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Higher salaries for teachers and more money for education proposed

Teachers should see higher salaries in future years, according to an Education Ministry report on the condition of the Slovak education system that was acknowledged by the cabinet at a session on Wednesday, April 10.

Teachers should see higher salaries in future years, according to an Education Ministry report on the condition of the Slovak education system that was acknowledged by the cabinet at a session on Wednesday, April 10.

Teachers' salaries should increase gradually until 2020, so that the average salary of a teacher with a university education reaches at least 75 percent of the average salary of employees in jobs in other sectors where university qualifications are required.

Moreover, Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič in the document proposes that investment in the sector should be increased gradually to reach 6 percent of GDP by 2020. Finance Minister Peter Kažimír observed, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that the report is a breakthrough document, as it identifies the real problems faced by the sector. Kažimír added, however, that it would be nonsense to pour more financial resources into a system which is running inefficiently.

"The current structure of the education sector isn't satisfactory. I refuse to pay for the bill that would be issued while current conditions in the education system exist. If there are to be more resources, the system must undergo certain changes," said the finance minister. The report also proposes changes in pre-school education, broaches the issue of university mergers and suggests changes with respect to scrapping of some university degrees.

According to the draft version of the report before the incorporation of comments, Slovakia should raise its allocation for education by €200 million each year in order to achieve a level of spending on education equal to the OECD average within five years. Regional education should get an additional €140 million and universities a further €60 million per year. The draft is still open for comment by the general public, the SITA newswire wrote. It contains a number of proposed novelties: for example, the minister proposes to abandon the system of scientific-pedagogical titles for professors and associate professors, leaving only the relevant functional positions; mathematics would become a key subject of the second level of primary schools and in secondary schools; secondary schools that end without a graduation exam should no longer teach two foreign languages; and kindergarten would be free of charge for children above the age of four years.

Sources: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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