Research Institute of Child Psychology to Be Headed by Janette Motlova

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New Head of the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology Janette Motlova (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 26 (TASR) – The Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology has a new head – Janette Motlova, who will replace incumbent director Peter Lukac (dismissed on Tuesday), stated Education, Science, Research and Sport Minister Martina Lubyova (SNS) at a press conference in Bratislava.

The children’s institute, which provides diagnostic and therapeutic services to children with special needs, is an organisation directly supervised by the Education Ministry.

Lubyova added that a public competition for the post of director will be launched within six months and that Motlova is also ready to take part.

“I was asked to take action … As it had been impossible to achieve consensus concerning working relations, the situation escalated. I came to the conclusion that more radical action was needed to clear up the situation both at the personnel and professional levels,” said the minister, adding that the new head of the institute Motlova has all the prerequisites to improve the situation at the institute and moved it forward. “She has experience in both inclusion and integration due to her work at the Education Ministry, where she worked in youth organisation Iuventa. She studied social work, carried out various projects and also has experience with diagnostic tools that should be standardised by the institute,” said Lubyova.

The Opposition OLaNO party, which has been pointing to management misconduct at the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology and also carried out a parliamentary probe there, has welcomed the education minister’s decision to dismiss the incumbent director. The party hopes that the new director will calm down and improve the situation at the children’s centre as soon as possible and will halt the exodus of scientists and prevent the collapse of the institute. “The unprofessional nominations of the Slovak National Party, such as the nomination of the previous director, have devastated the reputation and results of top state organisations,” stated the OLaNO MPs.

The situation at the institute escalated when around one third of its employees handed in their notice as of June 11, citing “deep indignation with interference from above by which the institute’s management has been ruining the centre” as the reason behind their decision, stated Magdalena Spotakova from the institute. She also pointed to the unexpected firing of several employees.