NEWS IN SHORTS

Education minister announces "year of change"

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 on September 5.

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

Mikolaj hopes that the ministry's advisory team will have an outline of the planned education reform ready within three months, while the basic principles of a school curriculum reform should be ready in February 2007, 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.

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