Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Eurydice

EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Support measures for learners in early childhood and school education

Czechia

12.Educational support and guidance

12.3Support measures for learners in early childhood and school education

Last update: 4 June 2024

In order to meet the standards for quality of care, children's groups (dětské skupiny) should regulate in their plans of education and care the conditions and methods of providing care if a child with special needs is admitted. For more information, see Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education.

According to the Education Act, one of the principles of education at schools is to take into account the educational needs of the individual, i.e., all individual pupils. The law also defines pupils with special educational needs. Overview of the education of pupils with special educational needs is given in the parts Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education and Separate Special Education Needs Provision. The following sections provide basic information about these pupils, the conditions of education of foreigners and members of national minorities are further elaborated.

 

Definition of target group(s)

The Education Act guarantees to all children, pupils and students (hereinafter pupils) that their individual educational needs are respected.

It further defines a pupil with special educational needs who is a person who necessarily needs support measures to meet their educational requirements and exercise their rights on the basis of equal rights. Specific categories of pupils with special educational needs are not defined. The law only defines cases (types of disadvantages) where pupils can, if all conditions are met, be educated in separate schools or classes.

Pupils with special educational needs may also include foreigners and persons belonging to national minorities, who are also provided with additional support under the Education Act and other legislative and policy documents. See the following sections.

Definition of foreigners

Specific rights and obligations concerning the stay of foreigners are specified by the Act on the Residency of Aliens in the Territory of the Czech Republic and Amendments of Some Acts, the Act on Asylum, and the Act on Temporary Protection of Aliens (and the Directive of Council 2005/55/ES). Some details in the area of education are set by the Education Act.

Categories of foreigners

A foreigner is a natural person who is not a Czech citizen, including a citizen of the European Union. From the point of view of legislation on foreigners, the basic categories of foreigners are as follows:

  • EU nationals and their family members (including European Economic Area nationals)
  • nationals of third countries

 

Types of stays

The Czech legislation specifies several types of stays for foreigners of third countries:

  • a short-term stay, i.e., for a stay shorter than 90 days;
  • a long-term stay and long-term stay visa, i.e., for a stay longer than 90 days;
  • temporary stay, is designed for foreigners coming from the EU and also for those who do not come from the EU but are family members of EU citizens, a permit for a temporary stay is issued for a stay of longer than 3 months (however, confirmation of a temporary stay/a temporary residence certificate is not a precondition for EU nationals to stay in the Czech Republic);
  • permanent residence for foreigners who have decided to remain in Czechia (an application for a permanent residence permit may be filed by EU nationals or by nationals of third countries after 5 years of permanent residence on the territory of the Czech Republic (the term is shorter for family members).

 

International and temporary protection

The Asylum Act defines the conditions for the entry and residence of foreigners who ask the Czech Republic for international protection, and the conditions of asylum seekers or persons under subsidiary protection in the Czech Republic. A foreigner has the status of an applicant for granting international protection until the decision is made by the ministry (maximum 6 months; the time for a decision may be extended by a maximum of 9 months). If the application is accepted, the applicant is granted asylum or they become a person under subsidiary protection.

  • applicant for granting international protection (asylum seeker) – a foreigner who has asked for international protection in the Czech Republic, or a foreigner who has filed an application for international protection in a Member State of the EU
  • refugee, i.e., a foreigner who has been given asylum according to the Asylum Act – a foreigner who has been granted asylum; it takes place if a foreigner has been persecuted for exercising political rights and freedoms or has a well-founded fear of such persecution resulting from their race, sex, religion, nationality, or membership of a particular social group or political opinion or on humanitarian grounds
  • individuals enjoying subsidiary protection – a foreigner who does not meet the requirements for granting asylum, but there are justified fears that if returned they would be at real risk of serious harm (e.g., the death penalty, inhuman treatment, life-threatening)

Family members of a refugee or of an individual under subsidiary protection may be granted asylum or subsidiary protection if they deemed worthy of special consideration, even if in the procedure for granting international protection no reasons for this have been found.

The Act on Temporary Protection (and the Directive of Council 2005/55/ES respectively) applies if the temporary protection of foreigners has been declared by the Council of the European Union. 

Temporary protection concerning Russian war in Ukraine

In connection with the Russian war in Ukraine, three laws were issued (the so-called Lex Ukraine): Act No. 65/2022, which regulates the conditions for granting temporary protection and the provision of health services, Act No. 66/2022, which concerns employment and social security, incl. measures for children's groups (dětské skupiny), and Act No. 67/2022, which introduces measures in education. For more details on these measures, see Specific support for children, pupils and students in the context of the armed conflict in Ukraine.

