3.8 Development of entrepreneurship competence
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The Czech Republic does not have any specific national strategy for the development of the entrepreneurship competence or an entrepreneurship mindset among young people.
The Policy Framework is set for support of medium and small enterprises according to the Law no. 47/2002 Coll. on the support of medium and small enterprises and the State strategy to support small and medium-size businesses 2014-2020. Youth is not specifically mentioned there.
However, there are some private initiatives to increase the competencies of youth in this area.
The Czech Republic has a goal of increasing the number of young entrepreneurs up to 35 years of age within the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation 2014-2020 (RIS3 Strategy).
- Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation 2014-2020
- National Innovation Strategy of the Czech Republic 2012-2020
- Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Industry and Trade Strategy
- Includes a part devoted to changes in education content with respect to creativity, entrepreneurship and key competencies
- Stresses the importance of cooperation between schools and employers and the link between the system of vocational education and the labour market, and underlines the need to respect these elements during curricular reform and the establishment of the guidance system. ISCED levels 1, 2 and 3 are considered
- Strategy for Lifelong Learning in the Czech Republic 2007
- Emphasises the functional literacy of students and the development of key competencies
- Youth Support Strategy 2014-2020
- Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
- Includes commitments for the transition of young people between school and work and for creating conditions for their smooth integration into the labour market
- Back to the Top: the International Competitiveness Strategy for the Czech Republic 2012- 2020
- Includes a chapter on education, with an emphasis on the need for education to address independent creative thinking, the ability to continue learning and the ability to cooperate
The Czech Republic applies cross-curricular, compulsory and optional approaches at primary and lower level secondary education.
Entrepreneurship education is integrated as cross-curricular themes (CCTs) for ISCED levels 1-2 ('Morals, Character and Social Education' and 'Civic Education for Democracy') and 3 ('Morals, Character and Social Education').
Schools have full autonomy to decide on how to implement CCTs in their teaching.
They can be included in general subjects (such as civics, social studies), but schools can also arrange special courses, projects, excursions, etc. Nevertheless, CCTs form a compulsory part of curriculum at ISCED 1, 2 and 3 levels, although they need not be present in each grade. Although there are no separate specific subjects on entrepreneurship at ISCED levels 1-3, entrepreneurship is included in several compulsory or optional subjects:
- ISCED 1: 'Humans and their World' (compulsory) and 'Ethical Education' (optional)
- ISCED 2: The educational areas 'Humans and Society: Civics', 'The World of Work' (compulsory at grades 8 and 9). Creative thinking and self-evaluation are included in 'Ethical Education' (optional subject)
- ISCED 3: 'Humans and Society: Basics of Civics' and 'Social Sciences' (compulsory at grades 10 and 11), 'Man and the World of Work' (compulsory subject, includes procedures for setting up a pupil’s own business), and 'Ethical Education' (optional).
- In school-based IVET, entrepreneurship education is integrated into the compulsory subject 'Basics of Civic Education'. It is also part of the cross-curricular themes 'Citizens in a Democratic Society' and 'Man and the World of Work'.
In the Czech Republic, the innovation strategy has only a few relevant actions, and one of them highlights the importance of teacher education to support the introduction of new tools for entrepreneurship education. This recognises the primary role that teachers play in the delivery of entrepreneurship education and the significant focus that is placed on their training and support. This can be done most effectively through a combination of both initial teacher education (ITE) and continuing professional development (CPD) as illustrated through strategy commitments in the French and German-speaking Communities of Belgium, Finland and Bosnia and Herzegovina (EURYDICE 2016).
The Czech Republic has highlighted a number of different strategies including those relating to lifelong learning and youth, however the most relevant is the 'Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation 2014-2020' (RIS) which strongly links to the 'International Competitiveness Strategy 2012-2020'.
RIS aims to target funding activities to strengthen research and innovation, and links to entrepreneurship education are made through the introduction of tools to assess and develop entrepreneurial skills, supported by teacher education and alongside the implementation of activities to encourage practical teaching.
There are several (Youth) NGOs focusing their values and educational path on the importance of problem-solving competencies and other relevant skills.
Some of the Youth NGOs and initiatives are directly focused on supporting young entrepreneurs and entrepreneur education, such as Junior Achievement, Junior Chamber International Czech Republic, and they usually receive at least some support from public resources or EU programmes for their activities.
A very active role is played by the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts CZ which is running its own successful initiative without any public support Svou cestou - Young business. There are other private entities and individuals working with the topic e.g. www.mladypodnikatel.cz (Young Entrepreneur).
General school Methodological portal (RVP.cz)
Supports teachers in their (schools') initiatives in this regard, the national level is providing facilitation and good practice space for teachers as well as a place for sharing methodologies and methods.
Teachers can share their experience, as well as their practice-based teaching methods, using a special Internet forum, the 'Methodological portal', which also covers other subject areas.
In 2016 there were 285 support materials for entrepreneurship education or education about entrepreneurship.
Centre for Practice Enterprises (Centrum fiktivních firem)
This is an activity of the National Institute of Education and a member of the international network European-PEN International.
It offers students in upper secondary vocational education the opportunity to manage a 'practice enterprise' in order to develop their entrepreneurial skills. These companies are set up by students under the supervision of the teacher and in co-operation with the Centre.
Projects to support entrepreneurship education
Several usually EU-funded projects on financial literacy or entrepreneurship education have been undertaken in recent years in order to support the curricula and methodical materials development, e.g. mini-entrepreneurship at primary schools, etc.
Further Education of Pedagogical Workers
Within the system of Further Education of Pedagogical Workers courses limited to financial literacy are available for all teachers, not for entrepreneurial skills as such.
Entrepreneurship might be taught as part of the requalification process conducted by the Employment Office by relevant jobseekers.
Entrepreneurship courses are mostly provided by private entities as paid courses or workshops.
Information regarding entrepreneurship and its support is available via the Ministry of Industry and Trade.