At the location of Zolajeva ulica street 12, in the immediate vicinity of the Tezno industrial zone, a modern school centre – the “Technical School Center Maribor” was formed, to which, in accordance with the founding act, the following predecessor institutions merged:
– Maribor High School of Mechanical Engineering,
– Secondary School of Engineering and Business Maribor and
– Student dormitory.
It is worthwhile to write a brief historical overview of each of the merged units.
SECONDARY SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING OF MARIBOR
The Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering of Maribor has a long tradition and history. The Secondary School of Metalworking, Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy Maribor (SKMSA – Secondary Metallurgical Mechanical Engineering School), which is a precursor to the Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering of Maribor, was founded upon the introduction of directed education in 1981 with the merger of four related schools:
– the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Technical Electro-Mechanical and Textile School Maribor,
– the Automobile and Metalworking Centre of Maribor,
– the Railway Industrial School of Maribor
– the Professional Metalworking School Slovenska Bistrica.
The youngest is the technical part of the school. In 1950, the first technical secondary school in Maribor with a mechanical, electrical and textile section was developed from the Workers’ College. The premises were located in Miklošičeva and Cankarjeva streets, but were soon discontinued due to lack of financial resources.
In the spring of 1956, representatives of the industry in Maribor, at the assembly of the Producers of the County People’s Committee and at the initiative of today’s Society of Mechanical Engineers, proposed that the Secondary Technical School for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering be re-established in Maribor. The proposal was supported by authorities at the republic and municipal levels, so on September 1 that year the school already enrolled one mechanical and one electrical department with a total of 80 students.
At the very beginning, the school management established close contacts with economic organizations and tried to resolve educational and material issues related to them. Several companies helped the school with advice, material support and lecturers. Among the companies specifically mentioned are: Automobile and Motor Factory (TAM), Elektrokovina, Metalna, Hidromontaža, Dravske elektratrne and Swaty.
The school began to develop rapidly, so that in the school year 1959/1960 there were already 9 education departments in the field of mechanical engineering and 8 education departments in the field of electrical engineering. In the same year, the Department for Adult Education, the Department for Correspondence Education and the Departments in Ptuj, Ravne na Koroškem and Radlje were established.
In 1959, the school moved to a new building at Gosposvetska 9 and also enrolled the first chemistry department in Ruše, but the chemistry school soon became independent. In the fall of 1960, a department for education in the field of construction (for the construction professions) was established, but it also quickly became independent in the Construction School Center.
During these years, the school was strengthened both in terms of staff and material, and in 1963, after great difficulties, it also received newly built school workshops. In the school year 1972/1973, at the request of the textile industry and the Assembly of the Municipality of Maribor, the school enrolled the first pupils in the newly established textile section.
By the time the school was shut down and machine engineering merged with The Secondary School of Metalworking, Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy Maribor in 1981, 3528 graduates had completed their studies, 1421 of which were in the mechanical engineering department. The school also contributed greatly to the development of Maribor and the wider region.
The Automotive and Metalworking Center – ŠAKC
It has the oldest tradition. The beginnings date back to the second half of the 19th century, when the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy founded the School of Continuing Education for Craftsmen, based on the School Law of 1869, with a two-year education and a preparatory class. The program was interesting: business writing, art computing and craft drawing. During the week, classes were held outside of office hours, in the evening and on Sunday mornings (8 hours a week). The school year began in October and ended in April. The students were taught by part-time teachers and masters. The language of instruction was German.
After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the establishment of Yugoslavia, Slovene teachers were placed in the school in 1918. The school was called the School of Continuing Education of Craftsmen. The school was attended by craft apprentices and Maribor apprentices of all disciplines. It had up to 24 wards with up to 1,100 apprentices and was housed in two school buildings. We find an interesting record that at the end of the third year the students had to take the final exam under the chairmanship of the Drava Banovine’s envoy. Even during the occupation, the school operated but under German administration (“BERUFSSCHULE”).
After the liberation of Yugoslavia in 1945, a PROFESSIONAL ADVANCED SCHOOL FOR MECHANICAL TECHNICAL CRAFTS started operating under the auspices of the district committees of the Liberation Front and at the initiative of the Ministry of Industry and Mining of the People’s Republic of Slovenia. The students’ weekly commitment was 10 hours in two afternoons with six subjects each.
In 1958, the construction of a new school space began, initially intended for:
– the APPRENTICESHIP VOCATIONAL METAL PROCESSING SCHOOL,
– the METAL WORKING SCHOOL FOR MASTER EDUCATION and
– the APPRENTICESHIP VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS OF AUTOMOTIVE STUDIES.
In 1962, the METAL PROCESSING SCHOOL CENTER was established, with its headquarters in Smetanova Street, within which there were:
– the Vocational School of Metalworking for youth education with a unit for adult education and
– the METAL PROCESSING SCHOOL FOR WORK ORGANIZERS.
In 1972 the AUTOMECHANICAL AND METAL CENTER was established.
After merging several schools in 1981, the AUTOMECHANICAL AND METALURGER CENTER became an integral part of the SECONDARY SCHOOL OF METALWORKING, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND METALLURGY MARIBOR.