Definition of members of national minorities

Belonging to a national minority and the exercise of the related rights in Czechia are a matter of the free choice of the citizen.

The rights of national minorities, including the right to be educated in the national minority language, and the work of the relevant authorities, are regulated by the Act on the Rights of Members of National Minorities. The protection of the rights of national minorities is ensured also by a Framework Convention on the Protection of the Rights of National Minorities, signed and ratified in April 1995. The Act defines following terms:

  • national minority – a community of Czech citizens living in the Czech Republic, who differ from the other citizens mostly by their common ethnic origin, language, culture, and traditions. They represent a minority and at the same time try to preserve their identity, language, and culture to protect the interests of their community, which has formed during history;
  • member of a national minority – a Czech citizen who professes a nationality other than Czech and wants to be a member of the national minority along with the other people who profess the same minority.

Currently, there are 14 national minorities with an official status (Belarussian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, German, Polish, Roma, Ruthenian, Russian, Greek, Slovak Serbian, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese). These minorities have their representation in the Government Council for National Minorities. The Czech government decides on the granting of the status. Minorities must meet two prerequisites. Their communities must have been staying in Bohemia and Moravia for some time (the exact time is not determined) and must have a sufficient number of Czech citizens (the exact number is not fixed either). Recognised minorities are entitled to get state support for their language and culture. The status of a national minority makes it possible for communities to develop their culture and traditions, and especially their language, better. The status also enables minorities to use their language in dealing with authorities and courts.

The national minorities in Czechia are relatively few in number; according to the Population Census (2021), apart from the Czech, Moravian, and Silesian minorities, most people profess membership of the following minorities: Slovak, Ukrainian, Polish, Vietnamese, Russian, German, and Roma.

In regions (municipalities) where, according to the last population census, at least 5 % (10 %) of the citizens claim to be of a nationality other than Czech, a board for national minorities is established based on the Act on Regions (Act on Municipalities) if the association representing the interests of the national minority request this in writing. Some regions and municipalities establish a board (or other similar body), even though they do not have this obligation by law. In 2021, a board or other consultative body was active in 11 regions and 40 municipalities. (Source: Report on the Situation of National Minorities in the Czech Republic for 2021 and Methodology for assessing the share of citizens claiming to be of a nationality other than Czech.)

Special support is also provided for minority languages on the basis of the European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages.

Regional or minority languages are defined as languages that are "traditionally used within a given territory of a State by nationals of that State who form a group numerically smaller than the rest of the State's population and different from the official language(s) of that State (it does not include either dialects of the official language(s) of the State or the languages of migrants)". In Czechia, Slovak, Polish, German, Roma and Moravian Croatian have been declared minority languages.

According to the Charter, the following principles are among the other ones that are applied to minority languages: providing appropriate forms and measures for teaching and learning regional or minority languages at all suitable levels and providing opportunities for the persons who do not speak a regional or minority language and live in a place where the language is spoken to study it if they want to.

 

Specific support measures

For all pupils of basic schools (základní školy), upper secondary schools (střední školy) and conservatoires (konzervatoře), children in nursery schools (mateřské školy) or students at tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) (hereinafter pupils), the Education Act codifies the right to education with respects to the educational needs of the individual.

The law guarantees free special support via support measures to pupils with special educational needs provided by school and school facility. Support measures consist of pedagogical, organisational and consent modifications to education and of modifications to the provision of school services in accordance with the educational needs of the pupil. Support measures include important modifications to the educational process and school services that take into account the health state, cultural environment, or other life conditions of the pupil. Support is ensured to all pupils who need it, regardless of the nature of their disadvantages and their level of education (from pre-primary to tertiary professional) in inclusive conditions in mainstream schools. Pupils in separate classes/schools are also eligible to support measures. Such education is allowed exceptionally and only to pupils with specified type of disadvantage; it is subject to the statutory conditions and must be in accordance with their best interests.

The support for and integration of disadvantaged pupils is part of community plans and social services at the local, regional, and nation-wide levels in collaboration with the non-profit sector, authorities responsible for the social and legal protection of children and other social services and health care bodies.

In general, the support measures for all pupils with special educational needs and the system of support levels are described in section Special support measures. Specific support for foreigners and members of national minorities is described in the following sections.

Specific support measures – foreigners

Coordination in the matter of implementation of the Policy for the Integration of Foreign Nationals falls within the competence of the Ministry of the Interior. In the area of education, the integration of children into schools is coordinated by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Specific measures are defined in the annually updated Procedure for the Implementation of the Updated Policy for the Integration of Foreign Nationals.

