6.2 Administration and governance
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Cooperation mechanisms between departments are usually set ad hoc, based on current concepts and umbrella strategic materials. In the case that a certain strategic priority is the responsibility of more than one department, either concrete communication channels or an interdepartmental working group are set up. Should this need to last for a longer time, these groups can become more permanent, as is the case with the advisory and working bodies of the Government Council, which often consist of representatives of different departments and sectors.
Thus we can see the interdepartmental cooperation of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) in the area of prevention, alternatively in the area of science and development; similarly MEYS cooperated in the past with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and since 2018 renewed also the Council together with the Ministry of Culture. To support the cross-sectorial cooperation between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Culture, a common memorandum on cooperation in the field of cultural education, and using culture, creative and cultural assets in education was signed in 2021.
There are also Field and Expert Groups, for details, see Chapter 3.3.
Public administration in education is highly decentralised; different levels of administration and the schools themselves have a high degree of autonomy.
The State Administration of Education is carried out:
- at a central level by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS), or in specified cases by other central government bodies – the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Defence etc. – in the case of schools and school facilities founded by them and by the Czech School Inspectorate
- regional authorities at a regional level – especially for upper-secondary education
- municipal authorities of municipalities with extended responsibilities at a local level
- heads of schools and school facilities at institutional level, the school directors have quite extensive executive competences
In the case of higher education institutions(vysoké školy), the administration body is represented by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Apart from the areas mentioned in its title, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports also has science within its purview. As well as the Ministry of Education, state schools may also be administered by their founders – the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior.
Main actors in policy-making
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
It is a central state authority in the field of education. For administration and organisation see details in Chapter 1.4.
Founders of schools
In the Czech Republic, schools can be founded by MEYS, region, municipality or a group of municipalities, church or a private person. The educational system in the Czech Republic is, however, relatively decentralised, and therefore the majority of nursery and basic schools are founded by the municipality, while secondary schools and tertiary professional schools are usually the responsibility of the region, and universities are completely independent, and are either private (founded by a private subject), public (founded by a law), or state (founded by individual departments: this refers to police and military schools being the responsibility of the given ministries).
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) belongs to the central bodies of the state administration; it is headed by a member of the Czech government. The authority of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is defined by the Act on the Establishment of Ministries and other Bodies of the Administration of the Czech Socialist Republic (number 2/1969 Sb.) in the current wording. MEYS is the main national authority in the area of education, non-formal education and youth work.
The regional council founds among others the Committee for upbringing, education and employment according to the Act on Regions (Regions' Constitution) – number 129/2000 Sb., § 78: a) in connection with the demographic development and the development of employment it assesses and comments on the network of schools and school facilities, study and teaching disciplines and their changes within the authority of the region, b) it submits proposals on improving the quality of care provided by the schools and school facilities, alternatively pre-school facilities, which are founded by the region, c) comments on intents on providing subsidies in the area of youth, physical education and sport, d) discusses reports about the results of educational activities of schools, school facilities and pre-school facilities, which are founded by the region, e) fulfils other tasks in the area of upbringing and education, which they are authorised to by the council.
The municipality is obliged to create conditions for the fulfilment of the compulsory school attendance and further to provide conditions for pre-school education of children in the last year before the start of the compulsory school attendance.
The municipality (alternatively a group of municipalities) establishes:
- nursery school,
- basic school,
- nursery and basic schools with teaching language of an ethnic minority, if the municipality has a committee for ethnic minorities established,
- school meals facility serving them,
- basic art schools,
- school facilities for leisure-based education (e.g. school clubs),
- school purpose facilities (e.g. swimming schools, school farm, centres of practical training),
- if there are reasons and resources, then schools are also usually founded by the region (secondary schools, tertiary professional schools), or alternatively by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
Higher education institutionsare self-governing institutions, which are separate legal entities (with the exception of the state schools, where beside MEYS, the administration office is also their founder – Ministry of Defence or Ministry of the Interior). The role of municipalities in this case is not directly defined. Higher education institutions have a high degree of autonomy and corresponding bodies defined by the Act on Higher Education Institutions. Higher education institutions are regulated by the Act on Higher Education Institutions (number 111/1998 Sb.).
