Planned cuts to education have angered many school principals. According to them, the biggest problem is that the ministry will pay schools for fewer teaching hours, and thus, for example, the half-hours of foreign languages will decrease. This can then be signed at the level of education.
Limited electives, canceled second foreign language or laboratory exercises. Cuts in education could cause all of this. “The school, in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Education and the Czech School Inspectorate, started tandem teaching, for which there would be no money,” said Jan Horkel, director of ZŠ Pod Zvahovem in Prague.
“It mainly concerns languages, but also things like mathematics, informatics and the like. Tandem teaching allows teachers to devote themselves both to pupils who need special needs and to everyone else,” explained the president of the Association of Elementary School Principals, Luboš Hare.
“The upcoming changes force us to not divide our classes into different groups, as we were used to and as we had set our quality. We have been preparing for two years that we want to teach project-based, research-oriented teaching and that we want to divide subjects to smaller groups. This reduction forces us to go back to the beginning,” complained Adam Šimůnek, director of Kindergarten and Primary School Brantice.
Reducing the number of hours that schools can teach could be especially critical for small-class schools. “Large schools divide English lessons between several groups, for example according to their level or according to the composition of pupils. Even so, they still have free, unused lessons. This does not really happen in small-class schools,” added Šimůnek.
The fate of some small schools will be in the hands of the municipality. “What will happen is that investment in the school as a building, in equipment and in the possibility of leisure activities will stop, because the municipalities will have to rehabilitate what the state is saving now. In fact, the municipalities will have to subsidize the education as such,” warned Šimůnek.
Another problem is the two percent reduction in the amount of money for the salaries of non-pedagogical workers, i.e. for example cooks, janitors or IT workers. “The question will be whether we can keep the employees we need for those minimum table salaries,” fears Zajíc. Some schools could also lose teaching assistants or school psychologists.
It was these cuts that led to the strike announced by the school staff unions. The strike is planned for November 27 and some schools will close for the day. But not all parents agree with this.
“It will have an impact on us as parents, because if the teachers don’t teach, the children will have to be at home. As a result, we will also have to take time off,” complained one of the parents who was asked by TV Nova reporters.
But he also sees problems elsewhere. According to some, it is only a gesture that will not improve the financial situation of schools. “This strike will have no consequences. In this republic, a strike will mean nothing to anyone,” thinks another interviewed parent.