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Hungarian, Slovak and Czech teachers among least well-paid in Europe

Bratislava, Slovakia – According to the OECD, teachers in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic (as well as Poland, to a slightly lesser extent) are among the least well-paid, not only in Europe but among all developed economies in the world.

Teachers in the upper secondary school with 15 years experience receive an annual salary of €19,200 in Slovakia, according to the OECD, the second lowest among OECD countries after Lithuania (€18,900). Slovak primary teachers just starting their career receive an annual wage of only €13,700.

Hungarian teachers are the third least well-paid in Europe, receiving an annual salary of €20,900 for teachers of the upper secondary levels with 15 years experience, and €13,000 for primary teachers at the beginning of their career.

Lack of public investments, bad performance in international standardized tests, insufficient international outreach: Slovakia’s education system is riddled with shortcomings, according to analysts.

The Czech Republic (4th lowest, with an annual gross pay of €21,900 for experienced upper-secondary teachers) and Poland (6th lowest, €23,600 per year) are also at the bottom end of the ranking, which might give more grist to the mill of teachers, activists and civil society organizations which have been calling and sparring with their respective governments to increase teachers’ annual salaries.

According to the OECD, here are the ten developed countries where teachers are the least well-paid (gross figures for upper secondary teachers with 15 years experience):

  1. Lithuania (€18,900)
  2. Slovakia (€19,200)
  3. Hungary (€20,900)
  4. Czech Republic (€21,900)
  5. Greece (€23,400)
  6. Poland (€23,600)
  7. Turkey (€25,500)
  8. Costa Rica (€28,700)
  9. Israel (€30,000)
  10. Chile (€32,000)

At the opposite end of the scale, the top ten countries where teachers are the most well-paid among OECD economies are:

  1. Luxembourg (€104,200)
  2. Germany (€76,400)
  3. Netherlands (€68,100)
  4. Canada (€60,300)
  5. United States (€57,700)
  6. Australia (€56,800)
  7. Mexico (€56,200)
  8. Ireland (€55,600)
  9. Denmark (€54,000)
  10. Austria (€53,400)
Earlier this year, thousands of Polish teachers went on strike and took to the streets to demand higher wages and better working conditions from the government.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.

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