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IN SHORT

Minister admits education getting worse

SLOVAK education is getting worse. Eighth grade pupils today have less knowledge of Math than a decade ago, the SME daily reported.

According to a report that the Slovak Education Minister is to present to the Council of Europe on October 10, in 1995 pupils scored a maximum 861 points in a standardized test, while, in 2003, a maximum of 672 was achieved.

Ten percent of Slovakia's eighth graders have only an elementary knowledge of Math. The quality of teachers is decreasing and one of the reasons is their low wages.

According to the report, just 25 percent of secondary school students go on to study at university. In many developed states that figure is 40 percent. The number of secondary school students who finish school with secondary exit exams 'Maturita' is also low.

The Slovak Education Ministry admitted that the situation has been neglected for decades. One reason is that Slovakia has not so far had a government prepared to invest more in education.

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