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Ministry of Education To Support Schools With Socially Disadvantaged Children

Research indicates that the number of pupils failing at school is quite high in many places across the Czech Republic. Photo Credit: Freepik

Prague, Aug 19 (CTK) – Around 400 selected schools in the Czech Republic with a high proportion of socially disadvantaged children will receive CZK 2 billion from EU subsidies in the coming years to improve the children’s education and reduce inequality, the Ministry of Education and National Pedagogical Institute told reporters today.

The money, released from the National Recovery Plan, will be allocated from September until the end of 2025.

Education Minister Vladimir Balas (STAN) said the current data suggests that inequality in the Czech education system is so serious that it could lead to social problems in the future, costing more than if solved preventively now.

A study by the PAQ Research organisation found that the number of pupils failing at school is quite high in many places across the Czech Republic, and not only in the most commonly mentioned Karlovy Vary (west Bohemia) and Usti (north Bohemia) regions which have a high share of low-income families and unemployed. The study shows that indebtedness and the unfavourable housing situation of families have a negative impact on children’s results at school.

Primary schools with an above-average share of socially disadvantaged children are eligible to receive this support. The ministry has divided them into four categories, and they can seek subsidies from CZK 2,000 to CZK 16,000 per pupil to be spent on special personnel, further training of teaching staff and tutoring during summer holidays, for instance.

In the first wave, roughly 260 schools will get the financial support, and others will follow later, said Jan Musuta, regional school management section head.

Reducing inequality between schools is one of the goals of the government’s Education Strategy 2030+, he noted.

There are around 4,200 primary schools in the Czech Republic.

The Education Ministry has mainly supported schools with socially disadvantaged children and those who lagged behind in the past school year, allocating money for tutoring via remote instruction during the COVID-19 epidemic and lockdowns.

Schools could draw CZK 650 to CZK 5,850 per pupil with problems based on how intensive tutoring the child needed.

The ministry earmarked about CZK 400 million from the EU funds of the National Recovery Plan for this purpose from January until the end of the past school year. The money was designated for primary and secondary schools as well as conservatories run by municipalities and regions.

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