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Čaplovič wants salary hike for teachers in 2014

The Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sports, Dušan Čaplovič, will approach Finance Minister Peter Kažimír next year and lobby for an increase in teachers’ salaries.

The Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sports, Dušan Čaplovič, will approach Finance Minister Peter Kažimír next year and lobby for an increase in teachers’ salaries.

"First and foremost, I have to talk about 2014 now because that's how the budget is drafted. I envisage a certain raise in the 2014 budget," Čaplovič said after the round table on the state of the education sector report on Monday, April 29. The Education Minister did not detail any figures, however. "I can't say the numbers I'll promote. What's most important to me is to raise the salaries for regional educators," he claimed as quoted by the TASR newswire.

As part of the session, the ministry initiated a public discussion on the current state of education. The talks lasted for four hours and featured some 50 experts, with Čaplovič claiming that he has no interest in building walls but rather bridges and that he is listening to the comments of public. A round table on the issue was held earlier in the day by opposition's People's Platform parties, too. Čaplovič, however, maintains that the ministry planned its discussion a couple of days in advance. "The education sector really needs changes, but these can’t be carried out with ideological cliches, whether rightist or leftist ones, but what matters is whether the solutions are good or bad. And I'm open to a dialogue with the opposition," said the minister.

Education labour union leader Pavel Ondek said for TASR that no agreement was reached at Monday’s talks. "We still insist on our demand of the gradual introduction of an increase in the financial resources for education. If we want good-quality students, we need good-quality and educated teachers. And these will be of good quality only if they're paid appropriately. There's no other way for us," added Ondek, who maintains that the education system needs €200 million more on an annual basis.

The public can comment on the report on the state of Slovak education until June 30, the SITA newswire wrote. According to the report, by 2020 Slovakia should reach a point where 6 percent of GDP will go into the education system, and the average salary of teachers with college degrees should be at least 75 percent of the average salary of other college graduates. The report does not specify, however, how much money more education should receive each year, SITA wrote. The government accepted the report on April 10 and submitted it to parliament for comments and discussion.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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