STATE-run elementary and secondary schools last year let go 7,000 of 143,134 teachers, the Pravda daily reported.
Due to a lack of funds many schools employ teachers for just 10 months, the actual duration of the academic year, and release them from contract for the two months of the summer vacation.
Ján Gašperan, head of the union of schoolteachers, said that the lay offs have led to a drop in the quality of education in Slovakia.
In contrast to the state sector, private schools increased teaching staff by 98 percent, hiring 1,400 new teachers, and church schools hired 321 new teachers, which corresponds to a 6-percent increase in staff.
Although the number of teachers in state schools has fallen, it should be noted that pupil numbers have also dropped.
20. Jun 2005 at 0:00 | From press reports