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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Czech-Republic

Czech-Republic

6. Education and Training

6.1 General context


Main trends in young people's participation in education and training

Overall changes and trends

Since 2004, the Czech educational system has been based on curricular documents specific to a given school, but with a clear connection to the state curricular documents. The so-called Framework Educational Programmes serve as curricular templates on the nationwide level. The School Educational Programmes of individual schools on all levels of education are processed based on those national templates. A common concept of education is thus assured, as well as a space for school profiling in a certain way and for creative work in the area of individual curricular plans.

In the last decades there have been stable school numbers: roughly 8500 schools within regional education and between 60 and 70 universities constantly between the years 2005/06 and 2015/16 (vyv_b1.xls)

In 2016 the system of university accreditation changed and the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education was established.

In 2016 a new systemic support of talented pupils and pupils with special educational needs according to the new Decree number 27/2016 Sb. began to be implemented. 

In 2017 Process of revision of the national Framework Educational Programmes, thus national curricula started and in 2019 it was postponed until new Educational Strategy 2030+ will be created. 

Since 1st of September 2017 new obligatory preschool year started and the guarantee of a place in the kindergarten for Children older 4 years of age. On elementary schools also the obligatory swimming education started. 

Since 1st of September 2018, the novel of the "Nutrition Decree" of the Ministry decreased the requirements for healthy food in schools.  

In February 2019 started wide expert and public discussion process initiated by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in order to create new Education Strategy for the Czech Republic in timeframe 2030+. The strategy is expected to be created in 2020. 

 

In the area of upper secondary education

Constantly rising percentage of people with full secondary school diploma (school-leaving examination).

Rising numbers of pupils with health disabilities and disadvantages integrated into ordinary classes in secondary schools: from 4161 in the year 2005/06 to 9505 in the year 2015/16 (vyv_b9.xls)

Declining numbers of special classes in secondary schools: out of 16 463 students with health disabilities and disadvantages attending special classes in the year 2005/06 we see only 10 541 attending these special classes in the year 2015/16 (vyv_b9.xls)

Rising number of secondary education students: in the population aged 15-18 we have seen a rise in the percentage of secondary schools students from 91.7% in the year 2005/06 up to 96.9% in the year 2015/16 (vyv_b5_1.xls)

Detailed data can be found in the report by the NÚV

 

In the area of tertiary education

Rising number of university students: from 289 464 students in the year 2005/06 up to 395 979 in the year 2010/11 and 326 909 in the year 2015/16 at roughly the same total number of students (vyv_b1.xls)

Rising number of university graduates: from 44 342 in the year 2005/06 up to 82 004 in the year 2015/16 (vyv_b7.xls)

Changes in distribution of students in higher education institutions: we can observe a decline in the number of students in long masters programmes and a rise in the number of two-stage bachelors and follow-up masters programmes; this trend is apparently in line with reforms introduced in the follow-up to the Bologna process (vyv_b7.xls)

Stagnation in number of doctoral students: between the years 2005/06 and 2015/16 we saw a short-term upward fluctuation in the number of doctoral students, nonetheless total numbers of these students are steady at the level of 22 000-26 000 (vyv_b7.xls)

Declining number of students in tertiary vocational education (tertiary professional schools): from a total of 28 792 students in the year 2005/06 down to a total of 24 786 students in the year 2015/16 (vyv_b7.xls)

Declining numbers of daily students of tertiary vocational education (tertiary professional schools), against rising figures of other forms of education in this sector: from the ratio of roughly 24 000 daily students to 5000 distance ones in the year 2005/06 down to roughly 18 000 daily students to 8000 distance students in the year 2015/16 (vyv_b7.xls)

Rising participation of higher education students in foreign stays: from 3800 Czech students abroad in the year 2001 up to 13 000 Czech students abroad in the year 2012

Rising numbers of foreigners in the Czech education system: from 41 722 foreigners in the year 2005/2006 up to 78 365 foreigners in the year 2015/2016, whereas roughly a half of this number is always in regional education and the other half in higher education (vyv_b1.xls)

Rising numbers of international study programmes (co-tutelle, double-degree, joint-degree)

 

Organisation of the education and training system

ISCED table below clearly shows the following:

Primary and lower secondary education (6-14 years of age) is compulsory in the Czech Republic

At 14-15 years of age students transfer to the upper secondary education (secondary schools and apprenticeship schools)[1] by on own choice (submitting an application), followed by passing an entrance examination

General education: Upper secondary education concluding with a school-leaving examination for 15-19-year-olds in the general branch is available as secondary education with a school-leaving examination, or general secondary schools (general secondary schools, general secondary schools with sports preparation, bi-lingual general secondary schools; a Framework Educational Programme for general secondary schools is also available in English)[2]