 

Access to education

The European Union citizens and their families have the same access to education and school services as Czech citizens.

Persons who are not European Union citizens have access to the following:

  • basic education under the same conditions as European Union citizens, including institutional and protective care, provided they reside on the territory of the Czech Republic;
  • school meals and extracurricular activities provided in facilities for developing personal interests (školské zařízení pro zájmové vzdělávání) if they are pupils of a basic school (základní škola) or corresponding grade of an upper secondary school (střední škola) or a conservatoire (konzervatoř);
  • upper secondary education, education in conservatoires and tertiary professional education, including education within institutional education and protective care, provided they have the legal right of residence on the territory of the Czech Republic;
  • pre-primary education, basic art education, language education and all school services if they are entitled to legal residence on the territory of the Czech Republic for more than 90 days; these may be persons with permission to reside on the territory of the Czech Republic in order to carry out research, refugees, persons under subsidiary protection, applicants in proceedings for granting international protection (asylum seekers) or persons benefiting from temporary protection.

 

Compulsory education

Foreigners, who have the right of permanent residence or temporary residence for more than 90 days on the territory of the Czech Republic, and applicants for international protection are subject to compulsory pre-primary education in the last pre-school year and following compulsory school attendance, which similarly applies to Czech citizens and citizens of other European Union countries.

Some children of foreign nationals (and some Czech children too) attend foreign schools providing education according to a foreign educational programme on the territory of the Czech Republic, where the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports permitted compulsory school attendance. The list of foreign schools is available on the website of the Ministry.

 

Support for pupils and teachers

For the foreigners in nursery schools (mateřské školy) and basic education, the legislation established specific measures to support their inclusion, incl. teaching of the Czech language (sec. of the Education Act and related decrees). For 2022/23, similar measure was introduced also in upper secondary education. As the other pupils, the foreigners are also entitled to support measures (sec. 16 of the Education Act) in case of special educational needs (e.g., different cultural background or insufficient knowledge of the language of instruction). Details for each level of education are given in the following sections.

For the education of foreign pupils (or pupils with a different mother tongue), the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has published a number of methodological materials (in Czech), such as:

The National Pedagogical Institute of the Czech Republic (NPI) administers the support portal for education staff educating foreign pupils cizinci.npi.cz. It offers a wealth of information and supporting materials.

Methodological support for schools is provided by the regional support centres of the NPI CR. It provides schools with methodological assistance, educational programmes, and free services of adaptation coordinators and interpreters.

Summary information, materials and seminars are also available on the website www.inkluzivniskola.cz, administered by META, o. p. s.

Every year, the Ministry of Education announces a grant call to support the integration activities in regional education.

PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION

Framework Education Programme for Pre-primary Education (FEP PpE) includes from 2021/22 school year a separate section 8.4. Language preparation of children with insufficient knowledge of the Czech language. It sets conditions for providing language support for children-foreigners as well as children who come from a different language and cultural environment.

Language training groups

The Decree on Pre-primary Education sets specific conditions for cases where there are 4 or more foreign children in the nursery school (i.e., in the individual place of provision of education / territory) for whom pre-primary education is compulsory. The school head of the nursery school should set up a group or groups for free language training to ensure a smooth transition to basic education. The language training group has a maximum of 8 children, another group can be set up if this number is exceeded (the number of children in each group is then up to the school head). The school head may also include other children (e.g., younger ones or those with Czech citizenship) in the group, even more than 8 children, provided that this does not affect the quality of the language training of ¨the other children. The nursery school provides children in the group with language training of 1 hour per week. According to the FEP PpE, education is divided into two or more blocks during the week. If a nursery school has 1 to 3 foreign children in compulsory pre-primary education, they will be provided with individual language support within the educational activities according to the school education programme. Teachers have at their disposal the Curriculum of Czech as a Second Language for Pre-primary Education. The language training system does not apply to preparatory classes (přípravné třídy) in which, given the low number of children, support is sufficiently individualised, even for children with individual education.

 

Support measures

Children who do not meet the conditions for language training according to the decree (e.g., younger children, or children for whom the scope of language support is not sufficient) may be provided with language support in the form of support measures according to the Decree on Education of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Gifted Pupils, if they are indicated for special educational needs (e.g., due to a different cultural environment or different life conditions). The measures at level 2 and 3, which are recommended by the school guidance and counselling facility, are particularly relevant. These include, for example, teaching Czech as a foreign (second) language 4 x 15 minutes per week, special aids, in the case of the 3rd level also an individual educational plan with a focus on language development, or teacher's assistant (asistent pedagoga) (for pupils with no knowledge of the language and other special educational needs). However, other support measures of various levels other than language support may also be introduced.

