Education Minister: Keep paramilitary groups out of schools

EDUCATION Minister Juraj Draxler has asked school principals to be more careful about the activities that they allow on school premises in response to military-related activities run by paramilitary organisation, Slovenskí branci [Slovak Levies] at some schools. 

Education Minister Juraj DraxlerEducation Minister Juraj Draxler (Source: Sme)

In late June Levies published photos of their activities at elementary schools in the villages of Ludanice and Preseľany, near Topoľčany, where pupils trained with machine guns using blank cartridges.

Read also:Extremist group Slovak Levies trained kids in schools Read more 

Slovak Levies has more than 100 members organised into 16 units. It runs military training courses to prepare members for possible attack against the country. At the same time, its members help during natural disasters, offer hiking tours and help with environmental projects, according to its webpage.

Lectures and training by an extremist organisation could present significant dangers to the personal development of children and pupils, according to Draxler.

“I would like to ask headteachers to pay great attention when it comes to whom they let into classrooms with children,” Draxler said, as quoted by TASR. “In the case of outdoor activities they should cooperate mainly with our army.”

Read also:Paramilitary group Defiance creating elite units to do police work Read more 

According to the Education Ministry, it is not appropriate to provide room in schools for organisations that the Interior Ministry views as inclining towards right-wing extremism.

“In the current online age it isn’t a problem to use the internet to look up an organisation that would like to come to a school to give a lecture and so check up on it,” said Draxler, as quoted by TASR. “I also recommend a personal interview with representatives of organisations and a detailed check of the materials given out to pupils. I would be very displeased if paramilitary groups visited our schools again.”

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