Kiska: Heavy Dose of Optimism Needed to Expect Changes in Education

President Andrej Kiska (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 18 (TASR) – The quality of our education sector will be instrumental in determining how well or how badly Slovakia will be faring in the future, President Andrej Kiska said in a statement on Friday.

In reference to the current crisis that has gripped the Education Ministry and, by extension, the coalition, the president said that it takes a heavy dose of optimism to expect substantial changes in education, research and science in the next few years.

In providing a rundown on the situation in the sector, Kiska lamented the fact that Slovak pupils don’t stack up well against their peers abroad. It’s also still the case that children from disadvantaged environments are underachievers and derive zero benefit from the schooling system, he said.

“And it’s also still the case that Slovakia is home to a number of poor-quality universities, that Slovak science produces meagre results, and that becoming a teacher has little appeal to young people,” said Kiska, adding that the Government’s role is to confront these challenges.

Kiska went on to recognise the fact that a new education minister is to emerge from an agreement inside the coalition and that Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) has the exclusive right to put forward a candidate to replace Peter Plavcan.

“That said, I’m convinced that pupils, students, parents, teachers and other people working in the education sector have the right to be assured that this important ministry is run by a competent, qualified and ‘politically powerful’ person.

Kiska said that Slovakia is badly in need of a minister who will, at the very least, stabilise the situation at the ministry and stop things from going further downhill.

“I realise that political compromises are necessary to maintain a majority government and amity in the coalition. The most important thing, however, is to ensure a future for our children and country and give substance and results to the governing,” said Kiska.