

Name:                               Eckert Hebel, Michael Salner

Organization:                   OSZ IMT Berlin, Germany

Date: Monday, 13-04-15

1. Activities description
Watch presentation about Slovenian school system
Visit Secondary school of Economics, Services and Civil Construction

2. What did I learn from this activity? What insights did this new knowledge give to me in relation to school/organization, learner and employer?
• The CPI (authority) develops most of the curricula for the vocational schools.
• The vocational school system has 2, 3 or 4 year VET courses.
• There are collective and individual contracts.
Also see: www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/2012_cr_si.pdf
“All students of upper secondary education programmes shall within three years of education, complete at least 24 weeks of practical training at a workplace with an employer, with whom they have signed individual learning contract. Practical lessons that are carried out in school can be, with the agreement of the employer and the school, replaced with practical training at workplace with an employer. So that practical training can be increased to a maximum of 50 weeks in three years of education.” and
“Students usually have individual learning contracts, which are signed by the employer, the student and the student’s parents and are generally valid for the entire period of education. But it is also possible to have a collective learning contract, which is signed by the employer and the school for multiple students and is generally valid for one school year with possibility to extend it. The contract defines the general rights and obligations of schools, students and employers, as well as all the necessary activities of all partners, regardless of the educational program. In an annex of the contract are defined educational program, occupations, address of students and mentors and terms of implementation the practical training at workplace.
It is possible to go from collective learning contract (of course with an agreement of one of the partners or student) to individual one and vice versa. Irrespective of the type of learning contract, practical and theoretical education of the student may take a maximum of 8 hours per day, but weekly it must not exceed with the law and the collective contract, defined weekly working obligations, reduced for two hours, therefore maximum of 38 hours a week.”
• There is a so-called NVQ certificate.
Also see: http://www.ric.si/national_vocational_qualifications/general_information/
“A national vocational qualification (NVQ) is a formally recognised work-related, competence-based qualification, which reflects the skills and knowledge needed to do a job effectively and shows that a candidate is competent in an area of work, or individual segments of work, within an area at a certain level of achievement, and as such, part of the national qualification framework. An NVQ is shown by a public document – a certificate whose form and content are defined by the Minister of Labour.” see 20% of the school curriculum is open, can flexibly be developed by the school itself.
• 80% of the curriculum is at national level. It is developed by the government.
• Teachers meet employers to discuss the school-specific contents (the 20%).
• Schools have one up to three so called WBL-organizers. WBL organizers are special teachers, who administrate the practise times of the students.
• VET courses consist of modules with credit points.
• The modules can be recognized in the different subjects.
• The vocational school system is quite flexible.
Also see: www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/2012_cr_si.pdf
“Transition from general to technical upper secondary education and vice versa is possible. Two non-obligatory programmes – matura courses (maturitetni tečaji) and vocational courses (poklicni tečaji), in duration of one year, are available to help the transition. Matura courses can be undertaken by individuals who completed the technical upper secondary education, vocational upper secondary education, and wish to continue their education at the university level7. Vocational courses are open to individuals who successfully completed 4 years of general education programme or technical school (without matura exam) and are another way to obtain qualification on a technical upper secondary education level.”
• At the end beginning of the practise time students have to pass a medical check, to check if they are physically able to do the job they learn.
• The government is responsible for the VET, so that the company does not pay for the education.
• The state gives an apprenticeship pay.
• There are scholarships for the poor.
• The school of Economics, Services and Civil Construction offers 4-year VET courses to reach the matura in civil engineering, 3 year VET courses to become a hair dresser, and VET courses to become a house painter among others. Those are quite different
professions together under one roof.

3. How did I feel about what was presented to me? What did I find innovative? What did I find difficult or challenging to do or understand and why?
We felt the following aspects innovative.
• The open school curriculum,
• the flexible vocational school system,
• the module system with credits,
• the support of cultural identity (corporate identity) with extra-activities in the area,
• the special teachers being WBL-organizers,
• the variable portion and the amount of WBL in VET courses,
• that students in one class can have different contracts.
The following is difficult and challenging.
• There is too much paperwork (administration).
• The company does not pay for the education, so good students (have to) do jobs beside their education to earn money for a living.
• When the government changes there could be a lot of changes in the curricula.

4. What is working well and could be applied in my organisation and why? How would you go about doing this?
• The module system with credits makes the system more flexible.
• The support of cultural identity with extra-activities increases the solidarity.
• The WBL-organizers could support the students especially to go for a practise time abroad.
• An increase of the amount of WBL in fulltime VET courses offers the students more practical experience.
• Students of civil engineering, wall painters, etc. could renovate their own school buildings.

5. What definitely would not work in my organisation and why? Any additional comments.
• The 80% state-based curriculum seems to be a problem especially in the Dual System. The companies know best, which (learning) situations are best to be trained to earn money. Schools can concentrate on educating the personality, the soft skills, and ability to deal with critical life situations like being unemployed, applying for as new job, or how to start an own business, etc.

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