BASIC EDUCATION

Generally, the level of previous education, knowledge of Czech, and age of the pupils are taken into account when placing the children of foreign nationals into schools. The children of foreign nationals start school without language preparation. Language lessons are then adjusted with regard to their needs and age.

According to the Education Act (sec. 20) a regional authority ensures for all pupils-foreigners free preparation for their integration into basic education, including Czech language teaching adapted to their needs. It takes place in language training groups, the details of which are set out in the Decree on Basic Education. For pupils who fulfil the compulsory school attendance in Czechia and whose parents are the nationals of another EU Member State, the regional authority ensures, in collaboration with their country of origin, also support for the study of their own mother tongue and the culture of the country of origin, if possible. Pupils are also entitled to support measures pursuant to sec. 16 of Education Act, inter alia with regard to different cultural environments and life conditions (e.g., in cases where free training pursuant to sec. 20 of Education Act is not sufficient or pupils do not meet the conditions set out in the Decree on Basic Education).

Furthermore, the Act on Asylum provides that the State ensures through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport the necessary conditions for the successful integration into the basic schools of applicants for international protection (who are subject to compulsory schooling by the Czech laws).

The Decree on Basic Education stipulates, that when assessing the foreign pupils who complete compulsory school attendance in Czechia, the level of knowledge of the Czech language is considered to be an important factor that affects their performance.

Language training groups

Free preparation for integration in basic education, including Czech language teaching adapted to the needs of foreign pupils who fulfil their compulsory school attendance (“language training”) is provided in the public school established by the region, municipality or union of municipalities, which is on the list of schools designated for the provision of language training ("designated school"). Schools are included in the list of designated schools by the regional authority in cooperation with the organising bodies of schools in accordance with the rules set out in the Decree on Basic Education.

The head of school in which the pupil fulfils the compulsory school attendance (the "tribal school") notifies the pupil's parent/guardian within one week of the pupil's admission of the possibility of attending language training group. A pupil can be included in the language training at any time during the school period on the basis of a request from the pupil's parent/guardian submitted to the head of the designated school. The pupil is enrolled no later than 30 days from the submission of the application. The pupil participates in language training preferably in person, but he/she can also participate in a distance way.

Teaching at the designated school takes place in groups (separately for on-site and distance training). The condition for the establishment of the group and the beginning of teaching are at least two foreign pupils who are newcomers, i.e., have fulfilled compulsory school attendance in Czechia for a maximum period of 12 months. The first group has at least two pupils, the next group at least one pupil. The maximum number of pupils in a group is 10 and if this number is exceeded, another group can be set up (the number of students in each group is then decided by the school head). Based on the assessment of the need for language support, the school head may include pupils other than those mentioned above in the language training group, even more than 10 pupils, provided that this does not affect the quality of the language training of the other pupils in the group.

The time allocated for the language training is 100 to 200 hours for a maximum of 10 months of teaching. The length of each pupil's language training is determined by the head of the designated school according to the pupil's knowledge verified before the start of language training. The school head can use an indicative entrance test, which is part of the Curriculum of Czech as a Second Language for Basic Education. Language preparation takes place during the teaching time. The pupil is excused from the lessons that overlap with language preparation (and therefore should not be evaluated on the school report from these lessons). If it is more suitable for the education of the pupils, with the consent of the parents/guardians of all pupils in a group, the language preparation may take place out of teaching time. The tribal school is obliged to provide the pupil participating in distance training with access to ICT and also the supervision.

In 2021/22 there were 1124 language training groups with 10 645 attending pupils.

 

Support measures

Foreign pupils, like other pupils at basic schools, are entitled to support measures in case of special educational needs. For foreign pupils, the reason may be mainly a different cultural environment, or insufficient knowledge of the (Czech) language of instruction. In these cases, the following support measures may apply in particular:

  • level 1: It is intended for students with advanced knowledge of Czech. The measures are set by the school without the recommendation of the school guidance counselling facility. They may include, for example, modifications to teaching methods and the organisation of education, emphasis on supporting language development within individual subjects, keeping dictionaries, involving teaching materials for pupils with insufficient knowledge of the language of instruction in teaching, or a plan of pedagogical support. Pedagogical intervention should be focused not only on support for preparing for lessons, helping with homework, explaining and practicing the curriculum, but also on the support for interpersonal communication, the development of social relations and the integration of a pupil into the classroom and school.
  • level 2: It is intended for pupils with insufficient knowledge of Czech on the basis of a recommendation from a school guidance and counselling facility. The measures can include teaching Czech as a foreign (second) language 3 hours per week (at maximum 120 hours), adjusting the content of education within the individual education plan, adjusting assessment, adapting the organisation and teaching methods, special textbooks and aids. For pupils with insufficient knowledge of the language of instruction and manifestations of learning and concentration disorders, 1 hour of special pedagogical care is included.
  • level 3: It is intended for children without knowledge of Czech based on the recommendations of the school guidance and counselling facility. It includes similar measures as the level 2. Teaching Czech as a foreign (second) language can take up to 200 hours and the subject of special pedagogical care 2 hours. In addition, a teacher's assistant may be recommended for pupils with insufficient knowledge of the language of instruction and other special educational needs. Support from another education staff, a school psychologist and school SEN specialist may also be recommended.

