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NEWS ROUNDUP 5 Jan 2018

Ministry of Education dissolves think tank on education policy

Ria Gehrerová recommended by Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia

After the winter holidays, Slovaks were shocked to learn that the Institute of Education Policy had been quietly dissolved during the Christmas break. The head of the institute was fired, and the remaining staff was re-shuffled to other departments.

Slovakia Smoke signals

Why this story matters:

politics, scandal, science

In Slovakia, governmental think tanks are generally well-loved and trusted by citizens for their impartial and thorough analyses. In fact, they are often more trusted than the policymakers whose work they assess.

After the winter holidays, Slovaks were shocked to learn that one such organization, the Institute of Education Policy, had been quietly dissolved during the Christmas break. The head of the institute was fired, and the remaining staff was re-shuffled to other departments. 

The Institute of Education Policy was quietly dissolved during the Christmas break. Minister of Education Martina Lubyová defended her actions by saying the institute was not dissolved, but simply transferred to other departments.

Few were convinced by her argument; the public sees it as a sign that she does not want to listen to experts and make decisions based on objective analysis.

Details from the story:

  • The Minister of Education -- Martina Lubyová -- decided to discontinue funding for the Institute of Education Policy, which provides data aiming to provide information better policy-making and public spending.
  • Experts from other institutes spoke out in support of the institute.
  • "It is a big step back," said the head of the Value for Money project at the ministry of finances and co-founder of the Institute of Education Policy.

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