6.10 Current debates and reforms
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In 2017, the process of revision and updating of national curricular documents (Framework Educational Programmes, FEP) for primary and secondary education was started. Since January 2021 a so-called "small Revision" was agreed to add the digital competence into the Framework Educational Programmes with the voluntary mode of its implementation into the schools in the coming school years. In 2021 the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports together with the National Pedagogy institute established expert groups for the work on the FEP revisions and a clear timeline was agreed by the Ministry. In 2023 New FEP should be created and piloted and up to 2026, they should be implemented into primary schools.
There are several points for the wide expert as well as public consultations and the Ministry and the institute have an open and transparent policy on the process.
Following the OECD Educational Highlights of 2016, the big issue in the Czech Republic in 2017 were low salaries of teachers, which are among the lowest within OECD countries. Since then the Government undertook several steps to raise the salaries of teachers. In 2023, the new Act on Pedagogical Workers being just discussed by the Parliament includes a provision granting overall amount budgeted for teachers at 130% of the average salary. Still, the criticism prevails that it would only cover teachers and not all pedagogical professions.
Since 2020 there is a new Education Strategy 2030+ based on wide expert and public evaluation and consultations process which started in 2019. Its implementation is now the main policy focus. See details in Eurydice article.
The debate about the revision of the Framework Educational Programmes is one of the most important in the educational field. But also other topic as the "middle tier" of governing or supporting the schools are in play. The Ministry of Education started a pilot of the "Middle tier of support" in two counties and the outcomes are under evaluation for the wider national upscaling.
The Partnership for Education 2030+ was created by the main networks of various non-governmental education providers and enablers. They work based on the collective impact principle and discuss models of the implementation of the Education Strategy 2030+, as there is common agreement on the goals. Two main working groups prepare their visions on the implementation of the wellbeing of pupils and students in Czech Education and about the middle tier of governance and pedagogical leadership in the Czech education system. The Ministry and state institutions took the auspices above these initiatives and became active partners and participatory experts in the process.
Many of the actual debates were linked to the impact and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, closing schools, social distancing and as a new "emerging theme" the issue of the wellbeing of pupils arose from the expert, youth, international as well as national policy perspective.