Czech government approves sweeping reforms to secondary school education

Secondary education should change in the next four years so that it corresponds to the interest of applicants and the demand of the labor market.


Written by ČTK Published on 21.12.2023 11:04:00 (updated on 21.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech government recently approved a new long-term strategic plan put forth by the Ministry of Education to reform secondary education over the next four years. The plan aims to better align secondary school curriculum with the interests of students and the needs of the labor market.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced the approval of the plan following a cabinet meeting. He stated: "Priority will be given to changing the subject structure of secondary schools and strengthening general education."

A focus on the labor market

The Ministry of Education wants to set the structure of secondary education fields to correspond with "the needs of the labor market, the social and technological development of society and the interests of applicants."

"The most significant innovation in the long-term plan is the revised regulation governing the proportion of general and vocational secondary education. This adjustment empowers regions, crucial contributors to secondary school establishment, to attain a share of up to 50 percent in general education, encompassing gymnasium and lyceum classes," stated Mikuláš Bek, Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports.

The ministry also seeks to address the growing demand for general education courses.

Offering more to students

Recent research from the Institute of Research and Development of Education highlighted imbalances between secondary education demand and supply. The study focused on admissions in Prague and the Central Bohemian Region for the 2022/2023 school year. It found that 85 percent of students in these areas wanted a high school diploma, but school offerings did not match this demand.

Experts agreed it is not possible to determine interest in individual fields from secondary school applications. The biggest gap was in insufficient capacity for courses needed to pass university entrance exams.

During a presentation on PISA international test results, representatives from the Czech School Inspectorate drew attention to significant differences in student success based on family background. They showed the success of pupils is largely dependent on their family background.

The long-term plan also aims to reform teacher training by more closely connecting pedagogical practice to the school environment.

In a statement on its site, the ministry said, "The ongoing reform of teacher training in the Czech Republic is intricately linked...introducing a competency profile for graduating teachers, inclusive of guidelines for performance evaluation. To enhance pedagogical practice, there will be increased integration with the school environment, allowing future teachers to draw inspiration from successful international examples."

The ministry further said that it will develop an innovative concept for the undergraduate training of teaching staff spanning 2025 to 2028, subsequently influencing university-level measures. The long-term plan now will now go the Chamber of Deputies for approval, and then to the Senate.

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