New school year sees introduction of reforms
The new school year is always a time of anticipation and excitement for children, their parents, and of course teachers, but this year is promising more than most: for the first time schools will be fully responsible for their own curricula and teaching. Through the reforms, the Education Ministry hopes to make Czech classrooms a far more dynamic environment, inspiring pupils to greater interaction as well as independence.
"The main goal of the reforms is to make our schools far more independent, more autonomous in the kind of teaching programmes and methodology they choose. Goals to be achieved have been laid out in a state-wide document, the education framework curriculum. That framework provides a kind of 'ceiling' to aim for. I think it is an historic moment. Some schools have already laid out their programmes and the reforms are already underway there today. Other schools may be behind, but it's not serious, they will follow."
"It's true that preparations for the new system - which required extra work from teachers - were not always ideal: teachers often weren't fully paid for the extra work. There were some bonuses at a number of 'pilot' schools where the system was prepared but not as much as teachers would have liked and not as much as I think they deserved. In the future, we would like to see the reforms continue and be completed through European projects and I would like to see more funds make their way to creative teachers."
"I think the majority of children weren't able to fall asleep last night in expectation. This is a day that never comes again. They leave behind the world of just games and go to school with their first school bags. They feel like pupils and act all important. I think most of them couldn't wait!"