Teachers bleeding for the education sector

TEACHERS from Bratislava queued up at the National Transfusion Service in the borough of Ružinov to donate blood as part of a Health Day, involving more than 200 schools in Slovakia, which was organised to point to the poor state of education in the country.

Vladimír Crmoman of the Slovak Chamber of TeachersVladimír Crmoman of the Slovak Chamber of Teachers (Source: TASR)

Some of the schools remained closed, while others were only partly open. At the same time around 40 teachers arrived at the transfusion service at 8:00 while more came along later, the TASR newswire reported on November 19

 “By this action we want to point out not only that we’re concerned about the state of health of the education system in Slovakia, but also that only someone with their heart in education considers this to be a matter of the heart and so would want to stop the excuses, promises and counter-arguments and start acting instead,” said Vladímir Crmoman from the Bratislava teachers’ initiative, which organised the event, as quoted by TASR. “ We are acting, and we want the government to act.”

Read also:Teachers will protest for higher wagesRead more 

According to Crmoman, the education system needs systematic measures and investment.

“We needed to attract the public's attention in some way, and we think that the positive feedback could be very strong, ” one of the teachers told TASR, adding that teachers also support a call on the government by the Slovak Chamber of Teachers to raise salaries and allocate more money to education.

The teachers said that they intend to continue with similar events.

“We’re initiating another protest that we’ve called ‘Babysitting Day’, with the subtitle ‘You Pay Peanuts, You Get Monkeys’, ” explained Crmoman, as quoted by TASR, adding that the event will take place on December 10. “We want to point out that our salaries aren’t developing in the context of market rules, but are at the level of those given to babysitters.” 

The public needs to be persuaded of the need to earmark more funds for the education sector, said Education, Science, Research and Sport Minister Juraj Draxler in response to the teachers' protest. He noted that people who don't work in the sector often fail to understand demands for higher salaries. 

"When you meet up with trade unions at a negotiating table, the trade unions – who represent all employees - don't immediately agree with the need to inject more funding into the education sector. On the contrary, what they say is 'why should more funding be allocated to teachers?'," said the minister.

 

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