Children in public, religious and private schools should listen to the Slovak national anthem twice a year - at the beginning and end of the school year, according to an amendment to the State Symbols Act proposed by Prime Minister Robert Fico and approved by the government at its session on Monday, April 26, the TASR newswire reported. The proposal is now heading for fast-tracked legislative proceedings in parliament and if approved would come into effect in September.
According to the amendment, the Slovak flag, the lyrics of the anthem and the preamble to the Slovak Constitution will have to be placed in every classroom. The document also includes a requirement submitted by Education Minister Ján Mikolaj from the Slovak National Party (SNS) that patriotic education should become a part of the curricula at each level of the school system. The flag and preamble would also be placed in rooms in which sessions of local councils and Regional Self-Governments are held. The state anthem would be played or sung before every local council, Regional, state government and parliamentary session.
Slovak Radio and Slovak Television would be obliged to include the national anthem in their schedules every day between 23.30-00.30. The anthem would be broadcast between two programmes, but not as a part of a commercial break. In addition, the anthem should be played at the beginning of every sporting event.
Fico’s proposal is similar to the Patriotism Act proposed by the co-ruling SNS but vetoed by President Ivan Gašparovič in March, TASR wrote. The Patriotism Act stated that the national anthem should be played once a week in schools. According to Gašparovič, schools would not have been able to furnish the necessary equipment by April. Parliament is due to deal with the Patriotism Act at its session on April 27.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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27. Apr 2010 at 10:00