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Lowering drop-outs from education (with the identical definition as the Eurostat, meaning 'The proportion of persons in the age of 18–24 years, who reached education in the maximum level of ISCED 2 and are not in the process of formal education or vocational training.') is one of the indicators of the fulfilment of the Strategy for Education Policy of the Czech Republic until 2020 (in the responsibility of the MEYS).
This figure is surveyed by the Czech Statistical Office by the annual Labour Force Sample Survey. The goal is to have less than 5.5% of persons fall into the aforementioned definition by the year 2020. This goal has already been reached. This goal is fully in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, which states that there should be less than 10% of individuals leaving the educational system early, in the year 2020.
The Strategy for Education Policy of the Czech Republic until 2020 itself states, that:
'Drop-outs from education generally do not present a significant problem in the Czech Republic, since our education system shows one of the lowest levels of early leavings (4.5% in the year 2012). Despite this it is still necessary to concentrate on age groups which are at a higher risk of drop-out from education than the rest of the population. In the Czech Republic, these are primarily children and pupils with special educational needs, meaning persons with health disability, or health or social disadvantage. A significant risk to the realisation of the concept of life-long learning is posed by some practical barriers hindering the return to education in later life which occur on the side of the education system (e.g. formal requirements for admission, unavailability of alternative forms besides full-time), as well as in the areas of authority of different policies (e.g. insufficient coordination between education policy and employment policy) and, of course, on the side of the educated (e.g. lacking motivation, the need to combine education with family and working life). The education of Roma children, pupils and students needs to be considered an area of particular concern. In the last years, the Czech Republic has significantly intensified interventions with the aim of integrating members of this minority group more efficiently into the schools and programmes of the main educational flow, and ensuring them a better access to all degrees and forms of education. In spite of that, a lot of problems are pertaining and their solution will need to be given higher attention in the following years.' (pages 10–11)
Drop-outs from education are also marginally mentioned in the in the Long-term Policy Objectives of Education and Development of the Education System in the Czech Republic for 2015-2020 in the two following references:
'For the prevention of drop-outs from education, it is necessary to provide for the support of children and pupils with special educational needs especially in the periods of transfer between degrees of education. (…) It is necessary to support cooperation of schools and other organisations in the development and inclusion of children at risk of dropping out of education in extra-curricular activities.' (pages 11 and 19)
Although drop-outs from education are thus a known topic in the Czech Republic, which is also evidenced by the work of the National Institute for Education (NÚV), given the relatively good results in this area, there are no strategic documents that address this phenomenon.
The NÚV is, however, addressing this phenomenon on a purely practical level of research probes and collecting best practices. So in the area of prevention and intervention we see career consulting, efforts in raising the attractiveness of the teaching, or networking schools with other subjects as the tools used. Labour offices are also taking part in the return of youth to education with the support of their return to formal education on one hand and with the offer of retraining courses leading straight to professional qualification on the other.
There are no real specific policy measures directly targeting ELET. Within the EU Policy set the Czech Republic goal hold the level of school dropouts below 5.5 per cent. In last years, however, the level of school dropouts has risen slightly.
The issue of early leavings is partially tackled by the Education and career guidance which is considered as a prevention and intervention measure to tackle early leaving, as specified in the 2004 Education Act and Decree 72/2005 on providing guidance in schools and school guidance facilities. However, it is not explicitly considered as a compensation measure to tackle early leaving.
National financial support of schools and the services tackling early school leaving is provided by the financial support of the MEYS, financed by the European Social Fund. It focuses on the resources for schools and teachers, which among other things also target 'the tutoring of pupils endangered by a school failure'.
The state is also trying to fight the lower participation of Roma youth in education and their leaching school early with the Grant programme Support of socially disadvantaged Romani pupils from secondary schools and students of Secondary Vocational Schools and Conservatories. The programme can support schools and individual young Roma students in studying and maintaining their studies. Schools can apply for national support, and it can be provided to individuals via schools. According to the results of the 2017 call for applications, around 132 000 EUR (3 417 260 CZK) was allocated to applied projects with direct impact on 686 pupils.
As the expert consensus does not consider drop-outs as a significant problem, no other specific tools exist. However, the issue is in the field of monitoring and research interest of the NÚV, and in 2015 a manual was also published for schools and interested persons called Prevention and intervention of early school leaving. Manual of Measures. Drop-outs are one of the topics in the awareness of guidance teachers and school services.
There are no specific measures at state level addressing ELET through non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work.
In regard to implementing the National Youth Strategy 2014-2020 a working group on the interconnection of social work and youth work is in place, however, ELET as such was not the focus of the group.
Young people who left education can use other parts of the social possibilities for requalification by the Employment offices or use the experience from the non-formal and informal learning and youth work to reach some qualifications from the National Register of Qualifications according to the Act on the Verification and Recognition of Further Education Outcomes Nr. 179/2006 Sb.
More on validation and recognition in Chapter 6.4.
The policy areas of education, youth and sports (within one single ministry) cooperate with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior on policy issues related to tackling early leaving. We can see the outcomes of the cooperation, for example, since 2010 leaving education has been monitored, which is part of the systemic project VIP Kariéra II – KP (follow-up of VIP Kariéra (2005-2008) as a joint initiative of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the National Institute for Education. The projects' objectives include prevention of early leaving and identification of groups at risk. The project also aimed at enhancing, rationalising and further improving the quality of career counselling, providing training and methodological support (e.g. e-learning training for career counsellors).
The outcome of the project is the ISA+ informational portal known as Infoabsolvent.cz, supporting young people and adults in education, dealing with problems in education and with transfer to working-life or further education.
Multi-agency partnerships at the local/institutional level are a legal obligation in order to provide support to students who require specific additional support and their parents. They involve professionals such as school heads, teachers (including teachers specifically trained for guidance and those specifically trained as school-leaving prevention specialists), psychologists, social workers and labour officer workers. The involvement of speech therapists mainly concerns primary education.
There is no national way of monitoring and evaluating this multi-agency partnership cooperation on a local level: some local authorities may apply some, but it is not under state coordination.
No special link to National Youth Guarantee was found.