Bratislava, January 28 (TASR) – President Andrej Kiska hosted representatives of the Slovak Teachers Initiative (ISU) at the Presidential Palace on Thursday.
ISU declared a fully blown strike on Monday, January 25. Kiska said in his speech that all political parties running in the upcoming general election are the recipients of the teachers’ demands.
Kiska pointed out that the Government, and Education, Science, Research and Sport Minister Juraj Draxler in particular, should continue a dialogue with the teachers.
“But also all political parties with an ambition to be in the future parliament and to govern Slovakia should clearly, specifically and convincingly show their vision not only to teachers but to the whole public, how specifically they imagine bringing respect to education and to teachers,” said Kiska.
The teachers also informed Kiska about cases of intimidation. According to Crmoman, some teachers are banned from talking about the strike or making statements for the media. Kiska considers such practices unacceptable in a free and democratic society.
According to Kiska, the teachers on strike aren’t only after better remuneration. They also want to see schools and the education of children treated in the way that they truly deserve.
Kiska sees the strike as a borderline step. “No one is happy about it, not the parents that are affected, and surely not the teachers on strike themselves. And there isn’t unanimous agreement among all teachers in Slovakia on what the best way to draw up their demands is so shortly before the parliamentary election,” he said.
According to Vladimir Crmoman of ISU, the meeting with the president is a very good signal for society and for all teachers. “Surely it’s a positive sign for all my colleagues that are on strike at the moment,” he said.
Crmoman said that there are other schools willing to join the strike. Teachers stand by their demands, which they think can be met. “The Government will govern until March 5, the Government has to act,” said Jana Ftacnik Pastorkova of ISU.