Every school should be a school of democracy. Slovakia lags behind

Pandemic sparks human rights-related debates, showing that most people lack the theoretical background to discuss these issues.

Dagmar HornáDagmar Horná (Source: Archive of Human Rights Olympics, 2018)

Quite often we have heard intimate stories. A student said his father would just bang on the table and make a decision for everyone, without discussing the matter any further. But once I have a family, the student said, I will sit my children at the table and we will talk everything through and try to agree on what is best for us.

Dagmar Horná, the chairperson of the National Commission of the Human Rights Olympics, pointed out how varying may be the approach in different families. The Human Rights Olympics may be a way for some to experience something completely different from what they've been used to at home or at school.

“What is better than knowing that a child was given a tool, a vision of how to live when they grow up?” she said.

In an interview with The Slovak Spectator, Horná said that human rights education should go on, from the cradle to the grave, talking about what people may face if they neglect this. She also noted that the pandemic has sparked interest and many discussions on where violations of human rights begin, and pointed to many cases that unveiled what she calls people's desperate lack of knowledge on human rights and rule of law.

Raising young citizens

Human Rights Olympics is a national competition for secondary-school students in Slovakia, aimed at the promotion and protection of human rights and democracy. The 2021 edition is its 23rd, though in practice it has been around for quarter century now, with the first two editions as pilots.

Recently, the competition won the European Citizens' Prize 2020, for its efforts to help strengthen the fundamental pillars of democracy.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Illustrative stock photo

News digest: Curfew will stay in place for at least another week

The Health Ministry said the age limit for the Pfizer vaccine could change. EC greenlights the state assistance for tourism.

10 h
Juraj Šeliga

Šeliga leaves the deputy parliament’s speaker post after violating curfew rules

The politician was in a café after 21:00. His party colleague Jana Žitňanská drew consequences, too.

10 h

Will Slovakia hold another referendum? President has 30 days to decide

Petition to hold referendum signed by more than 585,000 people.

15 h
Carmakers have used the temporary kurzarbeit scheme during the ongoing pandemic.

Slovakia will have a permanent kurzarbeit scheme as of next year

The state will cover 60 percent of the employee’s salary.

15 h