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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

2011-04-23

Frequently Asked Questions (English Version)

 

Language of instruction in the Czech Republic

Question:

What languages are used as a language of instruction in the Czech Republic?

Answer:

The language of instruction is Czech.

In compliance with Section 13 of School Act No. 561/2004 of the Collection of Laws, dated September 24, 2004, representatives of national minorities have the right of being provided with education in the language of the national minority, under the terms and conditions specified in Section 14. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports may allow lessons of certain subjects in a foreign language. As to the post-secondary non-tertiary schools and higher education schools the language of instruction may be a foreign language.

 

Elementary education

Question:

How long is the compulsory education in the Czech Republic?

Answer:

In compliance with the School Act No. 561/2004 Coll., dated September 24, 2004, on Pre-school, Elementary, Secondary, Post-secondary Non-tertiary and Other Education, Section 36, Sub-section 1, the compulsory education lasts for nine school years, however at the latest until the end of the school year during which the pupil reaches 17 years of age (hereinafter referred to only as "compulsory education").

In compliance with Section 55, Sub-section 2 of the above specified act the school director may allow the continuation of the elementary education for a disabled pupil in exceptional cases until the end of the school year during which the pupil reaches twenty years of age, in the instance of pupils educated pursuant to Section 16, Sub-section 8, Sentence Two and Section 48 with the approval of the founder, until the age of twenty six years. In the above specified cases, if it concerns training for a future profession or work activities, the school director co-operates with the relevant employment office.

Question:

Do seriously handicapped (mentally as well as physically) children have to attend elementary school?

Answer:

The issues of compulsory education and school attendance in similar cases are provided for in the School Act and the relevant decree, which count on a qualified professional assessment of the child’s potentials and needs and on the specification of the entitlements, relevant conditions and supportive measures for providing education. Assistance for commuting to schools and other supportive services can be dealt with by using services of personal assistance subject to Act No. 108/2006 Coll., on Social Services.

The compulsory education is based on the School Act. This act in Section 42 - Educating seriously mentally disabled pupils specifies for example the following: "The Regional Office appropriate to the place of the permanent residence of a seriously mentally disabled child will determine, for this child, with the consent of the legal representative of the child, such a method of education, which corresponds to the mental and physical abilities of the child, on the basis of the recommendatory assessment of a specialised physician and educational consultation facility. Simultaneously, the Regional Office will ensure the relevant assistance for educating the child, mainly pedagogical and methodological assistance. If there is a change in the mental or physical abilities of the child, the Regional Office will adjust the method of educating accordingly."

The recommendatory assessment of a specialised physician and educational consultation facility is decisive.

Question:

Is it necessary to take a six-year old child to an elementary school for registration even if I wish to request the postponement of school attendance by one year?

Answer:

In accordance with the School Act, Section 36 the compulsory education starts at the beginning of the school year following the day, on which the child reached six years of age, unless the postponement has been granted. The legal representative is bound to register the child for compulsory education, during the period from April 1 to April 30 of the calendar year, in which the child is to start the compulsory education. Pursuant to Section 37 if having reached the age of six years, the child is not adequately physically or mentally mature, the school director will postpone the beginning of the compulsory education by one school year, if the request is accompanied with the recommendatory assessment of the relevant educational consultation facility and a specialised physician. Therefore, in compliance with the above it is necessary to come to the elementary school for registration and deal with the possible postponement of school attendance by supplying the essentials and in co-operation with the school in accordance with the set rules.

Question:

Can a child diagnosed as having minimal brain dysfunction be integrated into an ordinary elementary school? Can the position of a teacher’s assistant be held by a relative of the child (with no pedagogical education and free of charge)?

Answer:

The possibilities and procedures of child integration and setting up the post of a teacher’s assistant are specified in the School Act, and Decree No. 27/2016 Coll. Requirements for the qualification of a teacher’s assistant, whose post can be set up by the director while complying with certain terms and conditions, are specified in Act No. 563/2004 Coll., on Pedagogical Workers and on amendments of some acts, and they determine as the minimum professional qualification the elementary education and completion of an accredited educational programme for teacher’s assistants performed by facilities of further education for pedagogical workers. The act does not envisage the post of a non-paid non-qualified teacher’s assistant. With the approval of the school director and the legal representative of the pupil or of the pupil of full age, it is possible for a person, who is not an employee of the legal entity which carries out the activities of a school to act in the class as a personal assistant.

