Education minister announces a year of changes

EDUCATION Minister Ján Mikolaj announced “a year of changes” during a ceremony to open the 2006-2007 academic year at an elementary school in Žilina.

He said that the Education Ministry has 12 main areas of concern, and that a new Education Act would receive close attention.

Mikolaj hopes that the ministry's advisory team will have a summary of the planned education reform ready within three months. The basic principles of a school curriculum reform should be ready some time in February next year, the SITA news agency wrote.

Experts and the public should also have an opportunity to discuss the draft before it is debated by cabinet.

Mikolaj pledged to support schools in municipalities with fewer pupils, and said that each municipality should have its own school. The ministry also wants to reduce the number of pupils in classes in order to provide better schooling.

Under the new minister, the Education Ministry has already approved a new regulation on final exams, and wants to change the system of funding for kindergartens and elementary art schools. These institutions would no longer be financed by the state but rather by the country’s regions.

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