New Year’s changes at the ministry raise questions

Instead of adopting “the largest education reform in the past 25 years”, the Education Ministry quickly made several changes to its operation in late 2017.

Education Minister Martina LubyováEducation Minister Martina Lubyová(Source: SME)

“Education reform has been buried and the critics have been removed,” is how the Initiative of Slovak Teachers, the organiser of several strikes calling for improving the conditions in the education system, responded to the latest changes at the Education Ministry.

Under the original plan, the ministry was expected to start working on implementing the necessary changes in education reform at the end of last year. Instead, Education Minister Martina Lubyová has postponed the beginning of some processes, after she called the document, titled Learning Slovakia, inapplicable in practice.

Read also:The education minister unexpectedly dissolved analytical institute

Moreover, she adopted several other changes concerning the operation of her department at the end of last year, particularly the changes in her and the state secretaries’ powers and the dissolution of the Institute of Education Policy (IVP), the ministry’s analytical body.

The decision, whose aim, in the ministry’s words, was to “make the operation more efficient, strengthen the analytical body and reduce the number of administration employees”, met with critical responses from the opposition, teachers’ associations and experts. They point to the fact that they have not been discussed enough.

“Moreover, they took place during the Christmas holiday, which is neither standard process nor right timing for increasing the quality of any organisation’s operation,” Renáta Hall, head of the To Dá Rozum (Learning Makes Sense) project, told The Slovak Spectator.

Read more: -What was the response to scrapping the IVP? How did other parties comment on changing the competences of the state secretaries? Will the changes impact planned education reform?

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