Over 70 percent of Czech schools go on strike

Over 70 percent of Czech elementary schools, secondary schools and kindergartens are taking part in a one-day warning strike on Monday calling for higher funding for education and other changes. While some schools taking part will remain completely closed, others will be offering only partial services.

According to the school unions, the funds earmarked for next year will not allow schools to maintain the present quality of education, since they will be forced to lay off both teachers and assistants in order to maintain the present level of salaries.

Czech Education Minister Mikuláš Bek apologized to parents on Sunday evening for the fact that they and their children had become hostages in a dispute between the government, unions and strikers. He said none of the possible changes in the education system would lead to a deterioration in the quality of education.

Meanwhile, nurses and other medical personnel are also set to hold a strike on Monday against austerity measures implemented by the Czech government and so are hundreds of other firms in the industrial sector, including employees of carmaker Škoda Auto.

Author: Ruth Fraňková