These measures can also be applied to other pupils who have Czech citizenship, but Czech is not their mother tongue or do not master it perfectly.

 

EDUCATION AT UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOLS, CONSERVATOIRES AND TERTIARY PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS

Language training groups

For foreign pupils at higher educational levels, until now there has not been specific free language training set by law. As part of the amendment to the Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoire, a system of language training was set up for the pupils-foreigners of mentioned schools for 2022/23 school year. It is a free training for inclusion in secondary education (and in conservatoires) including the teaching of the Czech language. Groups for language training are being created, which work on a similar principle to those for pupils-foreigners in compulsory education. The Ministry of Education has issued detailed methodological material to provide free language training and will continuously monitor the success of language training by collecting relevant data in the form of webinars with schools or consultations with the pupils themselves.

Free preparation for integration in upper secondary education, including Czech language teaching adapted to the needs of pupils-foreigners who attend secondary school (“language training”) and stay in Czechia for less than 12 calendar months is provided in the public school established by the region, municipality or union of municipalities, which is on the list of schools designated for the provision of language training ("designated school"). Schools are included in the list of designated schools by the regional authority in accordance with the rules set out in the Decree on Secondary Education and Education in Conservatoire.

The head of school which the pupil attends (the "tribal school") notifies the pupil's parent/legal representative or mature pupil within one week of the pupil's admission on the possibility of language training groups and the organisation of this education. A pupil can be included in the language training on the basis of a request from the pupil's parent/legal representative or a mature pupil submitted to the head of the designated school. The pupil is enrolled no later than 30 days from the submission of the application. The pupil participates in language training preferably in person, but he/she can also participate in a distance way. The school also provides language training to pupils who cannot participate either in person or remotely, adapting the provision of training to the pupil's conditions.

Teaching at the designated school takes place in groups. The condition for the establishment of the group and the beginning of teaching are at least five foreign pupils and at maximum 15 pupils. Another group can be set up if this number is exceeded. Based on the assessment of the need for language support, the school head may include pupils other than those mentioned above in the language training group, even more than 15 pupils, provided that this does not affect the quality of the language training of the other pupils in the group.

The time allocated for the language training is 100 to 200 hours for a maximum of 10 months of teaching. The length of each pupil's language training is determined by the head of the designated school according to the recommendation of the head of the school in which the foreign student is educated and the pupil's knowledge verified before the beginning of language training. Language preparation takes place preferably outside the teaching time. There are no more than three hours per week during school teaching. The pupil is excused from the lessons that overlap with language preparation The tribal school provides the pupil participating in distance training with access to ICT and.

 

Support measures

All foreign pupils (as other pupils) are entitled to support measures in the case of special educational needs. For foreign pupils at upper secondary schools, support in case of insufficient knowledge of the (Czech) language of instruction within the measures from the level 1 to 3 is particularly relevant. The measures are similar to support measures in basic education, except for adapting the organisation and the teaching methods, the subject special pedagogical care and the involvement of other education staff. On the contrary, pupils in upper secondary schools, conservatoires and tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) may be subject to certain adjustments to the conditions of the admission procedure, VET examination (závěrečná zkouška), Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška) and graduate examination (absolutorium), see below.

 

Admission procedures

Based on the examination, the school guidance and counselling facility may recommend to applicants with a mother tongue other than Czech an adaptation of the conditions of the admission examinations within the admission procedure to the upper secondary school. They can be put in the category “other” disadvantage according to the Decree on Admission Procedure to Secondary Education. Adaptation of the conditions may include, e.g., increase of the time limit for the test, translation dictionaries, supporting person or separate classroom. The adaptation of the conditions is not conditioned by the previous provision of support measures in basic school. (In the case of conservatoires, the procedure is according to the Decree on Education of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Gifted Pupils.)

