Prague to increase secondary school capacity to deal with surging demand

A shortage of school spots in the capital has led Prague City Council to add new classes and increase the maximum number of students allowed.


Written by ČTK Published on 14.08.2023 16:13:00 (updated on 14.08.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The municipality of Prague is set to address the increasing demand for secondary education by expanding the capacity of its grammar schools starting this September. The city council has approved a comprehensive plan to accommodate an additional 240 students in four-year grammar schools and 360 students across other secondary school categories.

New classes in already-existing schools

To achieve this, the city will introduce new classes within existing schools and raise the maximum student intake in the first year of studies in select institutions. The initiative comes in response to a surge in applicants, particularly from the robust cohort born in the late 2010s, which has strained the available capacities of secondary schools across the Czech Republic. Among the regions, Prague has been facing the most challenging situation in this regard.

In the 2022/2023 academic year, Prague's educational landscape offered 1,680 places in 56 classes at four-year grammar schools, and 420 classes accommodating 10,500 students in vocational secondary schools. 

Looking ahead to the upcoming school year, the city wants to add an extra eight classes, which would boost the total capacity to 1,920 spots at grammar schools. It aims to add 12 classes for vocational schools, which would cater to up to 10,800 students.

While the average class size is anticipated to be 25 students, certain study fields might experience larger class sizes. The city, recognizing the need for more space, sought permission from the Education Ministry to surpass the standard intake limits. This strategic move has resulted in hundreds of additional places for first-year students.

Using buildings for schools

To finance this expansion, city councilors have allocated a significant budget, including a reserve of CZK 1 billion for expanding primary schools and CZK 250 million for improving secondary school capacities. In addition to constructing new educational facilities, Prague plans to leverage existing buildings owned both by the city and private entities.

Prague City Hall has received an offer from FINEP Holešovice, a private firm, to utilize their property for educational purposes, subject to the availability of nearby catering and sports facilities. Among the city's own properties, the Dominican yard complex in Prague 4 and the Brandejs farm building in Suchdol have been selected as suitable locations for accommodating schools.

The changes signify a significant step towards resolving the challenge of accommodating the growing number of students seeking quality secondary education in Prague.

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