Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teaching and learning in vocational upper secondary education


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

6.5Teaching and learning in vocational upper secondary education

Last update: 2 April 2024

Curriculum, subjects, number of hours

In accordance with the General Law on Education, curricula are composed of general and special part.

The general part includes:

1. title of the subject;
2. title of the level of education;
3. teaching plan (subjects and modules and their presence, student load and number of credit points for certain subjects and modules and total number of periods for all forms of teaching);
4. goals of the curriculum;
5. conditions for enrolment, i.e. inclusion in the curriculum;
6. duration of education (including credit valuation);
7. compulsory methods of testing and assessment of students;
8. conditions for progression and completion of education;
9. level of education, i.e. professional qualification being acquired;
10. conditions for the completion of certain parts of the curriculum, i.e. modules.

The special part includes:

1. syllabuses, i.e. catalogues of knowledge for the subject (with subject objectives, contents and standards of knowledge and learning outcomes, division of classes into groups, teaching resources, general list of literature, financial conditions for performing teaching, connections between subjects);
2. examination catalogues;
3. manner of adjusting the syllabuses for students with special educational needs;
4. manner of adjusting the syllabuses for adult education;
5. manner of implementing the curriculum (for vocational education, special part includes the scope and content of employer-based practical education);
6. other issues significant for the implementation of the curriculum.

Publicly valid curricula are adopted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Innovation following the proposal of the National Council for Education. The general part of publicly valid curricula is determined by the Ministry, on the proposal of the National Council.

In accordance with the Law on Vocational Education a curriculum is based on the standard of qualification that integrates several occupational standards. Occupational standards can be of varying levels of difficulty. Curricula are valued by credit points. Criteria for the evaluation of curricula are issued by the National Council for Education. Curricula include subjects and modules. A module, or modules based on occupational standards, allow for the acquisition of a professional qualification, in accordance with the law. By completing a module, or by completing a module and additional or equivalency examination in accordance with the curriculum and taking the exam at the end of the education, the student can obtain a qualification of the level of education.

The teaching plan of vocational education curriculum contains a compulsory and elective part. The compulsory part contains basic subjects or modules that are mandatory for all students of a particular curriculum. The elective part includes the subjects or modules that a student chooses according to his/her preferences. The elective part may be in the function of acquiring a professional qualification or expanding general and professional knowledge.

The teaching plans within the Methodology for Developing the Curriculum have been adopted by the National Council for Education in December 2016. In accordance with this document, teaching plans are prepared for individual curricula, and contain specific titles of subjects and modules.

A teaching plan contains the total annual teaching load, the annual number of periods for each module/subject, as well as the annual number of periods according to the forms of instruction. The school itself distributes the weekly number of periods in a year. The recommended weekly number of periods is obtained by dividing the total number of periods of one module with the number of working weeks during a school year.

When making curricula, the number of periods suggested in the table may vary according to years of education, and the total amount remains the same.

Practical instruction is school-based and employer-based.


Vocational education curricula which are not modularized can be downloaded here. On the website of the Centre for Vocational Education can be found modularized educational programs, prepared in accordance with the current Methodology for Developing the Curriculum.

Teaching Methods and Teaching Materials

Educational work in vocational schools, in accordance with the Law on Vocational Education, includes:

1. theoretical instruction;
2. exercises;
3. practical education (practical instruction);
4. supplementary and additional teaching;
5. monitoring the achievement, testing and assessing students’ knowledge;
6. excursions;
7. vocational (apprenticeship) training;
8. extracurricular activities;
9. other forms prescribed by the curriculum.

Theoretical instruction in general and vocational theoretical subjects and modules is carried out in classes made up from the students of the same grade. If the syllabuses and learning outcomes are the same, teaching can be conducted for students of different grades at the same time. As a rule, vocational (apprenticeship) training is carried out upon completion of the school year for students who have completed school-based practical education.

Teachers are provided with professional autonomy in organising classes, applying teaching methods, selecting forms of work with students, as well as in selecting tasks they set before their students within the defined curriculum.

The General Law on Education prescribes that an institution that carries out publicly valid educational programs should use the textbooks and teaching materials which have been approved by the National Council for Education. Private institutions are obliged to use textbooks approved by the National Council for Education only for compulsory subjects defined by the educational program, i.e. by law. Exceptionally, in case there are no textbooks approved in accordance with law, the institution may use the textbooks envisaged by the programme. The preparation of textbooks is regulated by the Law on Publishing and the Rulebook on procedure for obtaining, evaluating, approving and preparing textbooks and teaching materials. The preparation of a textbook manuscript includes: collecting manuscripts, providing expert review on it, selecting a manuscript and proposing that it be approved for publication and use. There are two methods in which a manuscript can be collected: through call for proposals and by direct selection of the author. Priority is given to the call for proposals as a method that encourages potential authors to work and places them in equal position, which is regulated by the rulebooks on the selection of textbook manuscripts and textbook literature.

Each textbook manuscript requires an expert review. The review is provided by a review panel made up of five members, namely two scientific workers, school counsellor, psychologist and the subject teacher, in case of textbooks for primary school, i.e. two scientific workers and two subject teachers in case of approving textbooks for general gymnasium. Members of the review panel are selected from the List of Reviewers, established by the National Council for Education.