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In the Czech Republic, schools are administered in the frame of general administration. The responsibility is distributed among the central government, regions and communities. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports preserves and determines the integrated state educational policy. Regions are responsible for education on their territory. They are organising bodies for upper secondary schools and tertiary professional schools. The communities are responsible for pre-primary education and compulsory schooling. All schools have the status of legal entities. Public higher education institutions are established by law.

Pre-primary education is provided for children aged 3 to 6 in nursery schools (mateřské školy). The attendance is not compulsory, nevertheless, it is very high. Children have legal entitlement to education in the last year before compulsory education.

Primary and lower secondary education (basic education) is organised mostly within a single-structure system in nine-year basic schools (základní školy), which are divided into the first and second stage. Lower secondary education can be provided also by multi-year general secondary schools (víceletá gymnázia) and eight-year conservatoires (osmileté konzervatoře). School attendance is compulsory for nine years, usually from the ages of 6 to 15.

Upper secondary education is provided by upper secondary schools (střední školy) in general and vocational fields. School leavers acquire three levels of education. Secondary education with a school-leaving examination (střední vzdělání s maturitní zkouškou) is a requirement for entering tertiary education. The other two levels are secondary education with an apprenticeship certificate (střední vzdělání s výučním listem) and secondary education (střední vzdělání). The age of pupils is usually 15 to 18/19. Upper secondary schools provide also a follow-up study (nástavbové studium) enabling holders of the apprenticeship certificate to acquire secondary education with a school-leaving examination, and a shortened study (zkrácené studium) in which the graduates with school-leaving examination or apprenticeship certificate gain qualification in a different field.

A specific type of school is the conservatoire (konzervatoř) which provides lower and upper secondary as well as tertiary professional education with emphasis on art.

Tertiary education is carried out by tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) and higher education institutions (vysoké školy). Tertiary professional education is usually attained in three-year programmes. Higher education is provided in the first, second and third cycle programmes (Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programmes), or possibly in non-structured long Master’s degree programmes.

Adult education includes general education, vocational education, special interest education and other education.

For further information, please consult the introduction articles of Organisation and Governance and of each educational level: Early Childhood Education and Care, Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education), Upper Secondary and Post Secondary Non-Tertiary Education, Higher Education and Adult Education and Training.

For a brief description of other main topics regarding the national education system, please read the introduction article of Funding in Education, Teachers and Education Staff, Management and Other Education Staff, Educational Support and Guidance, Quality Assurance, Mobility and Internationalisation.

For information on recently adopted or planned reforms and policy measures, please consult topic Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments.

While Eurypedia provides comprehensive and comparable information, further information may also be found on the websites of the Ministry Education, Youth and Sports, as well as e.g. the National Institute for Education.

Structure of the national education system 2014/15

Age of students                                                                                                                                                                              Programme duration (years)

Diagram 2015 Czech Republic.png

Key Notes.3.PNG

source: Eurydice

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