At 16:00 on Friday the 31st October 2014, Agora CE hosted a debate on the status of the Czech education system. This debate was in Czech and took place in the multimedia hall of Jablonec nad Nisou’s city library [Městská knihovna, Dolní náměstí 600/1, 466 01 Jablonec nad Nisou].
About the debate:
Czech education has undergone some wide-ranging changes in the last 25 years. Much has changed for the better, but the system still retains many relics of the past. Similarly, the post of Minister of Education suffers from considerable instability, being one of the most regularly changed positions in the Czech government. Czech education therefore tends to lack comprehensive direction, and, with quality education one of the most important prerequisite for developing active citizens, this lack of direction impacts negatively on the development of Czech society. Czech educational establishments also, especially at primary and secondary levels, fail to support the development of critical thinking and remain short on self-development initiatives. This debate therefore encouraged its speakers to analyse recent developments and take a critical look at the anticipated future of the Czech education system.
Particular foci of the discussion were:
– How should the Czech Republic deal with admissions to secondary schools?
– Who should be responsible for leadership and management within schools, the central or the local administration?
– What is the significance of secondary school qualifications in the present labour market, should there be more of a vocational focus?
– What freedoms should Czech universities enjoy?
– How good is Czech higher education and how can it increase its appeal to graduates in the Czech Republic and abroad?
– Why does the Czech Republic presently support so few alternative ways of learning?
– Is citizenship education required in the Czech Republic and, if so, how would it be supported?
Representatives of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport; Jablonec nad Nisou city’s councilor for education; Czech NGO representatives, specialising in alternative education; and local secondary school teachers.