For Free Public Education

Call for proposals: Medium projects
Priority area: Strengthened civil society watchdog/advocacy role
Project duration: 1. 4. 2023–31. 3. 2024
Project budget: EUR 49.831,25 

Primary education is compulsory in Slovenia. There is a general conviction that this is why it is free. But this is not true. Parents have to pay for school meals, workbooks, school supplies, fieldtrips, cultural and sport days – i.e. things that are necessarily part of the education process. However, not all parents can afford to pay for these expenses. This has negative consequences: children and their parents are stigmatized, pupils cannot participate in all school activities, and they do not have equal opportunities for knowledge acquisition. All this can mark a child for their entire life. Public primary education thus cannot provide equal opportunities for the optimal development and performance to all children, although it should according to the legal objectives. The burden of filling in the gaps in our welfare state relating to public primary education is currently borne by humanitarian organizations and individuals.

In April 2023, the 8th of March Institute thus started a project dubbed For Free Public Education, which will last until April 2024. The objective of the project is to draw up concrete proposals for systemic changes that will work toward actually making public primary education free. Experts in the field of education have been invited to help draw up the proposals, and we will also work together with humanitarian organizations and public stakeholders. By July, we will carry out substantive discussions with the relevant humanitarian organizations and conduct an analysis of the current condition in Slovenia together with the said experts. We will also investigate the solutions known abroad. From July to August, we will work on creating comprehensive and concrete proposals for systemic changes together with these stakeholders, start discussions with our existing volunteers, and invite others to take part in the campaign. From August to January, our main focus will be on communicating the said systemic proposals to the general public on social media, at public events across Slovenia, and elsewhere. The last stage of the project will take place from January to March, when will advocate the proposals for systemic changes to various state representatives and do everything to ensure that the proposals are adopted in the legislative process.

Contact person: Maja Koražija

Project promoter: 8th of March Institute