Education, schools, learning
a) Why people need education?
I think in today’s multicultural civilization the good education is the first step to mutual toleration. One must be good educated to understand another man. Also finding a job is much easier with better solution because you have more to offer. I don’t think that well educated man has to be good like the ancient philosophers did. However with good education everything goes easier.
b) Describe our school system
School attendance in the Czech Republic is compulsory from the age from six to fifteen. The school year starts on 1st September and ends on 30th June of the following year. The school year is divided into two terms (September – January, February – June). Primary schools have fewer lessons than secondary schools, which have about 35 a week. One lesson lasts 45 minutes and there are small breaks between lessons. Pupils are evaluated by marks from one to five. Each term students get their school report with marks from all subjects.
Education in our country includes these stages: pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary.
Pre-school education is provided by nursery schools, kindergartens for children aged three to six (crèches – up to three of age). At six children start going to primary schools and they stay there until fifteen. Then pupils sit for entrance examinations to secondary schools. But at the age of eleven or thirteen can some pupils enter to a grammar school after they are passed an entrance examination.
Secondary school – several types:
a) Grammar schools – general and rather academic education, which prepares students for university (Gymnasium).
b) Technical (special) schools – technical colleges, specialized in building, chemistry, business academies, music and art schools.
c) Vocational schools – prepare students for practical professions.
Secondary education usually lasts for four years, and at grammar and technical schools are finished with a school-leaving examination, which is taken in four subjects. The compulsory exam from Czech is divided in oral and written part. Students can finish their studies or for these, who don’t want to study on university can attend two-year courses with specialization for managers, businessmen, language expert, etc.
Tertiary education is provided by tertiary education, which lasts from four to six years. Students are accepted after they have passed an entrance examination. The exam consists of a written text and an interview. Undergraduates can study for example economics, architecture, law, journalism, foreign languages, medicine, science, music, and art… The university students can study at three-year courses for a Bachelor’s Degree or for four (five) for a Master’s Degree. Doctoral Degrees are awarded after another few individual years of study.
Education at state schools up to eighteen is free of charge but university students are expected to pay for their accommodation and board. Also secondary students and undergraduates have to pay for their textbooks, which is a quite big amount of money. All schools in Czech Republic are coeducational, that means that boys and girls are educated together.
c) What do you know about famous universities?
Our oldest university is Charles University in Prague (founded by Charles IV. in 1348), other schools are Masaryk University in Brno, Palacký University in Olomouc and Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. The oldest universities in Great Britain are Oxford (1167) and Cambridge in England. The most famous American universities are Harvard, Yale University, Princeton University, College of Colombia, etc.
d) What would you change in our school?
Our school is technical backward. I think that almost all classrooms should have TV with video because if we want see for example in history some documents we must move to other class with TV. Computers are backward too. These Pentiums 166 are I think insufficient. However we don’t need the best and newest computers but some newer computers would be good for everyone.
e) What should a good teacher be like?
Good teacher should understand his/her pupils. The lessons shouldn’t be very hard but on the other hand they shouldn’t be very easy too. One of the basic abilities should be ability to make pupils like the subject and to recognize what the pupil can than show him or her how much he can’t.
f) Paid studies – yes or no?
I think important part of democracy is right of education. So the paying on basic schools and secondary schools is for me unthinkable. On the university it is something different. However it is hard to say what would be the right way.
g) Uniforms – advantages and disadvantages
In our republic is wearing uniforms not very usual. However my opinion is that at least on the basic schools it would be better. The parents wouldn’t have to pay much money for clothes and there won’t be so big social differences among pupils.
h) Subjects which are not taught and should be
I think that lessons of computers and informatics are insufficient. In the world of internet everyone must know something about internet, email and computers, because in nearly all jobs you must use computer and internet and the school must initiate into this.