Slovakia - Constitution & Legal Foundation
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CONSTITUTION & LEGAL FOUNDATION
The 1992 Constitution of the Slovak Republic, Article Six, Section One, mandates Slovak as the state language. Section Two provides for the regulation of other languages by law. In November 1995 a law passed by the unicameral Slovak parliament further reinforced Slovak as the sole official language (Turner 2000). Under Section Four, pertaining to the rights of national minorities and ethnic groups within Slovakia, Article Thirty-Four guarantees their right to set up and maintain educational and cultural institutions in their own languages. This part of the constitution is intended to soothe the anxieties of the Hungarian minority along the Danube. Article Forty-Two of the Constitution outlines the basis for educational rights and government policy in the Slovak Republic in the following four brief paragraphs:
- Everyone has the right to education. School attendance is compulsory. Its period and age limit will be defined by law.
- Citizens have the right to free education at primary and secondary schools and, based on their abilities and society's resources, also at higher educational establishments.
- Schools other than state schools may be established, and instruction in them provided, only under conditions defined by law. Such schools may charge a tuition fee.
- A law will specify under which conditions citizens who are engaged in studies are entitled to assistance from the state. (Euroweb 2001)
Article 43 guarantees the freedom of scientific research and art, and that the results of such creative intellectual activity are protected by law. The second part of the article guarantees the right of access to the cultural heritage under conditions defined by law. Article Eighty-Six gives to the National Council of the Slovak Republic the power to establish ministries and other state administrative bodies by means of law. Article 102 gives the president the power to appoint university professors and rectors.