Most students in Slovakia have a chance at least once during primary school to have a “ski week” – an opportunity to hit the slopes with their classmates and teachers. The Ministry of Education offers some financial assistance for this, making it possible for students of different economic backgrounds to take part. Because Slovakia is a mountainous country with snowy winters, many Slovak children learn to ski at an early age, so this Ski Week is a chance to improve their abilities, to build their classroom community, and just to enjoy learning in a different environment.
Last week students from the Roma school participated in Ski Week at a slope near Kosice – each day from 9:00 am to around 3:00 pm (with breaks for lunch and snacks, of course!), they were outside in the snow. None of them had been skiing before – the costs of equipment and lift tickets make skiing inaccessible for most Roma families. So this government-sponsored week was a chance for these kids to try something completely different!
Here, the school’s coach helps the students understand a bit more about how to turn on skis – a vital part of making it down the hill in one piece!