The Railway Industrial School – ŽIŠ
The beginnings of the RAILWAY INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL date back to 1925 when the Yugoslav State Railways took over the Maribor Railway Repair Workshop, founded in 1866 – the first on Yugoslav soil. The young workers thus attended their special school, where they had 24 hours of theoretical and practical lessons per week. Teachers came from the ranks of railway staff, but the school was terminated after eight months due to financial problems. The Yugoslav Ministry of Transport was of the opinion that similar schools in Zagreb, Niš, Sarajevo and Smederevo were sufficient.
In 1936, the manager of the MARIBOR RAILWAY WORKSHOP engineer Ignatius Vidic persuaded the engineer Jože Podbo to enter Maribor for the admission of new students to the railway schools, as he felt the need for professional staff, the neglect of the oldest workshop in the country and thus the neglect of Slovenes because of their small number.
Thus, the founding charter of the Crafts School at the Railway Workshop in Maribor was signed. The four-year school ranked sixth grade in high school. Over 250 candidates applied for 40 enrolment places for education. The entrance exam included Slovene, mathematics, geography, history and psychotechnical part. The school was the only Slovenian school of its kind. In the first class, the following subjects were taught: Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, arithmetic, geometry, physics, material technology, tool technology, drawing, history, geography, railway and gymnastics. They had practical lessons as much as theoretical ones.
In the second academic year, over 400 candidates applied for 40 enrolment places. In practical education, students began to divide according to the craft for which they were educated.
In the third year, about 450 candidates applied. The third class consisted of mechanics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, machine elements, machine tools and carts, and in the fourth year, gas engines, locomotives, welding and bookkeeping. In the fourth grade, they attended practical classes in the professional departments of the railway workshop.
In 1940, students took the final exam for the first time, covering 7 subjects.
During the occupation, the Maribor Railway Workshop was evacuated to Sarajevo, together with pupils of 3rd and 4th year. The Germans took over the Railway Workshops and the school.
Due to high staffing requirements, the school was reorganized into a three-year apprenticeship school. Accepting more students, they resolved the spatial necessity by adapting the storage shed to school workshops.
In 1945 the school came to life again as a Slovenian educational institution. It was divided into a craft school on the one hand and an apprenticeship school on the other. The artisan school had its own boarding school – a Capuchin monastery in the Studenci district.
In 1946, another type of school was introduced: the LOWER TECHNICAL SCHOOL, which remained here for only a year and was then transferred to Ljubljana.
In 1947, the school separated from the Railway Workshop and became an independent institution subordinate only to the General Directorate of Railways. It was named the MARIBOR RAILWAY INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL.
Over time, the school developed a number of extracurricular activities that made it famous for sports, culture and pre-war. In school rail competitions, the school won first places and transitional flags.
In 1981, the MARIBOR RAILWAY INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL became an integral part of the SECONDARY SCHOOL OF METALWORKING, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND METALLURGY MARIBOR.
The latter, as a precursor to the present-day Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering of Maribor, was therefore founded in 1981, when the schools of mechanical engineering merged in Maribor. In its heyday, the school grew in terms of staff and material. Training was provided for all metal, automotive and metallurgical professions, as well as for mechanical and metallurgical technicians. The school was recognized not only for quality education but also for innovative approaches (announced examinations, activities aimed at linking crafts and schools, vertical transitions between programs, educational corners at specialized fairs, etc.).
Unfortunately, the economic situation in the 1990s and the associated crisis in the Maribor economy caused the enrollment to decline, as did the interest in vocational and technical education in mechanical engineering. The resulting situation has greatly influenced the work and further development of the school. During these years, preparations began for the merger of the two Maribor high school mechanical engineering schools at a location in Tezno, where a new school building was being constructed.
In recent years, the enrollment status and interest of young people in the field of mechanical engineering has intensified.
The Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering of Maribor also has a very successful unit of adult education, within which formal and non-formal forms of education are tailored to adult learners.
THE SECONDARY SCHOOL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION OF MARIBOR
The history of the school begins in 1941, when, after the occupation of Maribor, the German occupiers built one of the largest factories, the Maribor Aviation Factory, for the needs of the German war industry on the meadows where the later Automobile and Engine Factory stood. The new factory, of course, needed workers who were sent to Germany for training in the fall of 1941. Regular education for professions related to metalworking was also started in Maribor and for this purpose the premises in the Texti textile lace factory were redecorated.
Thus, during the war, a vocational metalworking school was established, in 1945 it became the Industrial Metalworking School, which gave the first solidly trained workers in the metalworking profession. In addition to the Industrial Metalworking School, the School of Pupils in Economics was established due to the still large shortage of skilled workers.
The first students who enrolled in the school had six or seven grades of elementary school, and some had a lower secondary school. Because of this, they decided to organize education in two tracks: those with lower education were enrolled at the Industrial Metalworking School, and high school students at the Higher School of Metalworking. The latter were able to continue their education at the Technical High School in Ljubljana.
