5.10 Current debates and reforms
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Citizenship Education in the national curricula for basic education
There is an ongoing debate on citizenship education. In December 2014, the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament adopted Resolution to promote citizenship education.
Based on the Resolution, in 2016 the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports started the Systematic support for citizenship education in schools by experimental testing to stabilise the role of pupils' parliaments in citizenship education.
The main goals of the experimental testing were:
- To verify the system of development of Pupils parliaments at pilot schools and create consultative centres for support of other schools in the future; 21 schools of all types in the whole country (including socially problematic locations) will join the testing phase.
- Identify themes, activities and tools for setting up calls for applications within the European Social Fund (OP VVV) and other subsidies.
- Check how to best support the teacher who coordinates a pupil parliament at the school, and how to promote these activities to parents and to the local community.
- Develop a system of effective assessment of student parliaments.
The main responsibility for the testing lied with the National Institute for Education (NÚV), later reformed into the National Pedagogical Institute, and expert and methodic guarantees were provided by the Center for Citizenship Education (COV) and Center for democratic learning (CEDU).
The pilot testing was closed in mid-2018. In December 2018 non-formal presentation of the outcomes was held at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
Revision of national curricula is undergoing based on the Ministry of Education´s decision. The National Pedagogical Institute is responsible for the preparation. Within the revision process, many changes are discussed related to youth participation in school as well as regarding the citizenship education. In 2019 the first draft of the expert works on new curricula was presented via a webinar and the public debate was opened. The revised curriculum was presented in early 2021. However, the cuts in hours for the new curricula (in favor of digital education) face a wave of criticism in Spring 2021.
Citizenship Education Strategy
Discussion about drafting a new national Strategy to support Citizenship Education in the whole society, including formal and non-formal education, youth and also the adult population is going since 2014. Originally the responsible authority was the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. In December 2016, the Government of the Czech Republic decided to move the responsibility and the task of creating a new state Strategy on Citizenship Education to the Minister for Human Rights. In July and September 2017 the Minister organized open hearings with experts and relevant stakeholders in order to create a 'Basic framework on citizenship education in the Czech Republic'. After the October 2017 election to the House of Deputies of the Parliament and creating a new Government, the responsibility was moved to the Ministry of Justice. In spring 2018 took the responsibility the Office of the Government and prepared in cooperation with experts and representatives of various interests group from the field a proposal for the Government How to set up the Strategy. In Summer 2018 the Government did not discuss the proposal and the prime minister decided to pause the process, reconsider and continue later on. There is no available information about further development.
Youth participation and the Structured Dialogue with Youth
By the end of November 2018, the Council of EU approved a new EU Youth Strategy for 2019 - 2027. Its implementation impacts heavily also the topic of youth participation and changes on the EU level also the processes of the Structured Dialogue with youth creating new "EU Youth Dialogue". As the nationally adopted concept od the Structured dialogue with Youth became an important concept in the Czech Youth Policy, the new implications are discussed.