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Gov’t looks to provide equal access to education /21. 05. 2014/

The Czech Education Ministry wants to reduce inequality in children's access to education, Education Minister Marcel Chládek (Social Democrats, ČSSD) told journalists when unveiling the priorities of the Strategy of Education Policy for the next six years — until 2020 — today.

The ministry also wants to focus on improving the quality of instruction and teachers as well as responsible and efficient management of the educational system.

Inequality in the access to education of children from various social groups is a key problem of the Czech educational system that needs to be addressed, Chládek said. The system is unable to "close the scissors" opened by the social strata of society.

"Parents' purses have a stronger influence on children's education than the students' quality. If a child does not have rich parents, his or her access to education is worsened," he added.

Chládek said he would like to improve the situation by intruding pre-school teaching before the elementary school starts. It is to be conducted both at nursery schools and in the home environment.

The strategy also proposes the completion of teachers' career order and modernization of school equipment and system of marking. Chládek said he was not an advocate of children's united testing system that was performed in past years.He said schools themselves should make use of the ministerial database of tests and assess the children themselves.

Chládek said the ministry would like to have a central supervision of the educational system, now fragmented. "We want to establish the National Council for Education that is to be composed of experts, with an apolitical nature," he added.

Chládek said the government would debate the 50-page concept at the end of August and at the beginning of September.

Source: Praguepost.com, 19.05.2014. Full article can be found here.

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