Archive: Society | Education Education

Education Ministry to launch nationwide tests for elementary school pupils

23-11-2011 | Jan Richter

The Education Ministry will soon launch nationwide tests it believes will help improve the plummeting standards of Czech elementary schools. Contrary to the ministry’s original plan, the tests will not restrict those who do poorly from pursuing a higher education. Even so critics say the plan is too vague and some of them have even launched a petition asking parents to boycott the tests.  More

Using classical music to help children out of poverty

22-10-2011 02:01 | David Vaughan

In this special programme, David Vaughan looks at a unique project to encourage children with musical talent who come from some of the poorest families in the Czech Republic. The project enables primary school children to learn to play with some of the country’s foremost classical musicians. Its success is a reminder of the power of music to cross boundaries of language, class and culture.  More

Christopher Harwood – professor of Czech at Columbia University

26-09-2011 | Ian Willoughby

Christopher Harwood Christopher Harwood is a lecturer in Czech at Columbia University in New York. When I met him at his office on Columbia’s Upper West Side campus, we discussed Czech literature, the difficulties of learning Czech, and how Professor Harwood himself had become good enough at the language to teach it at one of the world’s leading universities.  More

Jaromíra Kostlánová – still working as a tour guide at the age of 92

18-07-2011 13:39 | Ian Willoughby

Jaromíra Kostlánová Though 92 years of age, Jaromíra Kostlánová is still working as a tour guide, introducing the sights of Prague to visitors from around the world. If that were not remarkable enough, the good-humoured nonagenarian is also one of the oldest students in the Czech Republic.  More

Prague grammar schools top national school-leaving exam rankings

24-06-2011 15:35 | Jan Richter

Photo: CTK The new nationwide school-leaving exams concluded this week at around 1,300 secondary schools around the Czech Republic. According to overall results issued by the Czech Education Ministry on Thursday, Prague’s private PORG grammar school came in at the top of the national top ten charts, followed by other schools in the capital. Nearly 20 percent of students failed the exams, and will have to retake them in September.  More

Think tank recommends English being made sole obligatory foreign language in schools

04-03-2011 15:58 | Jan Velinger

Photo: European Commission This week the government’s economic think tank, NERV, issued a report recommending, among several changes, that English be made the only obligatory foreign language in Czech schools. The idea is that time allocated for additional languages could be better spent on areas where until now many schools have been weak: the teaching of information technology or economic or financial literacy. A little earlier to I spoke to Daniel Munich, associate professor at CERGE-EI in Prague and a member of NERV.  More

Czechs have average foreign language skills, above-average need for foreign language

26-01-2011 15:21 | Christian Falvey

How do Czechs’ foreign language skills compare to those of other European nations? At first glance, good – squarely within the European average. But in a small country with an above average need for foreign language skills, good may not be good enough, and in some cases there are more jobs than there are linguistically qualified job-seekers to take them.  More

Poverty, insecurity and discrimination hindering Roma school kids in the education process

30-12-2010 16:31 | Daniela Lazarová

A sociological study, released by Gabal Analysis and Consulting, shows that a staggering 40 percent of Romany children drop out of elementary school and never go back, a figure that is eight times higher than the national average. The study, based on data collected from 14 elementary schools over the past five years, highlights one of the basic problems underlying an endless vicious circle of discrimination of the country’s Romany minority. Kumar Vishwanatan, a community worker who works with the Roma in one of the country’s poorest districts, says there are many factors contributing to this trend.  More

International survey puts spotlight on plummeting Czech educational standards

08-12-2010 16:35 | Chris Johnstone

Photo: European Commission Czech education has just been given bad marks in a prestigious international survey. In fact, the country singles itself out as one where standards have dropped the most dramatically over the last 10 years. We look at the results and whether lessons will be learned.  More

Czech human rights groups say no action taken to end schools discrimination against Roma three years after landmark ruling

09-11-2010 16:24 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech Republic has been accused by a number of non-governmental human rights watchdogs and education groups of taking no steps to stop discrimination against Romany children in schools, in spite of a landmark European decision that discrimination was built into the country’s education system. They say promises to take action have gone unfulfilled and they are now threatening to bring the country to book again.  More



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