- the beginning of school attendance
- wearing uniform
- parts of school year
- marks (1-5; A-E)
- in Czech education we have no exams after leaving compulsory education
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 (crčches – 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 schools – several types:
a) Grammar schools – general and academic education, which prepares students for university (Gymnasium).
b) Special (technical) schools – technical colleges, specialised 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 specialisation 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. Our oldest university is Charles University in Prague (founded by Charles IV. in 1348), other schools are in Brno, Olomouc and Ústí n. L. Undergraduates can study for example economics, architecture, law, journalism, foreign languages, medicine, science, music, 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. Written part of these degrees are called thesis.
Education at state schools up to eighteen is free of charge but university students are expected to pay for their accommodation in dormitories. 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.
In GB school attendance is compulsory from 5 to 16 years. Before going to school children can visit nursery (from 3 to 4 years). Boys and girls are taught together in most schools and usually wear school uniforms.
At first children go to primary schools (two key stages – infants and juniors). At eleven they continue in secondary schools (also 2 key stages). There are two types:
a) comprehensive schools - non selective schools for all children, more common as grammar schools
b) grammar schools – offer a mainly academic education up to 18 or 19 and are selective
Some pupils attend independent or private schools (“public schools”) like Eton or Harrow. In these schools parents must pay a fee.
According to the National Curriculum primary and secondary education was reformed – the aim was to raise standards and give pupils more choices in learning. It is based on three core subjects of English, mathematics and science together with seven other foundation subjects – technology, history, geography, music, art, physical education and a modern foreign language.
In Wales, the Welsh language is taught as the fourth core subject).
The principal examination in age of 16 is called General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and compulsory are the three core subjects.
After GCSE pupils can continue or they can go to the college – in colleges they are learning practical subjects like typing, cooking and others.
If pupils want to study on the university, they must go to the sixth form for two years. At the end of the sixth form they make the exam called A-level.
Britain has 47 universities (including the Open University – TV, radio, summer schools..). The most famous universities in Britain are Oxford and Cambridge (Oxbridge colleges); they date from 12th and 13th centuries. The Scottish universities like Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen are from 14th and 15th centuries.
Full-time university first degree courses usually last 3 or 4 years. The main qualification is B.A., B. SC. (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science) etc. Within studies students usually spend some time away from the university and get practical experiences at work ( f.e. technology, medicine).
Some students (often students of natural or practical science) continue to study for Masters degrees (M.A., M. Sc., M. Phi) for two more years. A few of them go on further - they can get the degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.) when they make original contributions to knowledge.