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Education minister: old textbook law will still be applied

MPs from the Slovak National Party (SNS), a junior member of the governing coalition, will take the amendment to the Education Act passed this week by parliament to the Constitutional Court, and until a decision is made geography textbooks for minority-language students will be issued according to the current practice, Education Minister Ján Mikolaj (SNS) said on February 4.

MPs from the Slovak National Party (SNS), a junior member of the governing coalition, will take the amendment to the Education Act passed this week by parliament to the Constitutional Court, and until a decision is made geography textbooks for minority-language students will be issued according to the current practice, Education Minister Ján Mikolaj (SNS) said on February 4.

The current practice is that place-names appear in Slovak and the respective minority language (most notably Hungarian) place-names appear in an appendix at the back of the book.

“It's simply impossible to proceed according to what is proposed [sic] with respect to how the textbooks were approved between 2002-2006…” Mikolaj said.

The amendment states that geography textbooks should first state ‘deeply-rooted’ place-names in a minority language, followed by their equivalents in Slovak, the TASR newswire wrote. The problem, according to Mikolaj, is that “nobody registers these ‘deeply-rooted’ place-names. We don't have them (collected).”

The amendment, drawn up by the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), was submitted to Parliament in December 2008 and passed with the support of the largest party in the governing coalition, Smer. President Ivan Gašparovič then vetoed the amendment late last year. The veto was overruled by a second vote in parliament on Tuesday. In reaction, SNS leader Ján Slota, whose party opposes the measure, said the SNS would take the amendment to the Constitutional Court. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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