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There is a governmental strategy in the Czech Republic called the Digital Czech Republic v. 2.0, which offers overall backing to other partial conceptions, and one of which is also the Strategy of Digital Education until 2020, which follows up on the governmental document School for the 21st Century.
One of the priorities of the current Strategy of Digital Education until 2020 is, among other things, also 'to improve pupils’ competencies in the area of working with information and digital technologies' and 'to develop pupils’ thinking of informatics' (page 15).
- Some of the tools of implementation of these priorities are the following measures:
- modernisation of curricular documents (Framework Educational Programmes – FEP) and namely with regards to the emphasis on the issue of ICT across the curriculum;
- interconnection of formal and non-formal education and informal learning;
- support of cooperation of public, private and non-profit sectors by the creation and dissemination of innovations;
- support of teachers’ education in this area;
- introduction of monitoring in this area.
Thus on a political level, the Czech Republic systematically supports the development of digital competences of pupils and students, especially through the introduction of curricular changes, changes in teachers’ education and support of cooperation of public, private and non-profit sectors in this area.
The document is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS), however, individual measures are often presented as cross-sectorial with other responsible sectors and departments stated explicitly in the given topics.
Monitoring and evaluation are parts of a document that sums up not only the suggested measures but also introduces the indicators of their achievement.
Besides the above-mentioned documents, the FEPs (national curricular documents) are also certainly in effect, which covers the use of media and ICT, too; see more below.
The FEP states the 'Informatics and information and communication technologies' (hereinafter 'Informatics') as one of the compulsory areas in regional education.
Informatics is a wide area, which in the Czech FEP covers the area of work with ICT, as well as the area of information literacy and online security, as it is for example in the FEP for general secondary schools:
'The realisation, respect and alleviation of negative influences of modern information and communication technologies on society and human health to know the means of prevention and protection from misuse and restriction of personal freedom of the human; gaining data from a higher number of alternative sources and differentiating credible and quality information sources from unreliable and poor-quality ones; realisation of basic legal aspects and ethical principles connected to work with information and computer technology with respect to intellectual property, copyright, personal data and principles of correct citation of authors' works' (page 63).
Another educational area which covers media literacy in the scope of formal education is the cross-sectional topic 'Media education', which, according to the FEP for general secondary schools, should help the pupil in the following areas:
'To develop a critical distance from stimuli coming from media products (so to develop the ability to receive and process media products with the sense of how they are constructed and with which communication intention they are being offered at the market);
To realise the importance of unmediated interpersonal relations (family, partner) and their inner emotional and cognitive dynamics (in many cases contrasting with the stereotypical offer of their portrayal in the media products);
To adopt procedures of rational and controlled treatment of symbolic contents; to support free decision making based on critical evaluation of provided information of unequal character, especially decision-making at the level of the civic dimension of living in society and its separation from the consumer’s dimension;
To learn to evaluate the quality and relevance of information sources;
To get the idea about the role of media in the individual types of society and different historical contexts' (page. 79)
Methodological support is provided within the scope of implementation of the above-mentioned Strategy of Digital Education until 2020, as well as within continuous methodological support of teachers during the implementation of the FEP (within DVPP see Chapter 6.7 'Support tools for teachers' for details).
Methodological support in the scope of implementing the Strategy of Digital Education includes among other things the pillar 'Support for integration of technologies to schools', which contains the following areas of methodological support in the area of digital technologies:
- 6.3 Support of ICT methodology specialists and their work;
- 6.4 Methodological support of integration of digital technologies into teaching and school life;
- 6.5 Expert and methodological support of development of infrastructure of the digital environment of schools for the founders and management of schools;
- 6.6 Creation of a network of ICT methodology specialists on a regional, or alternatively municipal, level.
However, these are areas which are still not implemented to a significant degree, as stated in the document 'State of realisation of the Strategy of Digital Education' for the first half-year of 2017.
Methodological support within the introduction of the FEP is visible in the area of media education, where the National Institute for Education issued a methodological handbook for teachers.
Following the Digital Strategy, the DigiCoalition was created. DigiKoalice (Czech National Coalition for Digital Jobs) is an open fellowship of representatives of state institutions, IT companies, ICT sector, educational institutions, academic assemblies, non-profit organizations, statutory authorities of schools, educational institutions and other entities, that wish to contribute to better digital literacy of citizens of the Czech Republic, to increase their chances of succeeding in the labour market with help of their digital skills and a result, improving the competitiveness of the Czech economy.
Non-formal and informal learning are overall covered by the national Youth Strategy 2014-2020, whose strategic goal number 12 states as one of the priorities: 'To support the development of competence of children and youth for safe and creative usage of the media.'
Strategic goal number 12 has three main areas, all relevant to media literacy and online safety; they are:
- To support the development of emancipated use of the media, primarily the critical evaluation of media content and understanding the representation of the world in the media;
- To support safe use of the media with regard to the risks which are brought about by the new technologies;
- To motivate children and youth to take a creative approach when creating their own media content.
This area of the Strategy is the responsibility of MEYS and the Ministry of Culture, which work on its implementation in the scope of intersectoral cooperation.
With the exception of occasional projects financed by various sources and very often the ESF or the Erasmus+ Programme, there is no systematic education of youth workers in this area in the Czech Republic.
However, in the field of leisure-based education (according to the Education Act) the youth educators can use the support system of the DVPP for pedagogical workers.
In the field of youth organisations, the Czech Council of Children and Youth, a non-state and independent national youth council, started a project in 2017 supported by the ESF and offering possibilities for further education of employees of youth organizations (no voluntary youth workers allowed according to the national grant scheme). It is up to the youth organisations to decide if media and media safety topics as relevant for their education.
The area of cyberbullying and other specific online dangers is very explicitly visible within the scope of primary prevention of risky behaviour, which is covered by the Strategy of primary prevention 2013-2018.
This strategy sees children and youth as a target group and introduces among other things evaluation standards for awarding certification to an entity, which wishes to be active in this area. Entities, which were up to now certified by the MEYS, focus among other things on the area of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is also explicitly mentioned within the scope of methodological documents published by the MEYS on primary prevention; the area of online security as such is still missing.
Within the scope of primary prevention, the MEYS also has a subsidy programme.
MEYS has its own Department of Prevention, which deals with methodological support of regional consulting centres, as well as with certification and subsidy programmes. Furthermore, this structure is supplemented by regional school coordinators of prevention and methodology specialists of prevention within the scope of pedagogical-psychological advice bureaus.
Since 2006 there has also been a non-state organisation called the 'National Centre for Safer Internet' (Národní centrum bezpečného internetu), also known as 'SaferInternet', undertaking many activities to prevent cyberbullying, help (specifically youth and seniors) victims of cyberbullying and other negative risks posed by the internet and new media. The organisation is cooperating with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and other public authorities and runs several projects in the fields of raising awareness raising and helping. The organisation is also a designated national coordinator of the No Hate Speech Movement in the Council of Europe Youth sector by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The organisation is supported by several public projects from national, regional as well as EU resources. The main initiatives are Day of Safer Internet, Prague Safe online, and European Month of Cybersecurity, and they provide eSafety Label certification for schools.