Ambitious Entries Despite Challenging Circumstances in Slovakia
The award ceremony of this year’s history competition of the Slovak Republic was held on 9 September 2022. The venue of choice was what you might call a traditional one: as in so many previous years, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic again gladly welcomed the award winners to the festivity.
The 17th history competition of the Slovak Republic on the topic of ”Monuments, Memorials, Historical Places" was marked by the impact of the pandemic and slow revitalisation processes. Nevertheless, among the ten entries meeting the competition’s requirements, four were chosen to get on the podium: The third place went to the video essay “Barbarian Night in Žiar nad Hronom District” by Alexandra Hajdúchová, Ján Kolár, Rebeka Novodomcová and Adela Račková. The second place was won by two entries on the same topic – the research paper “Franciscan Monastery in Kremnica in the 20th Century” by Samuel Kanala as well as the short movie with an accompanying text “Franciscan Monastery in Kremnica” by Zora Kürthyová. First place was awarded for the academic text “Lost Witnesses of our History” by Terézia Brišová and Petra Štanská.
All authors of the winning entries were commended by Viera Grigová, Secretary General of the Slovak Commission for UNESCO and Zuzana Jezerska, Coordinator of the Slovak EUSTORY History Competition and Executive Director of the Slovak Centre for Communication and Development (SCCD). During the ceremony, with teachers and tutors of the winning students also present, the concept of a pilot “Contested History in 21st Century Classrooms” was briefly presented and intense discussion on this issue followed.
“We are considering introducing a topic related to contested history in a new call for the school year 2022/2023. It is a very difficult and sensitive issue and, therefore, we want to open it in a very decent and nononfrontational way”, Zuzana Jezerská explained her future plans. Also, the new possibility for high school students to present their competition entry as one of the requirements for their history exam graduation was introduced by a teacher, Zuzana Kohútová. This will indeed help to motivate students to participate in the competition.
The History Competition in the Slovak Republic is organised by the Slovak Centre for Communication and Development (SCCD) under the auspices of the Slovak Commission for UNESCO and the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.