Teachers call on Lubyová to stop misleading in Danko’s case

Lying has always been lying, Comenius University's Faculty of Arts wrote in its open letter.

Martina LubyováMartina Lubyová (Source: Alexandra Čunderlíková, SITA)

Education Minister Martina Lubyová (SNS nominee) should stop misleading in the case of the alleged plagiarism of Parliament Speaker Andrej Danko (SNS), teachers wrote to the education minister.

Since Tuesday, more than 1,500 teachers from primary schools, high schools and universities – also academics, among others, from Matej Bel University where Danko gained his degree through plagiarism in 2000 – signed the petition.

“The commission of the Matej Bel University confirmed that Andrej Danko copied 63 out of 72 pages. He broke not only quotation norms but also copyright law. We cannot call the thesis by any other words than plagiarism,” teachers wrote in the Declaration of Teachers of Slovakia on the website peticie.com.

Read also:University has confirmed: Parliament's Speaker copied large parts of his thesis Read more 

Minister Lubyova said that Danko did not pass the exams with a plagiarised thesis, as the commission did not use the word plagiarism in the report.

“Copying is a condemnable fraud on all levels of Slovak schools,” they wrote in the appeal initiated by the dissatisfied teachers of Matej Bel University.

“We teach our pupils and students that copying other people’s ideas is stealing intellectual property. University teachers call this form of cheating plagiarism,” the appeal continues.

Teachers ask Minister Lubyová to stop misleading the public by doubting the values of teachers. They say that they know how to distinguish who is cheating while writing and who works honourably. The denial of the basic concepts degrades the Slovak education system.

Read also:Why is an 18-year-old doctoral dissertation causing an uproar among the public? Read more 

The Faculty of Arts of Comenius University in Bratislava published its own statement on January 16. It reads that despite what we heard in the last days from politicians, there has always applied the rule that we should not lie and cheat.

“Many of the voices we heard from political circles in discussions about the doctoral dissertation of Andrej Danko, Speaker of Parliament, attempted to relativise the basic principle of academic work and ethics, in our opinion,” the statement reads.

Comenius University weighed in on January 17 with a statement of its leadership and the president of its Academic Senate on the conclusions of the ad hoc commission at Matej Bel University.

"He copied an absolute majority of his work from other authors and did not admit to doing it," the statement reads as quoted by the Sme daily. "Regardless of whether we call this plagiarim or not, it is obvious that Andrej Danko did not respect elementary ethical rules while writing his rigorous thesis, which have been respected on academic grounds for centuries."

By insisting that he proceeded legitimately, Danko is mocking academic principles and defames the work of scholars, wrote the university that granted Danko his master's degree.

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