Higher education institutions have guaranteed academic freedoms and academic rights. They are:
- the freedom of science, research and artistic creation and publication of their results;
- the freedom of teaching which lies primarily in its openness towards different scientific opinions, scientific and research methods and artistic directions;
- the right to learn, which includes the free choice of study focus within the study programmes and the freedom of expressing one’s own opinions during the teaching;
- the right of the members of the academic community to elect representative academic bodies;
- the right to use academic insignia and to perform academic ceremonies.
At all higher education institutions, not only public ones, it is not allowable to establish or organise activities of political parties and political movements.
The self-governing authority of higher education institutions includes primarily:
- decision on its internal organisation;
- determination of the number of admitted students, conditions of their admission and admission procedure;
- creation and realisation of study programmes;
- organisation of studies;
- decision-making about the rights and obligations of the students;
- focus and organisation of scientific and other creative activity;
- labour-law relations and determination of the number of academic workers and other employees;
- habilitation procedure and procedure towards naming a professor;
- cooperation with other higher education institutions and international relations;
- founding of self-governing academic bodies;
- economic management and handling of property;
- determination of fees related to the studies.
National Pedagogy Institute of the Czech Republic (NPI - Národní pedagogický institut České republiky)
NPI is a semibudgetary institution of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports since January 2020. It was created based on merging the National Institute for Education and National Institute For Further Education. These two institutions dissolved by the end of 2019 and the new NPI is based on their perspective activities.
The National Pedagogical Institute of the Czech Republic is an educational, methodological, curricular, research, professional and advisory institution for the solution of pre-school, primary, secondary and higher vocational education issues. It also intervenes in the field of basic arts, language, non-formal, leisure and further education.
Their aim is to ensure the systematic transfer of educational innovations from the central conceptual level to school practice in the regions. Regional centres of the Institute are a key element in that activities, acting as support centres for teachers in the region.
NPI also develop framework educational programmes for pre-school, primary, primary arts and secondary education, provide methodological support to schools and teachers and targeted training for teaching staff, support strategic management in schools and regions, and support educational leaders.
The Centre for Determination of Results of Education (CERMAT) prepares evaluation tools for the school-leaving examination, testing of applicants for admission to specialisations of secondary schools with a school-leaving examination and supports evaluation of basic school pupils.
This is a contributory organisation of MEYS; it administers international activities in the area of education. Activities of the DZS are aimed at organisations and companies dedicated to education, science and research, for bodies of local administrations, but also for individuals (students, pedagogues, managers of all types of schools and other professionals) and for the MEYS itself.
DZS through its activities:
- contributes to international cooperation;
- awards grants and scholarships for international projects and mobilities;
- assists in the development of schools and further education of school employees;
- helps with further education of youth workers and educators of adults;
- informs about trends in education;
- supports career consulting;
- supports foreign students studying in the Czech Republic;
- supports Czech cultural heritage abroad;
- provides for the activity of Czech teachers abroad;
- issues publications, organises conferences;
- offers accommodation and conference services in its building Rezidence Dlouhá 17;
- administers the Erasmus+ Programme;
- cooperates closely with MEYS.
The National Pedagogical Museum is an important research and documentation centre oriented at the history of Czech education, pedagogy, teaching and scholarship in connection with the life, work and legacy of J. A. Comenius.
The Comenius Pedagogical Library – a department of the Comenius National Pedagogical Museum and Library – is a publicly accessible specialised library. The Pedagogical Library focuses on the areas of upbringing, education and schooling. Its services are offered not only to teachers and students of pedagogical disciplines at secondary schools and higher education institutions, but also to students of social sciences.
