September 1 marks the end of the summer holidays and back to school. This school year, however, the Education Ministry wants to see improvements, allotting 500 million crowns to get kids involved in team sports after class. Družiny, monitored classrooms where children spend time after school before picked up by parents, at some 170 schools are taking part, so that kids should have broader opportunities than just arts & crafts or playing in the schoolyard after lessons. Gym teachers involved in afterschool sports should also be remunerated for additional effort; they stand to make an extra 250 crowns per hour. Education Minister Kateřina Valachová made clear that all too often in the past such teachers’ contributions went unpaid.
“In such cases, we have negotiated funds for Phys. Ed. teachers who in the past devoted their own free time to kids, often without any financial reward.”
The new school year should also see additional changes. The head of the Czech Association of High School Principals, Jiří Kuhn explained some of the differences:
“The main focus is to see changes in the menu regarding unhealthy foods. But there could also be schools signing up to ensure that students can take certified language exams.”
Both changes will depend on the passing of new regulations. As of November 1, teachers should also see a pay rise of three percent, while Minister Valachová would like to change the existing system of wage tables in the education sector, rewarding teachers by focussing on more criteria than just years of experience. Not all agree with the proposed systemic changes, but one change which is likely to see support is for an estimated 3,000 teachers not to end up at the unemployment office during the summer months. Teachers without long-term contracts are left trying to find temporary jobs until the start of the new school year.