On Thursday 13 September teachers all over Slovakia will hold a one day strike in protest over higher pay, with the demand that their salaries be hiked up to at least 1.2 times the average salary in Slovakia.
Most schools are expected to take part in the strike, while some private schools will still operate but may close down at lunchtime due to a lack of dinner ladies, depending on where their facility is located. Speaking to daily Pravda, head of the teachers trade union Ludovit Sebeledi said that many teachers are being forced to take on second jobs just so they can make ends meet.
George, please explain again that part how people are born male, female, even gay.
Please one more time 🙂
I agree with James /except the part about the Strike/.
Young peple don’t want to become teachers because of the pay. Teaching will be always a hard job.
I laugh about the idea how some people expect the teachers to self-educate themselves just like that and become better teachers over the night. The new system must be introduced and it must be done by the Ministry of Education.
I support the Strike! They do deserve more money!
My wife is a teacher in China. Seems like China adopted the whole US education system. Even more: the teachers have open classes every month, go to observe other teachers’ classes every month, write reports, evaluations, self-research methods on the internet. They are really pushed a lot. Because the headmaster pushes them and the headmaster is pushed by the local Educational burea and it is pushed by higher bureas…
Each school from kindergartens to the Universities is rated. You can find on the internet the “ATP” charts for the district, for the city, for the province and for whole China.
The higher rate they get the more money the school can ask from the parents but that’s another story.
‘As for the comments of students as to why they would not become teachers – is that not the litmus test of the current situation?’
It’s a litmus test of how hard and how ill-rewarded they think the job is.
Teaching, like most other elements of the puplic services, needs a short,sharp kick up the dupka. Old school, old thinking rules in this country and until that frame of mind changes they will never attract the brightest to the teaching profession. As for the comments of students as to why they would not become teachers – is that not the litmus test of the current situation?
Jimbo, I think you are heading towards the Straw Man argument here .
Again . You, me are born male, female, even gay , but not born as a teacher . This is a life choice and when you start out , you know the salary is crap , so why start whining about pay when you work in the job, that YOU actually decided to do? If you don`t like the pay, get your bike and find better work elsewhere and stop moaning . The 400 euro pcm is the pay for the job, when you sign up that`s what the contract says…..400 euro pcm …
BTW. Yes, I believe a teachers job is important, but not as much as teachers would love us all to believe and not with the current utter dross teaching in most Slovak schools .
Find me a definition of ‘straw man’ then explain clearly how I’m ‘heading towards’ that.
You, on the other hand, have done nothing but give me the same straw man position three times.
‘I dont miss the point Jim.’
‘Yes, you do.’
‘No, I don’t.’
‘Yes, you do.’
That would be tedious so let me suggest we’re at cross-purposes. You’re arguing against points I didn’t make.
When I say that salaries should improve, I’m not saying we should throw more money at teachers right now. I’ve expressly said I don’t think that would improve matters. I’m saying the profession needs an ‘upgrade’, amongst other things it needs to become a career worth considering to some of those teens who look at me like I’ve just arrived from Neptune when I ask if they’d ever consider becoming teachers.
Part of that upgrade has to be improvements in the training. I did PGCE in the UK, I didn’t go through the Svk system, but just two things I know are lacking here :
1. A reasonable level of ‘school-based’ training to get practical experience. (I think PGCEs are about 70% school-based now, which may be too much, but 40-50% would be about right.)
2. Enough instruction/guidance in things like managing classes, assessment methods, how to communicate with parents etc etc
Essentially, as with a lot of Sk higher education, the theory/practice balance is currently out of sync. Putting it right ain’t going to be easy, though.
If you’re going to rubbish those points, I’d have to conclude you think a teacher’s job is simply not important, in which case there would no longer be any point to the discussion.
As for your point about the strike, read the 2nd para of my first post.
I dont miss the point Jim.
You, me are born male, female, even gay , but not born as a teacher . This is a life choice and when you start out , you know the salary is crap , so why start whining about pay when you work in the job, that YOU actually decided to do?
BTW. pray tell what do they actually `do` in the four years of training ? If 4 years turns out such idiots who thing a Strike is good for the kids, then perhaps they should not be teaching at all, no ?
‘The Unwise man has spoken .’ But has still missed the point….
‘better pay just may not improve things.’ Better pay ON ITS OWN will probably not improve things, no. But then I never said it would.
‘These teachers are fit for no other job and this is all they do?’ Well, most of them do train to be (surprise, surprise) teachers (ie not doctors, bankers, politicians, journalists, soldiers etc etc) and teaching is a fairly specialised profession. Teaching is ‘all they do’ in the same way that making money is ‘all businessmen do’ or treating the sick and injured is ‘all doctors do’.
Another story about teachers and once again our panel of three (un)wise men are on hand to debate it.
First of all, I don’t particularly support this strike. Its aims seem vague and its timing is going to do nothing for the teachers’ cause. Even as one who’s sympathetic, I can’t help feeling there’s an element here of rescuing the ‘lost’ Sept 15th holiday.
Still, the point remains that teaching requires four years training, yet is a dismally-paid, disrespected profession. A starting teacher would expect to make no more than 400Euros per month – you’d need to hope you could still live with mum and dad and not have to pay much housekeeping. No’one goes into teaching for the money but no’one goes into any job to be exploited.
Next, EXPAT’s last point at least makes some sense. Who’d be a teacher? I’d love to be a fly on the wall watching some of those who constantly denigrate the profession trying to deal with a bunch of hormonal teenagers. I’ve been running my own little survey for the last ten years or so – must have asked 300+ Slovak teens if they’d ever consider going into teaching themselves. Answer? ‘Not on your life, mate.’ Why? ‘Because the pay’s crap and I’d have to manage people like us.’ In all that time, just ONE girl has replied ‘yes, I could give it a try.’
That of course renders Dave C’s points, which could have been copied and pasted from any OFSTED press release of the last 15 years, not just nonsensical but impractical too. Where, Dave, are you going to get these bright young things to replace all the ‘dead wood, outdated’ teachers you’re going to fling on the scrapheap? What kind of criteria are you going to apply to decide who’s good and who’s crap? Who are you to judge anyway? One thing I would say as a generalisation – the tougher the school, the less academically-minded the kids, the more dynamic, more caring their teachers tend to be.
As for the stuff about ‘stimuli’ and ‘methodology’, it’s meaningless – at least till you’ve got the basics in place. Teaching is not selling double-glazing, it’s about human beings working with other human beings. You can have all the whizz-kid ‘stimuli’ you want but basic qualities like being caring, stable and fair are far far more important, even if your lessons aren’t quite as wacky and fun as Mr Superman’s down the corridor. This is more important still these days when things like care and stability are often lacking at home. Which is the next point – teachers are generally expected to be surrogate parents, psychologists, even medical advisors.
What needs to happen – but isn’t going to – is (and here I do kind of agree with Dave) is an upgrade in the status of the profession. I’m not only talking about salary but also about the quality of training and in-service opportunities offered to teachers. Somehow, teaching needs to get more of the bright young graduates into it, but right from the start, not just by chucking out anyone over 40.
The ideal model is Finland but that’s a bit unrealistic, I fear (But did you know there are no school inspections in Finland? It suggests teachers do well when given a bit of trust and freedom). Meanwhile, Poland does well, outperforming many western countries in most of the vital areas. Slovakia ought to send a few inquiring minds there on a fact-finding mission.
Meantime, stop making pointless changes to the curriculum and stop putting people down – unless, that is, you think you could do better, in which case come and give it a try. You’ll be ready for that nice long holiday when end of term comes round….
Here endeth the sermon of Jim, another bleeding Socialist ` life is so unfair` blood sucking from the Taxpayer heart .
In Answer , if you don`t like the pay, get your bike and find better work elsewhere and stop moaning . The 400 euro pcm is the pay for the job, when you sign up that`s what the contract says 400 euro pcm …Ever though 1) better pay just may not improve things. 2) These teachers are fit for no other job and this is all they do ?
The Unwise man has spoken .
JAMES – You obviously know more about the teaching profession than I do and I agree with many of the points you raise.
Having said that, I do have some Slovak friends who are teachers, all bright, well trained ( Some in America) but who all identify the problems they face on a day to day basis as stemming from the inflexible attitudes of the “older” elements of the staff in their schools. They cite being instructed to teach using outdated methods so as to not make their peers look bad, school heads giving them the most difficult classes to teach because it is beyond many of their more senior colleagues, ordered to amend student grades so that they don’t reflect badly on the schools overall performance and affect funding. I know there is a State Schools Inspectorate but it would appear that they have a very cosy relationship with heads and basically report as they dictate. Regular classroom assessment, conducted by unbiased inspectors, remedial, update and career development training as a requirement of employment and the eventual removal of those who don’t meet the required standard – all these should be being pushed by the profession.
” Upgrade the status of the profession” That can and must start within the teachers own ranks, if the teachers demonstrate a desire to improve, regulate their own profession and set an example to those they teach then I would fully support improvements in pay and conditions. As I have said before, I do not agree with this “more money for nothing in return” which appears to be the MO of teachers and other state workers. Teachers pay should be guided by results – the best would be paid more and the dross would be forced out of the system – thats the way it works in industry so why should it be different for any group of state workers?
Appreciate the spirit of this post Dave, apologies if my first effort seemed over-sensitive. Put it down partly to creeping middle-age, and the sense that I may be becoming one of the out-dated mediocrities that ought to get the chop…
Unsurprisingly, I agree with some points and disagree with others but I’ve no doubt we’d like to see a similar outcome
Losgar, for me the strike wasn’t right in either aim or tactic.
Interesting post, though.
Slightly off topic , but about `protest` in Slovakia . I read only 50 People Met at a New ‘Gorilla’ Rally
After a number of “Gorilla” rallies ( corruption in Government ) were held in Slovakia at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, having been attended by thousands of people, a new “Gorilla” protest was held on SNP Square last Sunday however only about 50 people turned up
Tom Nicholson, was there it appears, to promote his new book . I wonder how many copies of this masterpiece he has sold ?
Kinda hopeless all round eh ?
Ther only people to notice are the parents that are both working and now have to arrange how to look after the children on Thursday!
The strike will cost me over 25 Euros to put my child into a one day pre-school while my wife and I go to work! Fair??? No way! The fact that it wasn’t announce in the school to the parents was also nice!
They have been back in school for only a week and already they are striking! What’s next? The public transit drivers do the same and the city shuts down?
Go to work, earn your measly pay and if you are not happy, quit and change jobs! Otherwise shut up and do what we all expect, or what you think we will accept!
I have heard that Teaching is not a JOB, it is an diagnosis! Possibly! It would take me a lot of medication to deal with 20 more of my children for 8 hours!
300,000 state employees went on strike on Monday – did anyone notice any difference – the break in the excellent service – any added delay it getting them to do something – No!
Now the teachers are to strike!
Civil Servants, public sector workers and teachers do deserve a decent living wage BUT they should offer something in return like improved services, better results, financial savings etc. It appears than non of these groups have made any offers in these areas, they just want more dosh. The general public, who are facing tax hikes, increased insurances and rising prices, should not be financing the lifestyles of non-jobs without some tangable returns. All “state” workers account for one in three of the workforce which is a rediculous and unstainable ratio, any pay award should be financed by job losses. streamlining and efficiencies NOT just an exercise in keeping these people in well upholstered, cushy jobs.
On the specific issue of teachers – the Sk education system continues to slide down the league tables for reasons well documented in various reports, principally the continued use of outdated teaching methodologies and the lack of classroom stimuli. The brightest and best teachers should be paid more but the dead wood, idle and outdated teachers should be sacked.
Job evaluation and performance related pay may be two ways of ensuring Slovakia has all the efficient, cost effective public services it deserves, but has anyone the bottle to introduce them?
Will anyone actually notice they are actually on Strike ? At my friends school, the teachers always seem to be sick and off school day and the class taken by another teacher along with their own .
Perhaps if teacher did a full day, week or year …and without all the extra breaks, holidays, I may be more sympathetic to their cause . What next the English Language School teachers all going on strike, because they have to work a full week ?