We are digitizing the reception desks, but we have to cancel the child check. Our system tramples many talents

Is admission this year confusing and stressful or not? How do you think it will turn out?

Hopefully they won't be on the technical side, Cermet has it ready. It is basically an extension of an existing system, so it is well prepared, even though it is done in a relatively short time and hastily. The question is whether parents will understand this new system.

Are parents short on time? Applications will be submitted from February 1st to 20th. Twenty days not enough to get your bearings?

They can now distract themselves, information campaign is running, recorded videos and information are in one pile (over all www.prihlaskynastredni.cz – Note Editorial Office), the Ministry and Zermatt are not completely asleep on this. But let's face what is happening. It's the twenty-first century, the year 2024, and here we're throwing away the carrier pigeons and celebrating the adoption of an electronic one. Well, it's late, but thanks for that…

Digitization of admissions will finally bring the required data. It will change the entire high school system

What do you mean when high school students know they're going to have strong years, but nothing happens for years, and it's only after last year's crisis that everything suddenly changes and goes digital?

I remember that even when I was finishing my post as a school director, the Gymnasium Directors' Association submitted a proposal to the Ministry for electronicization of the admission process. It was 2013. It sat there for ten years.

So what was going on there?

Is the new system well prepared now? Mainly a priority for schools, this is a big change. Maybe students who can go to all three schools and choose not to be beaten? Now go to the first school they wanted?

The system is a compromise. But let's be happy, this one is better than the first one. On the one hand, registration slips are no longer used, having been a relatively medieval artefact when introduced. But the priority is also to finally have people choose not to send their kids to the schools they think they'll go to, but the schools they actually want to go to — at least the first school. At the same time, it is estimated that 90% of students will be admitted to schools in the first round. It wasn't last time, we got it completely wrong.

I often hear complaints from parents that they can only apply to three schools. The electronic system can certainly work with five or ten applications, as confirmed by Miroslav Krejci, director of Zermatt. Why is it still not working?

It's already said that everything this year is beta testing. It should be done, so there will be three schools. Let's see how it goes. A number of options were considered, with several MPs from the school board favoring five schools. There are those who say they will do absolutely unlimited. On the other hand, desirable schools may receive tens of thousands of applications. And it is not only accepted based on Sermat tests but also has school rounds and personal interviews. It is already a problem for directors when the number of applicants increases. So it still needs to be reconciled.

Many states consider education as a service to provide maximum development to every child. Our enrollment system doesn't work like that.

In many of the meetings I've attended, the minister or the director of the middle school department has responded that this is the way to do it now. But those changes are being considered immediately. While some insisted on five applications they assured the delegates. But at EDUin we ask: “What's next?” Once digitization is mastered, the minister promised to discuss whether there should be uniform entrance exams.

When Robert Blaga took over as minister, he took stock of what he had achieved and what he had not achieved, saying, “I wanted to scrap the uniform entrance exam and make it a different system. I didn't do it because of covid.”

Just. For example, in Germany they have no tests – children are admitted to schools based on their results so far. After all, even when they are studying, they can switch to different types of schools depending on how they are currently doing. Either to a hard school, or rather to an easy school. Why can't something like this work in the Czech Republic?

Comparing oneself with other countries is tricky because each national system is tied to the entire education system, some national history, mentality or culture. Germany has a very flexible and permeable system, although they were selected relatively early, already in the tenth year.

Instead, in education, they mainly look at systems in Scandinavia. There, children are sorted as late as possible, sometimes as young as fifteen or sixteen. But then again, in Germany, if someone makes a mistake, he has a million paths and connecting doors through which he can go somewhere else. That's not what we do here. So it is with us – a child chooses at fifteen, after three years he can't do it and has to go back to the beginning. Such a man, do not be angry. When children fail it has a terrible effect on their mood.

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The second point is that many Western countries view education as a public service that should provide maximum development to every child. But our enrollment system doesn't work like that. We build an obstacle course with thick and high hurdles so that as many kids as possible can't climb and appreciate the few who do. That's the exact opposite of what we need.

Do you think the computer suppresses a lot of talent?

Well, of course. If you look at the criteria by which we compare the best students in the admissions process, and if you look at how they do on the matriculation test, that admissions process is about fifty percent accurate in predicting how they will fare in four years. . This means that the existing system cannot select the best. We need to think mainly about how to provide maximum growth for everyone. Everyone will be a part of our company, so it pays for the company to invest in it.

So when we digitize the admissions process, we're starting to change the system from the bottom up, not from the top, is that right?

We haven't changed anything fundamental. We just changed the logistics. We moved Carrier Pigeon to the Internet. That's all we've done this time.

Chuchtovky is a podcast about politics, economics and society. Eva Mikulecká's guests from a range of experts explain important events quickly and clearly. Concise and insightful coverage of topics you'll never get lost in again.

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