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Expat Exchange - Educational System in Czechia
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Prague, Czech Republic

Educational System in Czechia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Urban Address Prague
Urban Address Prague

Summary: The one tip that you hear expats living in Czechia repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Czechia. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Czechia is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Czechia.

The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is known for its high-quality education system, which is free at all levels, including university. The system is divided into several stages, each with its own focus and age group. This guide aims to provide expats with a comprehensive overview of the Czech educational system, including the main stages, enrollment procedures, language requirements, and options for bilingual, private, and online schooling. Whether you're considering public or private education, homeschooling, or online learning, this guide will help you navigate the Czech educational landscape.

What are the main stages of education in Czechia?

The Czech education system is divided into four main stages: pre-school, primary, secondary, and tertiary. Pre-school is optional and caters to children aged 3 to 6. Primary education, which is compulsory, is divided into two stages: the first stage for children aged 6 to 10 and the second stage for children aged 11 to 15. Secondary education, also compulsory, is for students aged 15 to 19 and includes general and vocational programs. Tertiary education includes universities and higher vocational schools.

Pre-school Education

Pre-school education in Czechia is optional and caters to children aged 3 to 6. It focuses on the child's overall development, including physical, intellectual, and social skills. Pre-schools, known as 'mate?ská škola', provide a nurturing environment where children learn through play and creative activities.

Primary Education

Primary education in Czechia is compulsory and divided into two stages. The first stage, for children aged 6 to 10, focuses on basic skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. The second stage, for children aged 11 to 15, introduces more complex subjects like foreign languages, science, and social studies. Schools at this level are known as 'základní škola'.

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Czechia, also compulsory, caters to students aged 15 to 19. It includes general education schools ('gymnázium'), which prepare students for university, and vocational schools ('st?ední odborná škola'), which provide practical training in various fields. Students can also opt for apprenticeship training with a focus on a specific trade.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education in Czechia includes universities and higher vocational schools. Universities offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, while higher vocational schools provide specialized training in fields like technology, business, and healthcare.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

To enroll a child in a Czech school, parents or guardians must provide the child's birth certificate, proof of residence, and a health insurance card. If the child has previously attended school in another country, a certificate of completed education is also required. The enrollment process typically starts in April for the following school year.

Can children still learning Czech enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Czech can enroll in public schools. These schools often provide Czech language courses for non-native speakers. However, it's important to note that the medium of instruction in public schools is Czech, so children may need additional language support.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Yes, there are public bilingual schools in Czechia. These schools offer instruction in Czech and another language, typically English or German. Admission requirements vary, but generally, students must pass an entrance exam in the foreign language.

What types of private schools are common in Czechia?

Private schools in Czechia include international schools, bilingual schools, and religious schools. International schools follow international curriculums like the International Baccalaureate, while bilingual schools offer instruction in Czech and another language. Religious schools, often Catholic, provide education based on religious principles.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Many expats in Czechia choose to send their children to international or bilingual private schools, as these schools offer instruction in English or other foreign languages. However, some expats prefer public schools for their high academic standards and immersion in Czech culture and language.

How expensive are Private schools in Czechia?

Private school fees in Czechia vary widely, depending on the school and the level of education. On average, annual fees range from CZK 70,000 to CZK 300,000. International schools tend to be more expensive, with fees reaching up to CZK 600,000 per year.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Czechia?

Yes, homeschooling is allowed in Czechia for children aged 6 to 15, under certain conditions. Parents or guardians must apply for permission from the local school authority and follow the national curriculum. They must also ensure that the child takes annual exams at a designated school.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Czechia?

Yes, online schooling is an option in Czechia, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it's important to note that online schooling should meet the standards of the Czech education system, and students are still required to take exams in person.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Urban Address Prague

Urban Address Prague
Urban Address Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

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