Update: 04.09.2023 13:08
Presented by: 04.09.2023, 13:01
PRAGUE — After two months of summer vacation, more than a million elementary school students and nearly half a million high school students returned to their desks in the morning. This school year and the next, they and their teachers will face some fundamental and partial changes. For example, the Ministry of Education wants to promote the digitization of the admissions process for secondary schools, to address the lack of places in general education or to negotiate the extension of compulsory school attendance. Politicians traditionally welcomed students to some schools today – President Peter Pavel visited the primary school in Bukovany near Sokolov, the primary and kindergarten school in Sadow in Karlovy Vary, and his wife Eva visited the junior high school in Jindricho in Zumbersko. Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) together with Minister of Education Mikuláš Bek (STAN) opened the new school year at the Horticultural Secondary School in Rajharat near Brno. Politicians have identified education as primary and irreplaceable for society.
Beck said his office is preparing a change that would allow districts to better consider the need for education in a particular region. Lyceum and Gymnasium to be constructed. The government’s initiative is to better respond to the lack of places in public education. The President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, Zdeněk Zajíček (ODS), today at the Higher Vocational School in Prague, reminded that there is a shortage of craftsmen in the Czech market. According to him, the future prosperity of the Czech Republic depends on high-quality craftsmanship, and he called for lifelong education of students in their field.
Minister Beck reiterated today that the Ministry of Education’s budget for next year will “almost certainly” not decrease, even if the proposal published by the Ministry of Finance works with the assumption that it will be 11.6 billion kroner less than this year. According to him, teachers may be the only group of public sector employees who will get a pay rise. However, he said the reality of public budgets must be taken into account, and according to him, any savings in the department would affect non-teaching professions. The number of these seats will drop to 20,000, which is expected by the Finance Ministry’s current plan, but he declined to comment yet. He has already pointed out that the decline in the number of non-teaching jobs can be reduced by municipalities and regions that are school founders by funding these employees.
In this context, Pavel said that he considers education to be a priority, which, according to him, cannot be relegated to the background even in times of austerity. If the number of jobs will actually drop to 20,000, it does not mean the government wants to fulfill its priorities in education, the president told reporters in the Karlovy Vary region. However, he insisted that he was not yet aware of the current form of the proposal. Fiala emphasized that education is the government’s priority and it is not appropriate to comment and discuss it as the preliminary budget proposals are still being discussed.
The Prime Minister believes that education in the Czech Republic is of high quality, but some changes are necessary to prepare young people for life. It is essential to prepare high school students to continue their education and find practical work. “Besides practical skills and theoretical knowledge, one of the most important things a school can offer students is to be open to new things and learn throughout their lives. The possibilities are endless,” he added.
Pavel came to the Karlovy Vary region for the first time in his role as president to start the new school year. In Bukovani, he wished the local first graders a successful start to the school year and said the important thing is not to be the best, but to be the best you can be. From Bukovan, he moved to Sato, where he attended one of the republic’s first union schools. It is attached to the NGO in three municipalities. At both schools, the president encouraged the children to find their way in education.
The start of the school year is dangerous in terms of street safety. Seventeen percent of traffic accidents involving a child occur in the morning when children are on their way to school. The best solution in front of schools is to ban cars from passing when children arrive, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) told reporters today in front of a primary school on Korunovační Street in Prague 7. Freshman year, he participated in a police raid near a busy street.
“Of course, this is not possible everywhere, and from the point of view of transport services,” the minister pointed out. He recalled that in some cities or city districts, crime prevention officers, often retired, help out in front of schools. Parents of school children should not forget to explain prevention and safe crossing rules throughout the year, he said.
Some students arrived in new or renovated school buildings today. For example, first-graders at St. Stephen’s Elementary School in Prague learn in the garden pavilion. Part of the classrooms have been glazed so children can go outside and learn in nature, and there is also an outdoor classroom behind the new building. A herb garden, insect hotels or, for example, a tactile corridor await children. After several years, the students returned to the former Jesuit College in Litomerice – they moved here for a year from the local gymnasium, which was awaiting repairs. The Baroque building, where Joseph Jungmann, one of the founders of modern Czech, taught, is the only free one in the city for the 495 students of the grammar school.