If foreigners have acquired a previous level of education abroad, they are, based on the Education Act and upon a request, exempt from an admission examination in the Czech language during the admission procedures at an upper secondary school, incl. multi-year upper secondary schools, or the admission procedures at a tertiary professional school. A working knowledge of Czech, sufficient for education in the field of study, is examined by interview.

According to Act No. 67/2022, pupils with temporary protection can replace documents on previous education with a solemn declaration. In addition, the Ministry of Education established specific conditions for the admission procedure for the 2023/24 school year for these pupils through a binding general measure.

 

Examinations at the end of the education

If the pupils have been educated with granted support measures at the level from 2 to 4, their special educational needs should be considered according to the Decree on Education of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Gifted Pupils when they are taking the VET examination with the VET certificate or the VET examination without the VET certificate. The language support included at the level 2 and 3 is particularly relevant for the foreign pupils. The actual measures for the VET examination (e.g., the increase of the time for examinations, or the formal adjustment of the assignments) are proposed by the teachers who have educated the pupil, in agreement with the recommendation of the school guidance and counselling facility. Similar rules apply to graduate examination in conservatoires and graduate examination in tertiary professional schools.

According to the Decree on Detailed Conditions on Completing Education by the Maturita Examination in Upper Secondary Schools, pupils who have been educated with granted support measures at level 2 and higher may be recommended the adjustment of the Maturita examination. For foreign pupils, language support included at level 2 and 3 according to the Decree on the Education of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Gifted Pupils is particularly relevant.

Persons educated at a school outside the territory of the Czech Republic for at least 4 years in the previous 8 years prior to taking the Maturita examination in Czech language and literature have the right for adapting the conditions for the compulsory examination in Czech of the standardised part of the Maturita examination. Upon their request, and after submitting copies of reports from the school abroad, the time for the didactic test in Czech language and literature is extended by 30 minutes and the written work in Czech language and literature is extended by 40 %. They are permitted to use the translation dictionary and the Dictionary of literary Czech.

For pupils with temporary protection, the Ministry of Education modified conditions for holding the Maturita examination in 2023 by a biding November 2022 general measure and conditions for holding the VET final examination in 2023 by a biding February 2023 general measure. It concerns mainly the possibility to extend the time of exams / preparation for exam and the possibility to use a dictionary.

ASYLUM FACILITIES AND FACILITY FOR FOREIGN CHILDREN

The children of an applicant for international protection (asylum seeker) usually attend schools in the place where the asylum facilities are located. Preschool children and children after their school activities can attend children's centres (dětská centra) which form a part of asylum facilities and partially serve as a nursery school (mateřská škola).

Unaccompanied children of foreign citizens are a specific category. Since 2003, a new diagnostic and boarding facility has been in operation for them – a Facility for Foreign Children. It includes various types of school facilities for institutional education and protective care – a diagnostic institute (diagnostický ústav), a children's home with a school (dětský domov se školou), an educational institute (výchovný ústav) – a centre for behavioural development  (středisko výchovné péče), basic school and a practical school (praktická škola). The facility also makes use of interpreting services and offers an increased number of Czech lessons.

SPECIFIC SUPPORT OF CHILDREN, PUPILS AND STUDENTS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ARMED CONFLICT IN UKRAINE

This section covers measures concerning Ukrainian children, pupils and students with temporary protection or tolerance visa for the length of stay over 90 days in the Czech Republic (hereinafter referred to as temporary protection). These persons have similar rights to Czech citizens at all education levels, including children's groups.

The main legislative documents setting the conditions for Ukrainian refugees are three laws. Act no. 65/2022 sets the conditions for granting the status of persons with temporary protection and providing health services. Act no. 66/2022 concerns employment and social protection; it also includes a section which sets conditions for the provision of care in children’s groups. Act no. 67/2022 introduces measures in education. These Acts are continually revised.

In relation to these Acts, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MLSA) published informative, methodological and other materials; see MEYS’s portal edu.cz and the website of MLSA mpsv.cz. Information is available at the website cizinci.npi.cz administered by the National Pedagogical Institute (NPI), e. g. about interpretation and translation services, or adaptation coordinator. The NPI created a special website dedicated to the support of Ukrainian pupils in reaction to the current situation: ukrajina.npi.cz. A non-profit organisation META o.p.s. (supported by the MEYS) administers another important website: inkluzivniskola.cz, which summarises a range of existing measures.

The following paragraphs list some of the important measures for Ukrainian children, pupils and students with temporary protection concerning care and education.