Question:

According to which sections of the School Act and Administrative Procedure Rules is it necessary to make decisions in administrative proceedings concerning a pupil’s transfer from one elementary school to another as well as on the issue of the educational programme change?

Answer:

Section 49 of the School Act, reads as follows:

(1) The transfer of a pupil of an elementary school to another elementary school is decided, on the basis of a request lodged by the legal representative of the pupil by the director of the school, where the pupil wishes to be transferred. Should the school director decide favourably on the transfer request, he will immediately inform thereabout the director of the school which the pupil wishes to leave. The director of the school which the pupil wishes to leave, will send a copy of the pupil’s documentation from the school register to the director of the school which the pupil wishes to attend within five business days after learning about the acceptance of the pupil by the other school.

(2) The school director may transfer a pupil to the educational programme of elementary education for disabled pupils or to the educational programme of a special elementary school on the basis of the written recommendation of a specialised physician and educational consultation facility only with the previous written consent of the legal representative of the pupil. The school director is obliged to inform the legal representative of the pupil about the differences in educational programmes and organisational changes, which may arise in connection with the transfer to another educational programme.

(3) In the instance of transfers under Sub-sections 1 and 2 the elementary school, where the pupil wished to be transferred to or was transferred to, will establish conditions to overcome the differences in the pupil’s knowledge and skills, arising from different educational programmes.

Therefore, the transfer of a pupil from an elementary school to another elementary school subject to Section 49, Sub-sections 1 and 2 of the School Act is decided on by the school director in administrative proceedings in compliance with Section 165, Sub-section 2 Letter e) and Section 183 Sub-section 1 of the School Act. If the pupil changes the ordinary educational programme for the programme of a special elementary school subject to Section 49, Sub-section 2 of the School Act, the director is bound to inform the parent or legal representative of the pupil about the differences, brought about by changing the ordinary educational programme for the special programme. From the legal aspect, this concerns acquiring their informed consent, where the director will make sure that the parents or legal representatives understand the issue they agree with. Therefore, it is necessary to explain to them the differences in lessons taught and the opportunities of the pupil and have the possibility to prove that this was an informed consent at a later date.

 

Study at secondary schools

Question:

Is distance learning completed with "Maturita" - the final secondary school-leaving examination possible at a state secondary school?

Answer:

Your question is answered by School Act No. 561/2004 Coll., on Pre-school, Elementary, Secondary, Post-secondary Non-tertiary and Other Education (the School Act) in Section 25 "Forms of education", which reads as follows:

(1) Elementary education takes place in the form of full-time study. Secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education takes place in the form of full-time study, evening classes, part-time study, distance and combined learning; education attained in all the learning forms is equal.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the terms above are understood to have the following meaning

a) full-time study - teaching organised regularly every day in a five-day teaching week in the course of the school year,

b) evening classes - teaching organised regularly several times a week at a range of 10 to 18 hours a week in the course of the school year usually in the afternoon or evening hours,

c) part-time study - independent study connected with consultations at a range of 200 to 220 hours of consultations in a school year,

d) distance learning - independent study carried out mostly or entirely through information technology, or possibly connected with individual consultations,

e) combined study - alternating the full-time study and other forms of study determined by this act.

(3) The duration of the part-time study, evening classes, distance or combined learning may only be 1 year longer than the learning period for the full-time study.

Secondary schools, which offer specific branches of study and forms of education to suit you, can be found according to their locations for example in the Directory of Schools and Schools Facilities.

Question:

Is it possible to ask for a transfer from one secondary school to another? Who has to make the request (the pupil or the parent) and in which form?

Answer:

The conditions for acceptance and study at secondary schools are defined in the School Act. Section 66, Sub-section 2) of this Act reads as follows: “In the course of secondary education, a pupil is allowed to change a secondary school, change the branch of study, interrupt the study, repeat a year and to have the previous education recognised in accordance with Section 70, on the basis of a written application. The application of the legal representative of an underage pupil is to contain the consent of the pupil." Subsequently, Section 66, Sub-section 4) determines that "The transfer of a pupil of a secondary school to a different secondary school is decided on by the director of the school, which the pupil wishes to be transferred to. In the course of the transfer decision process, particularly if as a result of the transfer a change in the branch of study is to take place, the school director may set a bridging examination and determine its content, scope, deadline and the criteria of its assessment." Furthermore, "The school director shall inform the school director of the school, which the pupil wished to leave, about the acceptance of the pupil without unnecessary delay. The director of the school which the pupil wishes to leave, will send a copy of the pupil’s documentation from the school register to the director of the school which the pupil wishes to attend within five business days after learning about the acceptance of the pupil by the other school." From the above it arises that the transfer is requested by the legal representative of an underage pupil with the consent of the pupil or directly by a pupil of full legal age, in writing.