Vocational preparation: Secondary education with an apprenticeship certificate is for 15-17-year-olds or 15-18-year-olds, and following their studies it is possible to attend a two-year follow-up course with the aim of acquiring a secondary education with a school-leaving examination; further school types include conservatoires (8 or 6 years; specialising in art disciplines) and secondary schools with vocational orientation (4 years), both concluded with school-leaving examination; vocational education is divided into several wide groups (group J, group E, group H, group L0 and M)

A school-leaving examination is the basic prerequisite for admission to a university; without passing it, there is no possibility of being accepted at a university

School-leaving-examinations have been centralised and common for all concerned educational institutions in the Czech Republic since 2009

The same centralisation has been in place in the case of the final examination (in the fields with the apprenticeship certificate) for vocational education since 2015

University studies are divided into structured and unstructured programmes in the Czech Republic

Structured programmes include Bachelor’s degrees (3-4 years) and follow-up Master’s degrees (2 years; title of Master)

Unstructured programmes include 5–6 years studies concluded with the title Master or Master of Science, alternatively Doctor of Medicine

Besides university studies there are tertiary professional schools, which provide vocational preparation over 3 or 3.5 years and the title Certified specialist; a requirement for admission is also the successfully passed school-leaving examination


[1] The only exceptions are eight-year and six-year general secondary schools, which combine lower and upper secondary studies, and if the student is admitted at 10 or 12 years of age, he or she continues until the school-leaving examination without the necessity of further entrance examination. These educational streams often offer a higher than standard number of language courses or other subjects (e.g. French general secondary schools, mathematical general secondary schools, etc.) and they have long been criticised for disproportionate elitism (Straková 2010; Strakova.PDF)

[2] In August 2016 the Minister of Education issued a measure to the Framework Educational Programmes for general secondary schools in connection to the new regulation of pupils with special educational needs, as well as gifted pupils.

 

Main concepts

Curricular documents

Framework Educational Programme (FEP): the main curricular documents on the state level; they are provided by the authorised organisation of the MEYS (National Institute for Education, NÚV) for all levels and sectors of the Czech regional education.

School Educational Programmes (SEP): documents processed on a school level with the aim of concretisation and specification of teaching at a given facility; it is following the general principles laid out in the FEP.

 

Pupils and students with special educational needs

Defined in §16 of the Act number 82/2015 Sb.

'By a child, pupil and student with special educational needs, it is meant a person, who for the fulfilment of his or her educational possibilities or for the exercise or use of his or her rights on an equal basis with the others needs the provision of supporting measures. By supporting measures it is meant the necessary adjustments in education and educational services corresponding with the physical state, cultural environment or other life conditions of the child, pupil or student. Children, pupils and students with special educational needs have the right to the provision of supporting measures by the school or education facility free of charge.'[1]

'(2) Supporting measures consist in a) advisory help of school and school consulting facility, b) adaptation of the organisation, content, evaluation, forms and methods of education and school services including provision of education of subjects of special pedagogical care and including lengthening of duration of secondary or higher vocational education by up to two years, c) adjustment of conditions of acceptance to education and conclusion of education, d) use of compensation aids, special text books and special didactic tools, use of communication systems for deaf and deaf-blind persons such as braille and supporting or substitute communication systems, e) adaptation of expected outcomes of education within the limits set by the Framework Educational Programmes and accredited educational programmes, f) education according to an individual study plan, g) use of an assistant of the pedagogue, h) use of an additional pedagogical worker, translator of Czech sign language, rewriter for the deaf or the possibility of operation of persons providing the child, pupil or student support according to special legal regulations during his/her stay in school or educational facility, i) providing education or educational services in constructionally or technically adapted spaces.'

Their education and the education of talented pupils is regulated by the Decree number 27/2016 Sb.

Talented youth

Defined in the Concept of Talent Development Support 2014–2020 (pages 4–5): '… exceptionally talented is an individual, whose distribution of abilities reaches extraordinary levels with high creativity in all scopes of activities or in particular intellectual areas, movement, artistic and social skills.'

The concept follows the previous strategic material from the years 2009–2013.

Non-formal education

Defined by the Youth Department of the MEYS as follows: 'Non-formal education takes place outside of the formal education system (formal education leads to achieving a certain degree of education evidenced by a certificate or diploma) and does not lead to a comprehensive school education. These are organised educational activities out of the framework of the established official school system, which offers interested persons intentional development of life experience, skills and attitudes based on a comprehensive value system to the interested persons.'

 

[1] It is a considerable change, previously there were three types of pupils and students defined according to the Education Act of 2004: 'with health disability (bodily, visual, auditory, mental, autism, speech defects, concurrent disability with several defects, developmental disorders of learning or behaviour); with health disadvantage (health impairment, long term illness and lighter health disorders leading to disorders in learning and behaviour); with social disadvantage (from a family environment with low social-cultural status, endangered by social-pathological phenomena, with ordered institutional care or placed under protective care and pupils with the status of asylum seekers and party to asylum procedure).'