The Bright Side: Czech Republic Making Clear Progress In Education

Exceptional success in maths, science and reading, gender equality in school enrollment, the lowest rate of school drop-outs of OECD countries. The Czech education system has shown great progress in the last 20 years. Brno Daily brings you a summary of recent positive trends. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.

Czech Rep., Jan 25 (BD) – It’s easy to get carried away by the negativity in the media due to the current events in the world; the pandemic, military and political aggression, rising worldwide unemployment, crime, and other depressing narratives usually take central place in the headlines. But under the surface, trusted statistics from PISA, OECD, the UN, and the EU often tell a different story about how our world is making progress in science, education, and higher quality and equality of life. Taking this factual information into account is not “Pollyannaism”, but can help us find a bit of solace in otherwise dark times. This week, we bring you a summary of positive trends related to education in the Czech Republic in recent years, which are good news for our future generations. 

High Performance in PISA Index on Science, Maths, and Reading

The latest scores from PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), which compare educational attainment across different countries, show Czech students with a high overall marks, ranking similarly to well-known educational pioneers like Sweden, Netherlands and Belgium. The equality between girls’ and boys’ performance in science and maths is also promising, indicating that levels of access to education between the sexes are almost identical. With 497 points, Czech students score 8 points higher than the mean OECD average, coming ahead of both Slovakia and Austria (464 and 490 points respectively). The same applies to Czech students’ performance in reading, again scoring slightly higher than both neighboring countries and the OECD average. 

Source: PISA: Programme for International Student Assessment.

Lowest in OECD for Youth Unemployment and School Drop-Out Rates

The Czech Republic ranks first in the OECD for the share of the adult population (25-64 years) with at least an upper secondary education, with a figure of 92% (OECD average: 75%). OECD data from 2019 shows the Czech Republic with the lowest rate of NEETs (“Not in employment, education, or training”) of all OECD countries, with only 1.8% of 15-19 year-olds not working or enrolled in education, well below the average 6.4%. The same applies to Czech 20-24 year-olds, with a NEET rate of 8.9% (OECD average: 14.9%). The story behind these numbers is that only a very small part of the young generation in the Czech Republic are living without any higher education or employment, which is certainly good news for the future generation of the country. The OECD data signals youth aimlessness in Austria, which shows higher rates of NEETs than many other EU countries. 

Source: Education at a glance: Transition from school to work.

Rising International Popularity and Quality of Tertiary Education 

Data from the EU and the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports show that the number of students in higher education is 311,000, with 43,000 of them (13.8%) international students, according to 2019 data. One important factor behind the high rates of enrollment is that all levels of education are free of charge (though only courses taught in Czech). Most higher education programs in the Czech Republic are taught in Czech, but there are still many programs taught in English, French, German and other languages, which has increased the international popularity of Czech universities in recent years. According to the Czech National Agency for International Education, the Czech Republic’s education system is among the top 20 in the world, with relatively low cost-of-living for students as well. 

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