Care for Ukrainian children with temporary protection in children’s groups

Measures concerning care for Ukrainian children with temporary protection in children's groups are set by the Act no. 66/2022. This includes the following measures:

  • Children’s groups established by employers can admit children whose parents are not employees of those employers.
  • For the purposes of the allowance for care in a children’s group, parents do not have to fulfil the work/study condition in the first 6 months from the beginning of the temporary protection.
  • Operators of children’s groups can apply for the additional state contribution even after 31 January. 
  • Children's groups may employ foreigners with temporary protection. The law sets qualification and other requirements for the profession. During the first 6 months from the beginning of temporary protection, the applicant can prove the standard qualification requirements by a solemn declaration. After 6 months, the solemn declaration can only be used if the requirements cannot be properly evidenced.

Before entering nursery schools and children’s groups, completion of mandatory vaccination of children (except for children in compulsory pre-primary education) should be proved.

Education of Ukrainian children, pupils and students with temporary protection under the Education Act

For children from 6 to 15 years, the compulsory school attendance applies if they stay in the territory of the Czech Republic for more than 90 days. Nursery schools offer language preparation for children with insufficient knowledge of Czech to ensure a smooth transition to basic education. The newly arrived pupils have the right to free preparation for their integration into basic education, including Czech language learning. The system of language preparation is also set for pupils in secondary schools and conservatoires. For children under 5 years, language support may be provided in the form of support measures according to the Decree on education of pupils with special educational needs and of gifted pupils. Support measures may also be applied to pupils of basic and secondary schools, conservatoires and tertiary professional schools. Detailed information can be found in the section Specific support measures - foreigners.

The Act no. 67/2022 and its amendments imply a range of measures for children, pupils and students, which are then specified by methodological guidelines (see also chapters 14.1 and 14.2). The measures include:

  • The possibility of a separate term for the enrolment of the Ukrainian children to nursery and basic schools applies until the school year 2023/2024; from 2024/2025 enrolments will take place on the standard dates and in the standard manner for all pupils.
  • It is possible to temporarily increase the capacity of a school which accepts Ukrainian children, pupils and students; at the same time, it is not necessary to meet all space conditions. In case the school head is not able to admit a child to a nursery or basic school during the school year, a procedure is laid down for ensuring a place in another school.
  • The Ministry can set separate dates and deadlines for admission procedure and completion of education in upper secondary schools, conservatoires and tertiary professional schools. For measures for the school year 2023/2024 see chapter 14.2.
  • During the school year, applicants can be admitted not only to the higher years but also into the first year of an upper secondary school, a conservatoire or a tertiary professional school. From the school year 2024/2025 this measure will only apply to those with temporary protection for less than 12 months.
  • The document proving prior education can be replaced by a solemn declaration.
  • For children, pupils and students from Ukraine, the content of education of an education programme or an accredited programme (at tertiary professional schools) can be modified/replaced for the time strictly necessary for adaptation by another suitable education content according to the needs of the student. From the school year 2024/2025 this option will only be available to those with temporary protection for less than 12 months.
  • The school has the opportunity to employ an educator who has the knowledge of the Ukrainian language at the level of a native speaker and the knowledge of the Czech language at the level necessary for the performance of the work, who works in a classroom together with a teacher with full knowledge of Czech. This measure is intended mainly for heterogeneous classes. If certain conditions are met, schools can receive funding from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for the salaries of these "Ukrainian teacher's assistants". From the school year 2024/2025 the possibility of an exemption from the requirement of knowledge of the Czech language for teachers will be abolished.

The funding of the education of the Ukrainian pupils and support provided on the basis of the school legislation should be covered by the common funding of schools from the state budget. In addition, various grants for particular support activities are being prepared, e.g. support of Ukrainian assistants. Schools can also draw funds from the National Recovery Plan and currently also from the Johannes Amos Comenius Programme. For current calls see chapters 14.1 a 14.2.

Other educational and supporting projects are carried out outside the framework of the Education Act. Various organisations (e.g. municipalities, regions, family centres, companies as well as schools and school facilities) run so-called adaptation groups, which aim to support Ukrainian children in adaptation and socialisation into the Czech environment, encourage the development of their Czech language skills, prepare them for the enrolment into Czech schools, and enhance children’s psychological well-being and mental health. For current calls see chapter 14.2.

Education of Ukrainian students under the Higher Education Act

According to the Act no. 67/2022, applicants/students with temporary protection are subject to the following exemptions: Higher education institution or faculty may lay down conditions for admission to studies of these persons which differ from those for other applicants. When proving previous education, the relevant document can be replaced with a solemn declaration. Applicants are also exempt from nostrification fees. However, this is only valid until 31 August 2024. After this date, the exemption only applies to students with temporary protection for less than 12 months. These persons but also other citizens of Ukraine may be exempt from the fee for the admission procedure, or any fees associated with the study.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports supports the study of Ukrainian students at Czech higher education institutions in line with the Rules for allocating contributions and subventions to the public higher education institutions by announcing Podnět k předkládání žádostí v rámci Fondu vzdělávací politiky na podporu studia ukrajinských studentů. It is a financial support for Ukrainian students who study at Czech public higher education institutions. The support is intended both for students newly admitted to the entire study programme and for students coming for short-term study stays.

