The management of Prague grammar schools, which faced a significant onslaught in the admission process last year, hope that the problem with digital applications to secondary schools will be resolved as soon as possible. They are worried that most parents will not opt for the old paper form of application, with which schools have much more work to do.
It is also not clear whether the dates should be moved. “I think the shift is not necessary yet if the digital system can be operational by the weekend at the latest. Parents have 20 days to submit an application, and I don’t think they wanted to use the first day for that,” said Renata Schejbalová, director of Gymnázia Nad Štolou in Prague 7, who heads the Association of Gymnasium Directors of the Czech Republic.
“We are also connected with other schools, and no one is certainly happy about that. At the very least, it does not inspire credibility, even towards the parents, to whom we appealed to try to use the possibility of submitting applications electronically,” Antonín Sekyrka, vice-chairman of the Association of South Bohemian Grammar Schools and director of Gymnázia Česká in České Budějovice, explained to Novinkám.
According to him, there may also be a problem with security. “As far as I know, they can’t upload attachments to the system. In addition, there is a huge amount of sensitive data and the system must be secure. I think it will take some time to put it into operation,” reflected Sekyrka on Thursday morning.
It’s a shame
According to Daniel Petříček, director of the Pilsen church gymnasium, it is a great pity that the system did not work on the first day. “A lot of parents may not trust this and resort to a paper application. So the effect will be completely opposite to what the ministry wanted,” he estimated.
In recent years, the gymnasium received 260 to 280 applications, with most parents sending them shortly before the deadline. “I reckon it will be the same this time. For now, it is calm,” outlined Petříček.
“It must be stressful for the parents, but in this case I think we shouldn’t blame the ministry and Cermat because they had very little time for this. I expect that the new system, thanks to electronic applications, will save us a lot of administrative work and time and will reduce the probability of errors,” said Václav Ulvr, director of the FX Šalda Liberec High School, who praised the intuitiveness of the system during testing.
The House approved the amendment to the education law in October, the Senate in November, and the president signed it on December 15.
The high school application system has failed
“No one has said yet when they will launch it. We’ll wait until lunch and then we’ll ask,” Miloš Chlumský, director of Lepař’s high school in Jičín, told Novinkám, who was surprised by the system’s non-functionality. “Given the way the Cermat staff presented it, we didn’t doubt it too much,” he added, adding that parents can still use paper applications, even though the electronic form is easier and cheaper for everyone.
Parents remain calm
“Over half of the parents of our 28 ninth-graders opted for the more modern online version,” said Zdeňka Pavlíčková, director of ZŠ Velký Beranov in Jihlavsk.
It is said that none of them have called yet due to starting problems. “The educational consultant warned the parents that there may be shortcomings, but they should definitely not be afraid that something would be lost,” the director Pavlíčková attributes the calmness to good communication. As she admitted, she herself welcomes electronic applications. “It’s a great way, you just have to catch the flies like with all new products,” he says.
Similarly, Martin Skořepa, director of ZŠ Komenského in Pelhřimov, perceives the dysfunctionality of the system. They didn’t get any calls there Thursday morning either due to the system not working. “It was to be expected,” stated the director of Skořep, apparently not surprised by the hitch of the news right at the start.
We expected it
“This is exactly what we expected, when something is sewn with a hot needle, it couldn’t have turned out any other way,” stated Amálie Holá, director of the Amálská Primary School in Kladno Libuše. “Some parents have already called us asking what to do. We have no choice but to tell them they have to wait. We don’t even know when it will actually launch. It is said that attachments could not be attached there, so the system administrators have to do it, this is not our responsibility,” added Holá.
“Yesterday, we already told the pupils that the system might fail, so that the parents wouldn’t complain, so they probably expected that,” said Dana Walterová, headmistress of the Pohůrecká Elementary School in České Budějovice, adding that instructional videos are published on the school’s website. how to fill out applications.
PHOTO: The citizen on her cell phone is here
As stated by the director of the Ostrava High School Hrabůvka Šárka Staníčková, the problems were somewhat anticipated. “Already on the open day, we told parents and applicants that the system might not be fully functional from day one. And that’s based on past experience, for example with reservations for vaccinations against covid,” said Stančíková, adding that the fears were fulfilled. “I think it was rushed and insufficiently prepared,” Staníčková said. According to her, the system was probably not sufficiently tested for such a large rush of interested parties at one moment. Despite the problems that have arisen, he thinks that the electronic application system is an excellent thing.
There is enough time
The director of the Secondary School of Trade, Crafts and Services, which has two centers in Ústí nad Labem, Pavel Caitaml, has already received phone calls from parents who wanted advice on how to deal with the situation. “We asked them to be patient with the fact that we are in the same situation as they are when it comes to information,” the director told Novinkám.
According to him, some parents came with a paper application in the morning. However, the director does not think that not starting the system would increase parents’ distrust in its functionality. “I’m not worried about that. It is in its infancy, there is still plenty of time to submit an application electronically. But if they tell me they don’t trust the system, I tell them to bring the paper form,” Caitaml recalled.
Children from excluded locations or poorer circumstances also come to the center in the Trmice district of Ústí. That is why the school has introduced office hours when legal representatives can appear in person so that the staff can help them with the application in digital form. “I expect there will be a lot of interest in the service from Monday,” the director noted, with the belief that the system will be up and running as soon as possible.
We are waiting, sounds from the schools
Not even the high schools themselves, where the children apply, can do much. “The system is inaccessible, we can’t get there either,” Gymnázia director Dr. Josef Pekař in Mladá Boleslav Petr Dostál. “Now we don’t even need to enter the system. We entered the acceptance criteria there by January 31st and now we don’t even have to go there. Our moment will come again only after February 20, when the submission of applications closes,” added Director Dostál.
“We’re not solving it in any way at the moment, we just can’t get into the system and that’s all,” confirmed Pavel Žemlička, director of the Secondary Technical School in Ostrov in Karlovy Vary. “So we don’t have any pressure from the public,” he added, adding that parents are not contacting the school yet.
Another of the directors expressed the same opinion. “None of the parents come to us with questions about what to do when the system doesn’t work,” said Jiří Burian, director of the Basic Language School in Karlovy Vary. “I think they have information that it’s temporary, so nobody panics,” he added.
The system launch was delayed due to problems uploading some attachments. The error should be fixed by now, but the system needs to be tested again.