Education Ministry increases contributions to schools

STATE FUNDING per student at Slovakia's public schools will increase this year by Sk900 (€24) to Sk23,055 (€612), according to a recent decision by the Education Ministry.

The money should finance school spending on books, teacher wages, and school equipment, the Pravda daily wrote.

Slovakia's municipalities are worried, however, that even with the increased funds they will not be able to cover their expenditures, which have risen on the back of increased energy prices.

"This is not sufficient even when you take into account that employment [in schools] will fall by three percent," said Jozef Turčány, deputy chairman of the ZMOS municipal association.

Natural gas prices increased by six percent on average as of January this year, while the cost of electricity rose by five.

The Education Ministry has not denied setting the funding rates in such a way as to motivate schools with fewer pupils to save money, or to encourage them to merge with other schools or even shut down altogether.

More funds will be dispensed to special schools and art schools, however.

Special schools for disabled and otherwise disadvantaged children will receive between Sk48,000 and Sk217,000 (€1,274 to 5,760) per pupil, while art schools, such as conservatories, will get Sk96,200 (€2,560) per student.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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