Why this story matters:
Sandra Sviteková studied history and philosophy in order to become a teacher. She truly loved this profession. Instead of finding work in a school, however, she ended up as an assistant at the meat counter of an Austrian supermarket. "The main reason I am here is that I could not afford to be a teacher," declares Sandra.
Teachers in Slovakia earn a low income. For those straight out of the university, starting salary can be as little as 550 euros.
These salaries in no way reflect how important teachers are for society. The previous year, teachers took to the streets in protest against low salaries and poor working conditions in the education sector. However, they did not gain broad support. Many people still consider their salaries fine because teachers do not work full time and the work itself is "not that hard".
Details from the story:
- Sandra Sviteková is making history and philosophy videos in her spare time to help children and young people understand current affairs.
- Many university students in Slovakia want to become teachers, but the teacher's starting salary stops them -- it is about 550 euro.
- Teachers organized significant protests and strikes in 2015 and 2016. They were supported by many public figures and students who insisted on the necessity to improve the educational system in Slovakia.
- Especially in Bratislava, there is a lack of elementary school teachers because they cannot afford to live in the capital.
- The state budget does not include money to raise the teachers’ salaries in 2018. They raised them in September 2017 by 6% and plan to do the same in January 2019.