THE CZECH REPUBLIC
School attendance is compulsory for 9 years, usually from the age of 6 to 15. Most children attend state schools but there are also private and church schools. Education at state schools is free of charge but students have to pay for their textbooks. Private and church schools charge fees. All schools are coeducational. Children in our school system do not wear uniforms.
The school starts on 1st September and ends on 30th June of the following year. The school year is divided into two terms (Sept.-Jan., Febr.- June). The number of lessons at a secondary school is around thirty a week, primary schools have fewer lessons. Pupils are evaluated by marks from 1 to 5. Education in our country includes these stages: pre-school (kindergartens, nursery schools), primary, secondary and tertiary.
At the age of 15 pupils transfer from primary to secondary schools. Some pupils can transfer to grammar schools at 11 after they have passed an entrance examination.
- grammar schools offer academic education and prepare students for further study at universities
- special schools – business schools, agricultural schools, nursing schools, conservator
- vocational schools – training for practical jobs
Secondary education takes 4 or 8 years and may be finished with a school-leaving examination which is held in May and June and comprises four subjects, two compulsory: Czech and a foreign language or Maths, and two electives. The exam includes a written part and oral part. The oral part takes between 15 and 20 minutes for each subject. A student chooses from the topics by drawing a number. If they are successful, they get a school-leaving certificate and can apply for study at universities.
University education lasts from 3 up to 6 years. You have to pass an entrance examination before. Students can enrol at three-year courses for a Bachelor’s Degree or five-year courses for a Master’s Degree. The university study is finished with a state exam and you have to write a thesis in order to get a diploma. It is handed over at a graduation ceremony.
Doctoral Degrees are awarded after another few years of study and completion of another thesis.
The best-known universities in our country are e.g. Charles University in Prague or Masaryk University in Brno.