The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Family has proposed cancelling the existing contribution for children in material need from January 2009.
The benefit is currently available to socially-dependent parents of children, whose average school grade was no worse than 2.5 (on a 1-5 scale, 1 being the best) in the past half-year of studies, or whose study results improved by 0.5 of a grade. Parents of children with school grades of 1.5 and higher are entitled to a monthly contribution of Sk500 (€16.6), and up to 2.5 for a contribution of Sk300 (€9.96). Improvements by half a grade earn Sk200 (€6.64).
According to the draft amendment the motivational element is to be replaced by a monthly benefit of Sk500 (€16.6) from next year. This should be paid to parents of all dependent children in material need on condition that they regularly attend school.
The present motivational factor causes trauma and puts pressure on teachers and pupils, said Labour Minister Viera Tomanová. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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