Bratislava, January 25 (TASR) – The Education, Science, Research and Sport Ministry has secured an additional €200 million for its 2017 budget and – coupled with extra funds for the Interior Ministry – an extra €300 million will therefore be at hand towards education this year, Education Minister Peter Plavcan (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) said on a TABLET.TV discussion show on Wednesday.
“The budget is a victory for all of us,” said Plavcan, adding that the funds that are designed to support education will be deployed to the benefit of the whole of society.
A statement by Prime Minister Robert Fico to the effect that, in terms of budget appropriations, the education sector is this year’s ‘winner’ among all sectors rings true to some extent for me, he said. “But if we’re to implement the reform as proposed by experts at roundtable discussions, we’ll need much more in funds,” he said.
Plavcan also reflected on the beginning of his term in office in March of last year, pointing to the rift between the sector’s stakeholders. “In hindsight, last year was indeed difficult, but also creative. We needed to launch a reform of the education sector and restore trust between the stakeholders,” he said.
“Teachers were right to be sceptical. The occupation of teacher was said for years to be among the key ones, but this was not obvious from their salaries or social standing,” said the minister.
As for the Government Manifesto, Plavcan said that he can’t agree with those who allege that the chapter devoted to the education sector wasn’t specific enough. “The part of the Government Manifesto on education is over 12 pages long. The manifestos of previous governments since 1990 were two or two-and-a-half pages long. We sought to include everything that the academic sector deemed necessary,” he said.