The two coalition parties are in favour of free lunches at elementary
schools and kindergartens but have different conceptions of which children
should receive them, Právo reported on Thursday. Prime Minister Andrej
Babiš of ANO wants to bring in free lunches for all elementary school
pupils and final-year kindergarteners. However, the Social Democrats’
former education minister Kateřina Valachová has put forward a bill
promising to feed all kindergarten children and elementary school first
Právo said that whichever version is adopted free lunches look set to come in the year after next. Critics say taxpayers will foot the bill in any case and that it is a populist gesture.
The number of first-year students in Czech primary schools is expected to dip this year. In September, about 108,200 children are due to enter the first grade, a drop of about 3,600 students from the previous year, Ministry of Education data show. However, in general, the number of primary school students continues to grow, as the overall population increases.
Compulsory lessons in metalwork and other crafts are set to return to Czech
elementary schools, iRozhlas.cz reported on Wednesday. “Practical
studies” should make a comeback to school curriculums within two years
after agreement was reached between the prime minister in resignation,
Andrej Babiš, and representatives of trades organisations, the news
Mr. Babiš said the lack of apprentices in the Czech Republic was a major problem for the economy, which is facing a labour shortage, and that his ANO party had long been in favour of dual education, which combines class work and on-the-job training.
Teens in the Czech Republic get, on average, almost 700 crowns from their parents per month, according to a study focusing on financial literacy conducted by ČSOB bank. According to the survey, for around 12 percent, those funds are not enough. Financial literacy has been a compulsory subject in the classroom for four years.
Socially-challenged parents who have a problem paying for their children’s school lunches can file a request for subsidies as of July at labour offices around the country, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs announced on Friday. The project, now in its fifth year, is supported by European funds and will cover ten thousand schools around the country. Past years have shown that the social behaviour and grades of socially-challenged children improve rapidly once they start eating lunch with their classmates.
Czech parents have become far more involved in the running of their children’s schools in the last two years, according to a newly produced study by the national school inspections body quoted by Czech Television on Sunday. The report says that parents typically demand more improved services, a wider variety of hobby groups and a wider variety of food in school canteens. One in 10 schools reported that parents have called for action to be taken against bullying and in some cases for the expulsion of pupils who repeatedly disrupt lessons.
The free lunches for school children from poor families project introduced at the start of the year has been hailed as a huge success, the news site idnes reported on Saturday. According to a first survey among the close to 900 schools involved, the children who are now able to lunch with their classmates are more optimistic, more active, more communicative and less frequently absent for health reasons. The free lunches project was introduced by the Education Ministry in January of this year. Over 4,500 children currently receive this vital support.
Around one percent of children who started at elementary schools on Thursday are likely to repeat the first grade, according to the non-governmental organisation People in Need. Children from families with low-education levels are most likely to fall behind. Nearly 1300 out of 18,000 first-graders had to repeat class in the school year 2014/2015. According to People in Need’s education expert Daniel Hůle, that trend can be prevented by better pre-school preparation in kindergartens.
After a two-month summer holiday, the new academic year started at kindergartens, elementary schools and secondary schools in the Czech Republic on Thursday morning. Around 115,500 children turned up for the first day of school, which was around 1,200 fewer than last year. The number of first grade pupils fell for the second year in a row. Teachers and other staff are receiving a pay rise from this month.
Čáslav Airport has become the first military base in the country to offer families child group services (effectively a day care system for parents unable to register their son or daughter at a local pre-schools either because they are too young or there is no available spot). Legislation covering so-called ‘child groups’ was introduced last year to offer parents an alternative when they were left no other option.