In addition, apprentices who completed three years of study during the war enrolled in the school. They were allowed by the school to take the final exams in November 1945.
In the school year 1949/1950, theory lessons began in a new building, and in the following school year, practical lessons began. Many hours of work were also invested by students and teachers in the construction of the new building.
The school trained machine and tool locksmiths, turners, grinders, blacksmiths, cutters and temperers, car mechanics and sheet metal repairmen.
In the school year 1957/1958, 255 pupils applied for enrollment, 22 of them girls. Due to lack of facilities, health status and failure to pass the entrance exams, 110 were rejected. In 1958 the school boarding school was being built with increasing speed.
In the school year 1961/1962, a three-year Technical School for Industrial Mechanical Engineering for adults was opened on the premises of the school.
In 1964 the school was renamed the School Center at the Factory of Automobiles and Motorcycles Maribor, which had two schools:
– the PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL OF INDUSTRIAL METALS FOR YOUNG AND ADULT STUDENTS, and
– the TECHNICAL SCHOOL FOR INDUSTRIAL MACHINE TECHNICIANS FOR YOUNG AND ADULT STUDENTS.
During the 1977/1978 school year, a total of 1,178 pupils attended the school, most of whom received scholarships from work organizations.
The eighties were marked by focused education in schools. The new educational program brought the most changes to the vocational schools, which provided many new subjects, classrooms and, of course, teachers.
During the 1983/1984 school year, the school changed its name again. The students and teachers of the school decided by statute to adopt a new title – Secondary School of Metal Processing and Mechanical Engineering TAM.
On 4 June 1992, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia issued a decree establishing a public educational institution named Secondary School of Metal Processing and Mechanical Engineering of Maribor. In the 1993/1994 school year, students were educated in 18 classes, six of which were in the first year of education, five in the second year of education, and five in the third year, and two technical departments.
In the school year 2000/2001, an educational program was introduced aimed at educating students in the field of entrepreneurship and to obtain the profession of business secretary in two supernormal, i.e. additional, classes.
Due to the introduction of a new educational program, the school was given the second name in 2002 by the Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration.
On November 20, 2006, a contract was signed for the upgrade, reconstruction and adaptation of the Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration in the Tezno district. Based on the aforementioned contract, a modern Technical School Center Maribor was established at this location – a modern school centre covering more than 10,000 square meters.
THE STUDENT DORMITORY OF TEZNO
The student dormitory in the Tezno neighborhood was founded in 1945 because of the needs of the Industrial Metalworking School and is the oldest student dormitory in Maribor. The students initially stayed in wooden barracks built by the Germans during World War II to house prisoners of war working at the Aircraft Factory, later the Car and Engine Factory in Maribor (TAM). The situation in the barracks was poor, so in 1950 the students moved to the premises of the former Austro-Hungarian barracks in the town district of Melje, where the situation was slightly better, but in each bedroom there were between 20 and 30 pupils. In 1952, the first dormitory for 144 students was built in Tezno. At that time there were 6 students in each bedroom. In 1962, they built another home with triple rooms, which was modernly furnished at the time. This building still exists today and is called the “old dormitory”. In 1983, the originally built dormitory student was demolished, the land was divested and another building called the “new dormitory” was built next to the old dormitory. They connected the two buildings via an intermediate corridor. At the same time, the new dormitory was restored.
The exterior of the student dormitory has not changed since. Inside of the old dormitory, the old windows were later replaced by new windows, and in recent years we have renovated the interior: most of the student rooms have been furnished with new furniture, the bathrooms and the floors on the top floor have been renovated.
The home has 260 beds. In the new building there are triple rooms, in the old renovated building there are double rooms on the second floor, where two rooms share one bathroom. On the first floor there are double rooms, a few triple rooms and common sanitary facilities. In recent years, we have gained space in the home for a fitness facility, a computer classroom, an Internet network, and a library.
In 2008, we organized a room of remembrance in student dormitory, showing the history of the dormitory from the beginning to the present.
The students who have been in our student dormitory for decades were mostly students of the Industrial Metalworking School and its successors (today the Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration). During the period when the School of Food Processing of Maribor had a higher enrollment, there were also many students from the mentioned school. In the last decade, until the relocation of the Diocesan Grammar School to the other end of the town, students from the Gymnasium lived in the dormitory.
The dormitory has a rich history. In the first decade of its operation, up to 1000 pupils were enrolled in the home. After the relocation and construction of both buildings at the current location around 1960, there were up to 300 students in the dormitory, and after 1984 and the last renovation of the dormitory there were close to 400 students. After Slovenia gained independence, the number of students began to decline rapidly. In 2000, there were only about 140 students in the dormitory, in 2005 this number dropped below 100 and continued to decline. After moving the diocesan high school students to their own home, the number of students dropped below 10.
The home was almost completely empty, so careful management and a lot of effort with additional activities are needed to continue to operate positively. The activity of Tezno Homes with the richest history among the homes in Maribor can be maintained only within the Maribor Technical School Center and by introducing new programs that will bring a sufficient number of students to the center.