The school system in the Czech Republic looks different. The differences concern, among others organization of education, vocational training, or the matriculation examination. Check in our article what the school system looks like in the Czech Republic and find out what the educational features of this country are.
Education in the Czech Republic – how is it organized?
In the Czech Republic, the body responsible for state administration in the field of education is the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports. Its most important tasks include determining the directions of education, financing education from the state budget, determining the qualification requirements and working conditions of teachers, approving educational programs of higher vocational schools, and setting general educational content from preschool to secondary level.
The Czech Republic is divided into thirteen self-government countries, Their duties include running upper secondary schools, conservatories, and higher vocational schools. Another administrative unit is municipalities, which are responsible for running kindergartens, primary schools and ensuring compulsory education for all children.
Based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, each school in the Czech Republic prepares its own school curriculum. Individual institutions also have a free hand when it comes to the choice of textbooks, and teachers – teaching methods.
Compulsory education in the Czech Republic lasts 9 years – from 6 to 15 years of age.
The school year in the Czech Republic – how long does it last and what does it look like?
The school year in the Czech Republic begins on September 1 and ends at the end of June. Czech students, therefore, have two months of vacation. In addition, they enjoy autumn, Christmas, and spring holidays. How long is the school year in the Czech Republic? After deducting holidays, holidays, and school breaks, we can find out that children spend about 180-190 days at school.
A lesson in this country lasts 45 minutes. On a weekly basis, it is 18-26 hours for the first stage of education and 28-32 hours for the second. The size of the classes varies between 17 and 30 people. They are co-educational and bring together children of the same age.
Grading system in the Czech Republic and promotion to the next class
The grading system in the Czech Republic consists of a five-point scale, with 1 being the highest and 5 being the lowest. Thus, it resembles the one operating in schools in Austria and Germany:
A student who has not passed all the compulsory subjects may repeat the year once during one stage of the study.
Matura exam in the Czech Republic
The Matura exam in the Czech Republic consists of two parts: common and profile. All high school graduates approach the first one, regardless of the type of school they attend. It includes exams in the Czech language (test of closed tasks, open tasks, oral exam), a foreign language, and a selected subject (mathematics, basics of natural sciences, basics of social sciences, information and technology basics). The content and form of this part of the Matura exam are specified by the Ministry of Education.
The profile part is organized by the school in question. It takes into account the specificity of the institution and the goals of education, therefore the form, content, and subjects are determined by the headmaster. A high school graduate is required to take at least three exams in the following subjects: extended Czech, foreign language, advanced mathematics, history, social studies, physics, chemistry, biology, and geography. They consist of closed and open tasks.
Stages of education in the Czech Republic
The education system in the Czech Republic is divided into several stages:
- Primary school,
- Lower secondary school,
- Upper secondary school,
- Higher education.
Kindergarten is the first stage of education in the Czech Republic for children from 3 to 6 years old. 84 percent attend kindergartens. toddlers. The year before primary school education is compulsory for all 5-year-olds and is completely free of charge in both public and private institutions. The aim of preschool education is to educate children in the habit of learning and to facilitate contact with their peers. These aspects are crucial for a smooth transition to primary school. In kindergartens, toddlers learn, among others language and vocabulary, math, music, art, and more. Classes may last half a day (from morning until lunchtime), or the whole day (from morning until 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.). The individual communes are responsible for the organization of pre-school education.
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Primary and lower secondary school
Uniform primary school is the first compulsory stage of education in the Czech Republic. It is divided into two levels: primary and lower secondary. The first one covers students aged 6 to 11, almost all classes are conducted by one teacher. Czech students’ timetable includes subjects such as Czech, a foreign language (mostly English), maths, science, geography, history, art, music, physical education, and crafts. Education in the Czech Republic in the second stage covers young people from 11 to 15 years of age. After completing the fifth year of primary school, students may transfer to the eight-year lower secondary school, which is the equivalent of lower secondary education. It is also possible to start education in this institution after the 7th grade – then it lasts 6 years.
Students can also choose from the conservatory, which is a secondary school providing arts, music, dance, and theater. The condition for admission to lower secondary school is passing an entrance examination set by the headmaster of the institution. Conservatories, in turn, conduct examinations to verify the specific skills of the candidate. After completing the second stage of primary education, graduates may either end their education or continue it in upper secondary education.
Secondary secondary school
High school in the Czech Republic lasts four years if the student wants to take the high school diploma. Otherwise, learning is one year shorter. These institutions allow you to get:
- Secondary education after one or two years of education at a vocational school. They are usually given to those students who have not achieved sufficient learning success,
- Secondary education with a certificate of apprenticeship after one or three years of education at a secondary vocational school,
- secondary education with a high school diploma after four years of education at vocational secondary school, specialized secondary school, or general secondary school. Successful passing the matriculation examination entitles the graduates to continue their education at universities. Students of vocational institutions also receive a diploma confirming qualifications in technical, economic, and other professions,
- Certificate of passing the final exam on all the material that the student has mastered during the two years of study. However, he or she does not receive a certificate confirming completion of secondary education, a matriculation certificate, or a diploma confirming vocational qualifications.
Secondary vocational schools
Vocational education in the Czech Republic is the responsibility of the National Institute of Vocational Training, which is under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. In the Czech Republic, vocational education can take place in various institutions. Some of the types of secondary schools are forestry, agricultural, horticultural, industrial, fishing, brewing, wine, poultry, pedagogical, healthcare, hotel, social and legal, artistic, library, family, commercial, practical, artistic and industrial, and conservation schools. Education in them lasts four years and ends with the matriculation examination.
Another type of vocational high school is the conservatory, which offers qualifications in professions such as singer, dancer, actor, musician, and painter. As in the first case, education also lasts four years and ends with the matriculation examination.
The last type of vocational secondary school is a technical high school. Its completion does not guarantee to obtain the right to practice the profession. The aim of this institution is to prepare the student for further education at technical universities. The education ends with the matriculation examination.
Studies in the Czech Republic
After completing high school and successfully passing the matriculation examination. Czech students can continue their studies at universities, polytechnic universities, academies, and colleges (higher vocational schools). Studying in the Czech Republic is free of charge for people who choose a major at a state university with Czech as the language of instruction. In the case of other languages, you have to take into account quite high costs.
Depending on the field of study, it usually takes 3-4 years to complete a bachelor’s degree, 1-3 years for a master’s degree, and 3-4 years for a doctorate. The largest academic center in Prague, where 7 out of 25 state universities are located. Including Charles University – the oldest of all in Central Europe.