The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 25 September 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here
Mladina: Education Ministry rebuked for situation at schools
STA, 25 September 2020 – Mladina, the left-wing weekly, criticises the government and Education Ministry for "sending the education system into the corona-autumn completely unprepared". It says in Friday's editorial that all staff at schools, not just teachers, are on the verge of exhaustion and that the system could easily collapse.
No additional teachers and kitchen or cleaning staff - vital to keep the system going in the difficult times - was hired, the idea for teaching in shifts was not examined and no plan was made to adjust teaching for individual subjects in case face masks have to be worn, says editor-in-chief Grega Repovž.
Talking with a face mask for six hours in a classroom is hard and calls for adjustment. "But how could have the ministry made the plan when it had claimed there would be no masks," the editor wonders.
"The ministry has let schools down," he says, adding that teachers who cannot wear masks for health reasons were given no concessions, and while healthcare workers are entitled to coronavirus testing, no such testing was provided for teachers.
Instead of providing masks free of charge for teachers and children, the government provided 500,000 disposable masks for the entire education system. The figure is bizzarely low, given that 200,000 children and youth go to school every day, whereas masks free of charge are said to be provided to small businesses.
Mladina says Education Minister Simona Kustec should not resign because of a minor mistake of not wearing a mask at a gala dinner, but so that somebody who is up to the challenge takes over at her office.
The entire government has failed to deliver, with the education system breaking down three weeks after the new school year started, and a similar fiasco can be observed in other systems, such as public transport, Mladina says.
It suffices to look at healthcare to see what education is in for. While doing nothing to prepare the healthcare system for the autumn, it is clear already that the government will use the situation to quickly and mercilessly privatise it. Laboratories are the first to go.
Reporter: Slovenian healthcare not public but state-run
STA, 21 September 2020 - The right-wing weekly Reporter is critical of an expected rise of the compulsory healthcare insurance, saying it signals a potential continuation of the decline of the healthcare system even under the centre-right Janez Janša government.
Speaking of continuing systemic issues, Reporter argues in its latest commentary Slovenia does not have public healthcare, but state-run healthcare that prevents access to all the doctors available in the country and to direly needed services in time.
Moreover, the system is rife with corruption, with some of those distributing the public funds also representing those vying for them, the weekly says under The Millionaires and the Victims of 'Public Healthcare'.
"People known best in the public for calls for public healthcare can afford fast and private healthcare...When they are told the waiting line for tests is six months or more, they go to a private doctor and get treatment within a few days.
"The 'small people' in whose name the former ones are raising their voice on the other hand cannot afford this. They can stand in line and hope their condition does not deteriorate drastically in the meantime. This happens after years of paying compulsory insurance in order to have access to healthcare."
All our posts in this series are here