The Comenius National Pedagogical Museum and Library was tasked with the construction of the Memorial Hodonín u Kunštátu, which was finished in the year 2016. The Memorial’s aim is to honour the memory of all victims of internment in the camp, with special emphasis on the victims of the Roma Holocaust in the place of the former protectorate gypsy camp, to educate and inform about the dark history of roughly ten years of the camp, during and following the war, while emphasising the issue of the Roma Holocaust including connections with the Holocaust of the Jews and the elimination of the Czech nation in the period of the Second World War, and to provide detailed information about this camp.
Czech School Inspectorate (CSI, an administrative office with national authority, organisational component of the state)
The CSI processes conceptual intents of inspection activity and systems of evaluation of the educational system; in particular, it executes inspection activities in schools and school facilities according to the Schools Act, so not on higher education institutions.
The Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES, a public research institution)
This processes studies concerning the conception and development strategy of higher education and takes part in the operation of the distance study system (department National Centre for Distance Education). Its part was also the Centre for equivalence of proofs of education (ENIC/NARIC), whose activity was taken over by the Ministry of Education in the year 2014. 'The Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) was founded in 1991 with the restructuring of the Institute for the Development of Higher Education. Until the end of the year 2006 it was functioning as a contributory organisation of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. In January 2007 the CHES was transformed, according to the Act on public research institutions (number 341/2005 Sb.), into a public research institution whose founder is the MEYS.'
The Fulbright Commission was founded by an agreement between the government of the Czech Republic and the USA with the goal to support mutual understanding through educational, scientific and cultural exchanges based on governmental scholarship programmes and advisory and information services.
- increasing expertise in individual disciplines and registering new disciplines, where the mutual cooperation will help in their development;
- support of excellent personalities;
- founding programmes, which are co-financed by the involved institutions;
- deepening awareness about the programmes and further possibilities of study and research in the USA and raising the prestige of the programmes.
Pedagogical Centre for Polish Minority Schools Český Těšín, founded to provide support for the needs of schools with Polish as a teaching language in the Czech Republic, it is based on the identity and specifics of the Euroregion Těšínské Slezsko - Śląsk Cieszyński.
- further education of pedagogical workers,
- support of minority schools,
- issue of methodological aids – Jutrzenka and Ogniwo
- competitions for pupils and students,
- life-long education,
- cross-border cooperation,
- European cooperation,
- pedagogical library.
The National Library of Technology is the biggest and oldest library of technology literature in the Czech Republic, with a capacity of more than 1.5 millions of volumes; its primary function is the provision of specialised information resources and services to students, pedagogues, and researchers in the fields of engineering and applied sciences, as well as to members of the general public with interest in technical information.
Czech Anti-Doping Committee is the highest body and exclusive specialised workplace with national authority providing for the anti-doping programme of the Czech Republic:
o it proposes legal measures for the support of the fight against doping, especially limiting the availability of pharmacological and nutritional resources containing doping substances;
o it represents the Czech Republic in international anti-doping institutions;
o it issues directives for executing doping controls, including lists of forbidden groups of doping substances and methods according to WADA;
o it carries out doping checks during sporting competitions, as well as outside of them and provides for analyses of collected samples in doping control laboratories;
o it issues educational programmes and organises educational events for the support of sporting competition without doping.
Higher Education Sport Centre of MEYS assists in the following areas: athletics, basketball, handball, judo, canoeing (speed/slalom), figure skating, swimming, fencing, tennis, and volleyball
 Until the year 2012 one of the organisations managed by the Ministry of Education was the Institute for Information in Education (ÚIV), which was cancelled on 31. 1. 2012. Its tasks and obligations, operation and development of the statistical information system in education, involvement in transnational information structures (in the projects OECD – INES and PISA and IEA – TIMSS and Eurydice) were taken over by the MEYS, Czech School Inspectorate and the DZS. One part of the ÚIV was also the National Comenius Pedagogical Library, which was merged with the Pedagogical Museum in the year 2011.