The Slovenia Times

Minister Candidate to Promote Dialogue in Education System


She underlined the significance of interdisciplinary work and quality. Her nomination was confirmed by the committee in a 10-4 vote.

Makovec Brenčič told the parliamentary Education, Science and Sport Committee she intended to fortify the links between education and industry, proposing an apprenticeship programme for this purpose.

She feels that there should be stronger ties between research and education and that Slovenia should establish an open environment that encourages innovation.

The candidate pointed to the importance of autonomy of education institutions and the importance of achieving set goals, such as international exchange of students and teachers, but keeping in mind that Slovenian language must remain a priority in the process.

She also spoke of a need to employ professional teachers and the importance of systemic funding in education. "I am aware of the framework, but there are new opportunities within the limits."

Among the challenges Makovec Brenčič listed introduction of flexible school environments and innovative teaching approaches.

The MPs posed a number of questions, including about her position on private education. She said that public schools should be of good quality and accessible to everyone, while she views private schools as complimentary to the public system.

When asked about the recent decision by the Constitutional Court that private schools teaching officially licensed programmes should get funds equal to those received by public schools, she said that the court's decision must be respected.

Also taking part in the hearing was Branimir Štrukelj, the head of the teachers' union SVIZ, who asked the nominee about her approach to funding.

Makovec Brenčič said that she would strive to prevent additional funding cuts in higher education and for research and development. She is also to work toward increasing the higher education budget to 2% of GDP by 2020, which is a priority set down in the coalition agreement.

If approved by the parliament next week, Makovec Brenčič will be the third education minister of the incumbent government.

After the first education minister, Stanka Setnikar Cankar, stepped down due to side earning exceeding half a million euro over the past 12 years, this has also become an issue for some following the Makovec Brenčič nomination.

She has said that she earned EUR 175,000 between 2004 and 2014 and underlined at the committee session today that knowledge work should be paid appropriately.


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