Mgr. Mária Ďurkovská, PhD., Spoločenskovedný ústav CSPV SAV, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mgr. Michal Kentoš, PhD., Spoločenskovedný ústav CSPV SAV, email@example.com
On July 5, we remember together with the statutory holiday of Saint Cyril and Saint Method the Day of International Slovaks. We celebrate it here in Slovakia as well abroad. This commemorative day was established in 1993.
The estimate for number of Slovaks living abroad is according official data approximately 1 112 768, but according professional estimates it could be around 1 810 000 – 1 900 000. It´s based on the estimation of statistical offices, expatriate association, Slovakian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies. It´s important to point out, that in single countries are the estimates of numbers of Slovaks very different. The different numbers are mostly as the consequence of different approach to the census: based on the nationality, free decision, information from mayors and villages, according ethnological features (common culture, traditions, habits, symbols) or based on original language. As the consequence we note different discussions about real numbers of Slovaks living abroad (for example, census in Hungary in 2011).
The interests of foreign Slovaks are represented by World Slovak Association abroad (WSAA) and The office for Slovaks living abroad (OSLA).
One of the biggest enclave foreign Slovaks is in Hungary. For a long time they are subject for research of Institute of Social Sciences CSPS SAS in Košice, which collaborates with Research Institute of Slovaks in Hungary in Békešs Čaba. Current research is focusing on Slovak education system in Hungary.
Until now, the research concerning Slovak national educational system in Hungary confirmed, that the school is the most important factor for keeping Slovak language as well Slovak nationality, because the families are using Slovak language more rarely and Slovak language is practised by the oldest generation mostly.
Within the research of Slovaks in Hungary ISS CSPS SAS is working on the project VEGA “The reflexion of Slovak national educational system in Hungary in association of present time and other perspectives of its functioning”. Its aim is to clarify and analyse single aspects of current situation of Slovak educational system in Hungary and education of Slovak language. In the beginning of 2019 was made a research on the teachers working in Slovak national schools in Hungary, where they could express to the status of Slovakian educational system: to the status of the teacher, to the collaboration with students and parents, to the interest in teaching Slovak language, to the pedagogical standards, to the satisfaction with work, etc.
The largest group of Slovak teachers in Hungary (47,5 %) are the people in the age 51 – 68 years old. The middle generation 36 – 50 years old was represented by 39,6 %. Only 12,9 % is the group of younger generation in the age 24 – 35 years. These data point out, that teachers of Slovak nationality are in the age just before retirement and the young generation, which can replace them, is missing.
From perception of the status of Slovak national educational system we can conclude, that the evaluation of the level of national educational system has a positive nature. The feedback from the teachers working in Slovak national educational system refers to the global improvement in the area of the quality of the pedagogical process presently as well about better material equipment of the schools. The communication with colleagues and with the institutions has continuous quality. But more often we notice the lack of the teachers. Regarding the perception of the status of the teacher in Slovak national educational system, we can state that they evaluate their work at the school as positive. The most positive status is perceived by the teachers in the age 36 – 50 years. The interest about the education of Slovak language by the students and parents is perceived in most cases as a positive one. The disinterest in learning Slovak language can be affected by the preference of English language, too many hours of Slovak language comparing to other subjects like history, math, etc.
We plan to continue in the project by screening the current situation of national educational system with help of the teachers and our next goal will be research this issue through the reflection of parents and students.