Boosting Slovak language education shouldn't be up to politicians

Boosting the quality of Slovak language education at minority-language schools should not be up to the politicians and parties, as this is the worst possible way of tackling the issue, ethnic-Hungarian SMK party vice-chair László Szigeti told a press conference on Thursday, March 25. The issue should be dealt with by the experts, instead, added the former education minister. A thorough analysis of the quality of Slovak language education at Hungarian-language schools is needed before any shortcomings, if found, are addressed. However, Szigeti said that he disapproves of special inspections by the State School Inspectorate as announced by Education Minister Ján Mikolaj (Slovak National Party,SNS). He also brought up Mikolaj's recent statement that the cabinet's decision on the inspections was made partly in response to recent comments made by Hungarian President László Sólyom. According to Szigeti, it is hypocritical of the Government to raise this issue just a couple of months prior to the end of its term in office. "SMK has the opinion that improving the quality of teaching Slovak at minority-language schools is too significant an issue to become the subject of election battles between political parties," he said. The party would certainly oppose a higher number of Slovak language and literature classes at minority-language schools if such a measure were proposed by the cabinet, the TASR newswire wrote. The quality would be boosted if pupils were divided into smaller groups. "We advocate introducing new progressive methods of teaching the Slovak language on a communication basis," added Szigeti. Conversation in Slovak should be given more weight than grammar or literature, he suggested.

Boosting the quality of Slovak language education at minority-language schools should not be up to the politicians and parties, as this is the worst possible way of tackling the issue, ethnic-Hungarian SMK party vice-chair László Szigeti told a press conference on Thursday, March 25.

The issue should be dealt with by the experts, instead, added the former education minister. A thorough analysis of the quality of Slovak language education at Hungarian-language schools is needed before any shortcomings, if found, are addressed. However, Szigeti said that he disapproves of special inspections by the State School Inspectorate as announced by Education Minister Ján Mikolaj (Slovak National Party,SNS). He also brought up Mikolaj's recent statement that the cabinet's decision on the inspections was made partly in response to recent comments made by Hungarian President László Sólyom. According to Szigeti, it is hypocritical of the Government to raise this issue just a couple of months prior to the end of its term in office.

"SMK has the opinion that improving the quality of teaching Slovak at minority-language schools is too significant an issue to become the subject of election battles between political parties," he said. The party would certainly oppose a higher number of Slovak language and literature classes at minority-language schools if such a measure were proposed by the cabinet, the TASR newswire wrote. The quality would be boosted if pupils were divided into smaller groups. "We advocate introducing new progressive methods of teaching the Slovak language on a communication basis," added Szigeti. Conversation in Slovak should be given more weight than grammar or literature, he suggested.

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