With the government’s plans to make English learning compulsory from the third year of primary school starting September 2011, comes the problem of a lack of qualified teachers. In the EU, 13 of the 27 members have compulsory English in schools.
With this in mind, the Ministry of Education is now in talks with the British Council over a potential teacher training project so as to increase the level of existing teachers or train new ones who lack the necessary qualification.
The British Council approached the ministry with the offer to implement its training program called Methodology and Didactics of Primary Education, which it has already put into practice with our Czech neighbours. The programme still has to be accredited in Slovakia, but the ministry released a statement saying it was considering pushing through the accreditation and possibly go ahead with the programme.
The project of compulsory English in primary schools will go ahead no matter what, while the next meeting between the ministry and the British Council set for the beginning of November. The current coalition had plans for compulsory English even before the elections, as it believes a command of English will increase the competitiveness of Slovaks at both home and abroad.