Question:

How do I proceed if I cannot come to the entrance examinations (e.g. on the grounds of sickness)?

Answer:

We recommend making an apology in advance by telephone regarding health reasons. Subsequently, you must substantiate your absence in writing. You will undergo the admission procedure on a set alternative date.

Question:

What is the phrase "Common admission procedure for several study branches" in Section 3 Sub-section 2 of Decree No. 671/2004 Coll., laying out details of an admission procedure for studying at secondary schools, as amended by subsequent regulations, understood as?

Answer:

The school director has the option of organising the common admission procedure for several study branches (for example when it concerns the admission procedure for the first year, where the curriculum for these study branches in the first year is the same). In the case of the chosen branch of study having reached the planned numbers of pupils, it is possible, within the common admission procedure, to admit the pupil into a branch of study which is not full at that school.

 

"Maturita" - the final secondary school-leaving examination

Question:

Does a student - foreigner have to take the written school-leaving examination in Czech language?

Answer:

Section 25, Sub-section (4) of the Decree of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, No. 442/1991 Coll., on Study Completion at Secondary Schools and Training Institutes stipulates: "Pupils, who were transferred to the third or fourth year of a school with Czech as a language of instruction from a school with a different language of instruction, and foreigners are not required to take a written test in Czech language and literature if they file a request."

Question:

What will the final secondary school-leaving examination look like in 2010?

Answer:

The school-leaving examination at secondary schools will have two parts - the so called “state” and “school” parts, that is to say a common part of the school-leaving examination (where the examinations are prescribed by the state) and the specialised part (where subjects will be determined by the school director). The Centre on Measurement in Education (CERMAT) has given the following information about the start-up period in 2010-2011, as follows:

"The gradual start-up of school reform and start-up model for school-leaving examination reform - Proposal for Modifications of the Reformed School-leaving Examination Model accepts the current legal specification of the school-leaving examination in spreading the “start-up” of the reform over two years - the period of 2010-2011. By introducing the third compulsory examination not before 2012 it accommodates suggestions particularly from vocational schools. Therefore, in the start-up period until 2012 the school-leaving examination model should comprise of: two compulsory examinations of the common part of the school-leaving examination (examination in Czech language and literature and optional examination with the possibility of choosing among 5 foreign languages and mathematics), two to three vocational examinations (depending on the school director’s decision), up to three voluntary examinations in the common part (the possibility of selecting from the portfolio of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, civic and social sciences, foreign language, history, history of art and geography ), up to two voluntary vocational examinations depending on the decision of the school director. In 2012: the second compulsory examination of the common part should become an examination in a foreign language; the common part of the school-leaving examination should be extended with a third compulsory (optional) examination, the portfolio from which it is possible to select subjects will contain - mathematics (of both levels of difficulty), civic and social sciences (of both levels of difficulty) and informatics (of both levels of difficulty). The second “start-up” element (applicable only for the period of 2010-2011) is the option of taking a voluntary examination of the common part in the same subject in which the pupil took the compulsory examination. In other words this allows pupils to have a level of certainty within the compulsory examinations and take one examination on the basic level of difficulty even if for some reason they decide to take the examination at the advanced level of difficulty. Then they could “safely” take it within the voluntary examinations, which do not influence the result whether or not the pupil passes the final secondary school-leaving examination."

 

Study at post-secondary non-tertiary schools and higher education institutions

Question:

One of the conditions for awarding the leaving certificate from post-secondary vocational schools is a defence of the graduate’s thesis. How should the school proceed if it discovered that the graduate’s thesis is mostly likely plagiarism?

Answer:

One of the standard requirements for preparation of a graduate's thesis is the requirement of independent elaboration of this thesis, where the author will list all used sources and literature. A different practice of a student, that means for example not naming important sources and literature, theses of other persons, which he/she uses or whose parts he/she inserts in his/her thesis, contradicts this practice. If when investigating the suspicion that the student is submitting plagiarised work instead of his/her own independently elaborated graduate's thesis the school arrives at the conclusion that it is the case, then the student does not meet the set requirements. In compliance with Decree No. 10/2005 Coll., onPost-secondary Non-tertiary Vocational Education, Section - 9 Assessment of leaving examination, his/her graduate's thesis will be assessed as unsatisfactory.

