Hundreds of education staff took part in a protest in the streets of Bratislava on May 7 to demand the introduction of what they described as changes to the system, including increases in salaries and the modernisation of classrooms. Teachers and other staff unfurled banners in front of the Government Office calling on the government to provide more funds for schools, boost the living standards of teachers and save education in general.
Head of the teachers' trade unions Pavel Ondek reiterated their main demand, for a continual increase in the funding of education. He also pointed to the poor situation faced by non-teaching staff. "Their salaries are on the verge of poverty," he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. The teachers then moved on to parliament, where the education committee was scheduled to debate a report on the state of education in Slovakia presented by Education Minister Dušan Čaplovič. Teachers want to embed their main demand in the document – annual increases in education funding of €200 million. However, Čaplovič's report isn't specific about funding, Ondek commented.
The requirement was originally embedded in the draft report but ultimately dropped from it, the SITA newswire wrote. Čaplovič's report instead proposes that the country gradually increases spending for the education sector until it reaches 6 percent of GDP by 2020.
Sources: TASR, SITA
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8. May 2013 at 13:00