The offer of assistance directly from Czech higher education institutions in the form of various assistance activities, scholarships and job offers to Ukrainian students, academics, scientists and their families is available at studyin.cz/ukraine administered by the Study in Czechia initiative which operates within the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research (DZS). The website also refers to the Science for Ukraine, which provides opportunities for students and researchers at the institutional, the national and the international level.

The Czech Academy of Sciences will also support researchers and doctoral students within the Researchers at Risk Fellowship programme. In the future, the programme should be extended to scientists from other countries who are endangered by war or persecution. Further information for Ukrainian citizens can be found at the Academy’s website pomoc.ukrajine.

Specific support measures – members of national minorities

Members of national minorities have the right to be educated in minority languages. Education in minority languages is provided in the form of classes or schools teaching in the relevant languages, or bilingually in some subjects.

Classes and schools teaching in national minority languages

A municipality, a region, or the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports ensures the education for members of national minorities in the language of the relevant minority at nursery schools (mateřské školy), basic schools (základní školy), and upper secondary schools (střední školy), specifically in the municipalities where a Board for National Minorities has been established. For the education to be available, a union of municipalities, or a municipality and a region may mutually agree on the manner of its organisation, including funding.

Classes in the language of the national minority can be set up if a certain number of pupils belonging to a particular national minority are assigned to education: at a nursery school 8, at a basic school 10, and at an upper secondary school 12. A certain number of pupils per class (12 pupils at a nursery school or a basic school, 15 pupils per class at an upper secondary school) are a prerequisite for establishment of schools for such pupils.

In classes or schools where the language of the national minority is a teaching language, one of the mandatory tests of the profile part of a Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška) is always that of the language of the relevant minority.

At schools with instruction in the language of the relevant national minority, school reports, VET certificates (výuční list), and diplomas on graduate examination (absolutorium) are issued bilingually, in both Czech and the language of the national minority.

If the conditions for establishing such classes/schools are not met, the school head may with the consent of the organising body specify subjects or parts thereof in the school education programme which may be taught bilingually, in both the Czech language and the language of the national minority.

Despite the fact that in some municipalities there are Boards for other national minorities (Slovak and German), currently it is only the Polish national minority, which is mostly localised in Silesia, which exercises the right to set up such a school/class. In the school year 2023/24 there were 24 nursery schools (854 children), 20 basic schools (with 2062 pupils) and 1 (general) upper secondary school (with 312 pupils) providing tuition in Polish. In addition, one upper secondary school offers education in Polish language in groups within the field of business academy. In order to meet requirements of schools with Polish tuition, the Pedagogical Centre for Polish Minority Schools in Český Těšín has been established.

 

Teaching some subjects in foreign languages

The Ministry of Education may allow teaching some subjects in foreign languages, at basic schools as well as at upper secondary schools.

Projects to support national minorities and minority languages

Every year the Ministry of Education announces the call for applications for subsidies to Support the Educational Activities of National Minorities.

Every year the Government Council for National Minorities announces the grant programme Support for Implementation of the European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages. It is focused on educational activities at all levels beyond standard education, which are directed to the teaching of or in minority languages.

Specific support for Roma pupils

School heads may introduce an optional or voluntary subject Roma language, history and culture for Roma children (or for other interested pupils). According to the Report on the Situation of the Roma Minority in the Czech Republic for 2020, the Roma language only appears in a few schools as part of the teaching of thematically related subjects. The expansion of the teaching of the Romani language is generally hindered by the low interest of parents and the lack of teachers of the Romani language.

The Ministry of Education has financed translations of documents of the European Council to support education in Romani language. The curriculum framework for Romany language, which was translated into Czech and two Roma languages, includes elements of the curriculum and reference levels supplemented by two language portfolios (for primary and lower secondary levels) and a manual for teachers.

To balance out social disadvantages, measures are applied to improve the school results of Roma pupils and to increase the number of Roma graduates from upper secondary schools and higher education institutions. They are educational and organisational measures, the financial support for socially disadvantaged pupils of upper secondary schools and the targeted scholarships.

The integration of Roma minority is supported by various grant programmes

The Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs announces annually three programmes:

The Ministry of Education announces annually two programmes: