Initiatives for the dismissal of the Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Simona Kustec, have started to grow louder for the second time now. Members of the Slovenian Syndicate for Upbringing, Education and Science are once again fighting against her because of old resentments, which were caused by some of her statements. Additionally, they believe that they were ignored and neglected by the Minister in the decision-making process, but as the host of the show, Aleksander Rant, points out, teachers are not part of the epidemiological profession. Štrukelj made a somewhat incomprehensible statement regarding this matter, but basically, he said that education has fallen victim to the measures. However, the epidemic has affected all aspects of life. SMC MP Gregor Perič believes that this is simply a continuation of the political fight and that employees of the education sector have no interest in engaging in a positive dialogue.
Slovenian Syndicate for Upbringing, Education and Science (Sindikat vzgoje, izobraževanja, znanosti in kulture Slovenije – hereinafter referred to as SVIZ) will be collecting signatures for the resignation of the Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Simona Kustec. According to the president of the union’s main committee, Jelka Velički, they were pushed away from the decision-making process on the epidemiological measures in schools. “According to her, the teachers are also experts in epidemiology,” the host of the show Overview of the day (Pregled dneva), Aleksander Rant, was critical.
“Kindergarten teachers, teachers in schools, practitioners, administrative and technical staff were simply the humiliated implementers of the measures and requirements, who did not have the right to give an opinion, warn, much less participate equally in the adoption of the measures in areas that we know really well,” she said.
Members of the union resent the Minister for persistently ignoring or rejecting them. “The refusal to respectfully, equally cooperate and negotiate with the representatives of the employees – especially the professionals; the educators that work in kindergartens, schools, high schools and at universities, has proved to be one of the key reasons why measures in the field of education changed incomprehensibly quickly, why they were ill-conceived and some even completely misguided,” they wrote in an open letter.
The teachers are making accusations against the Minister, but they do not see anything positive in the situation and the efforts
SVIZ is convinced that, on the one hand, the Minister strongly idealised the quality of our remote learning process, which, according to her, was better in Slovenia than in any other European country, and they also add that she was extremely offensive to teachers when she hinted that they did not even know how to turn on their computers before the covid-19 epidemic.
According to the General Secretary of SVIZ, Branimir Štrukelj, education could have solved or at least actively influenced the establishment of some normalcy in our country during the epidemic. The parents would then have been able to work, and these social relations could have been maintained. Štrukelj is convinced that because of the government, education has become the biggest victim of the epidemic. In any case, it should be emphasised here that the situation was primarily caused by the epidemic, not the government that tried to solve it. “Education has become part of the solution, instead of it being part of crisis management. In fact, it is one of the biggest victims of this inappropriate attitude towards education, which should be attributed to the entire government,” Štrukelj said, somewhat confusingly, which makes it kind of hard to understand what exactly he even meant by that.
They want more dialogue and less forceful reactions from SVIZ
SMC MP Gregor Perič sees these allegations as pressure on the SMC party, as, according to Rant, the leftists always react with force instead of dialogue. “We understand this as a continuation of the political fight, another announcement of another interpellation of the same topic. We find this to be quite a waste of energy for things that are not helpful. If we were able to just sit down and talk to them and direct them to something positive, I believe that everyone would gain much more from this situation than we will from it being polemicised,” Perič was critical of their approach.
According to Mojca Škrinjar, Member of Parliament and Vice-President of the Committee on Education, Science, Sport and Youth, the collecting of signatures against the Minister at the end of the school year and at a time when the Matura exam is just beginning is the worst abuse of children, pupils, students, and teachers by SVIZ and Štrukelj, who, according to Škrinjar, is a member of the extreme left. “All of this is just another attempt to overthrow the government, with the help and on the backs of the children, pupils, high school and university students, as well as on the back of the Minister, who has to endure all of this,” she added. She pointed out that the Minister organised the work in such a way that professional institutions, such as the National Education Institute, as well as the Matura Commission, prepared the instructions in a way that is feasible in the given situation, which is difficult for everyone. According to the adapted rules, the Matura exam will be performed in a way that is feasible and suitable for everyone. “I think she did everything that was necessary in this situation, in order for the education process, as well as the Matura exam, to continue as they should, in this given situation.”