Question:

Where do I turn for information about the range and possibilities of making use of a foreign scholarship?

Answer:

Pupils and students, who are educated abroad, may request a study appraisal pursuant to Section 12, Sub-section 1 Letter c) of Act No. 117/1995 Coll., on State Social Support, as amended by subsequent regulations, and in compliance with Section 21 Letter a) of Act No. 155/1995 Coll., on Pension Insurance, as amended by subsequent regulations.

Information about the possibilities of being granted a scholarship can be obtained, among others, from the Academic Information Agency, which is a part of the Centre for International Services of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. This agency gathers, processes and distributes information about the possibilities of educating Czech citizens (particularly university students, post-graduates and teachers) abroad. In general it applies that students of member states of the European Union can be accepted for study and study in the European Union, as well as to receive ordinary scholarships under the same terms and conditions under which domestic students are accepted for study and study. It is usually possible to establish and check the specific requirements of individual schools for example at websites where one can also find the necessary contacts. There are also specific offers presented by various national and foreign foundations, public and private institutions, which may be advisable to look into.

Question:

If I simultaneously study two Master’s study programmes at two higher education institutions (that is to say 5 years of study in both cases), after completion of the third year (in both schools) I will not have either of the schools properly completed and at the same time I will meet the condition of the overall study of 6 years. Does this mean that from the fourth year and up I will be paying “school fees” on both of the schools until I properly complete both of these?

Answer:

Section 58, Sub-section (4) of Act No. 111/1998 Coll., reads as follows: "If a graduate of the Bachelor or Master’s study programme studies another Bachelor or Master’s study programme, the public higher education institution will set a study fee, which will amount to no more than the base pursuant to Sub-section 2 per each subsequent started year of study; however this shall not apply if a graduate of the Bachelor’s study programme studies at the post-Bachelor study programme (i.e. Master's programme) or if it is a case of the concurrence of regular study programmes not exceeding the standard period of one study programme. If the overall period of subsequent study exceeds the standard period of study, the public higher education institution will set the study fee in accordance with Sub-section 3."

Therefore, the above shows that the study fee is set for the student by the public higher education institution, if he/she as a graduate of the Bachelor or Master’s study programme continues studies at another Bachelor or Master’s study programme. However, if having completed the Bachelor study programme the student studies the follow-up Master's study programme or possibly if a student studies two regular study programmes concurrently and does not exceed the standard period of one study programme during this concurrent study, the public higher education institution will not demand a fee.

 

Recognition of education (nostrification)

Question:

Is the implementing Decree No. 12/2005 Coll., of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic on Conditions of Recognition of Equality and Nostrification of Certificates Issued by Foreign Schools, still in force? Does it also apply to a person who acquired education in member states of the EU or have the conditions changed for example due to the progressing integration within the EU? When is it necessary to take the licensing examination?

Answer:

Decree No. 12/2005 Coll., on Conditions of Recognition of Equality and Nostrification of Certificates Issued by Foreign Schools (Decree) is still in force and also applies to those who acquired their education in member states of the EU. The integration has not progressed sufficiently yet and therefore the legislative environment defined by the Decree is still applicable. Section 2 of the Decree specifies the conditions of the recognition and Section 3 the conditions of organising a licensing examination. The examination is to be taken if the application for recognition is affirmative, then the provisions of Sub-section 2, Section 3, apply and they read as follows, “The licensing examination, the date and content of which is set by the Regional Authority, is taken by the applicant at a school, selected by the Regional Authority from among elementary schools, secondary schools, conservatories, and post-secondary non-tertiary vocational schools situated in the territory of the given region. If there are no elementary schools, secondary schools, conservatories, or post-secondary non-tertiary vocational schools situated in the territory of the given region matching in the content and extent of their educational programme fully or at least partially the foreign school that issued the foreign certificate, the corresponding school, where the licensing examination is to be held, may be chosen from the schools located in the territory of another region.”

 

School system expenditure in the Czech Republic

Question:

What has the share of the gross domestic product expended on the school system in the Czech Republic been in recent years?

Answer

Public expenditure on the education in current prices and as a share of GDP can be found in Table A1 Year Statistics of School System - set of economic indicators [XLS; 22 KB].