Bratislava, February 11 (TASR) – More than a thousand people gathered on SNP Square in Bratislava on Wednesday evening for a meeting of teachers, parents and friends of schools to express support for the demand that education should become a real and not only proclaimed priority for the Government.
Among the participants were representatives of schools from outside Bratislava. Carrying signs, the participants showed their links to schools in Zilina, Kosice, Trencin and elsewhere.
One of the event’s organisers, Vladimir Crmoman from the Slovak Teachers Initiative (ISU), views the event as proof that the struggle for teachers’ demands is legitimate and is an expression of a common effort. “Our unity lies in the fact that we all care about the future of the country and want our children to have a quality education,” said Crmoman.
Among the speakers on the podium were parents of students from a school on Novohradska Street in Bratislava who decided to show their support for the teachers’ demands by not sending their kids to school on Fridays. According to them, they want to continue with this until Government representatives begin to talk to ISU constructively.
One of the initiators of the move, Stefan Dobak, said that the parents who decided on this show of solidarity hadn’t known each other before. “However, we were united by the fact that we want publicly and loudly to make people aware that teachers aren’t alone in this,” said Dobak.
The event was attended by Eva Hornikova, the headteacher of the primary school in Karloveska in Bratislava, where all teaching staff were involved in a teachers’ strike and schooling was interrupted for 15 days. Hornikova pointed out that teachers were teaching at that time with personal examples and attitudes. “We showed our students that we live in a democratic country, that everyone is important and has the right to express their opinions also on topics like strikes,” said Hornikova, thanking teachers for their support and promising that teachers will fight for a better education for them and their children. “Your kids are also ours, and they deserve a full-valued education,” she stated.
ISU is interrupting its wildcat strike, which began on January 25, as of February 15, when teachers will return to a strike alert. According to Crmoman, their fight for their demands will continue. The strike baton will be taken over by university lecturers belonging to the University Lecturers Initiative (IVU). They began a strike alert on Tuesday (February 9) and are threatening a full strike as of February 15.