The scrapping of an obligation to allocate equal teaching hours to the Slovak language and ethnic-minority languages in minority schools, as originally included in a draft of the Education Act, is an obvious concession to the demands of the ethnic-Hungarian SMK party, opposition Christian Democrat (KDH) vice-chairman Martin Fronc said on April 21.
"The original draft was nonsense, and I viewed it as a way of pushing forward the SNS's (the Slovak National Party) agenda," said Fronc, a former education minister.
Current Education Minister Jan Mikolaj (SNS), however, doesn't view the change in the wording in the new Education Act as a concession, the TASR newswire wrote. He has said the new proposal includes a provision that is designed to ensure that the Slovak language will be taught at ethnic-minority schools to an extent that will enable pupils to master it.
According to Fronc, SMK prefers that any changes be part of the education cirriculum rather than the Education Act because the cirriculum can be revised at any time. A law, on the other hand, requires approval by parliament.
Finally, Fronc noted that the cirriculum will only state the minimum number of hours a language must be taught. Therefore, minority schools can extend the teaching of native languages through elective courses, he said. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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22. Apr 2008 at 7:00