Children face failure and disappointment. Secondary schools in Prague were also “attacked” by Central Bohemians
The arrival of the stronger grades “surprised” high school, so children often run into disappointment and have to choose the places that “remain”. Despite the lack of capacity to wait long in advance, there has not been enough to increase, thousands more children are heading for the recruitment process than before the pandemic. And Central Bohemia also adds to the pressure on schools, there are thousands of people outside Prague.
While in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, 11,000 children applied to high school in Prague, this year, according to Cermat, there are over 15,000. In addition to population growth itself, when strong vintages come into play, according to Prague Education Councilor Vít Šimral (Pirates), the lack of capacity in the Central Bohemian Region also plays a role. “Of the applications, 9.5 thousand were from Prague, the rest are other regions, especially Central Bohemia,” he told the daily Echo24.
Thousands of children are thus trying to “fit” into very tight Prague capacities. “As for the total number of places, we have 11,590 graduation courses, of which 1,680 are grammar schools, the rest are vocational schools. In addition to the 11,000 graduation courses, we still have 4,120 courses with an apprenticeship certificate, so a total of some 15,710 places, “added Šimral. This can often be disappointing for children and parents. If you are heading to a grammar school, for example, this year it will face a double overhang, as 3,900 applications were received for 1,680 places. And even in the case of the second rounds, there are multiple overhangs.
According to the head of the Association of Grammar School Directors, Renata Schejbalová, children who “do not have” to do so also apply to the grammar school, but they will not get a number of pupils who have met according to the conditions of admission. “There is always a greater interest in grammar schools in Prague. Last year, it opened four new classes, this year about six new classes, allowed some 170 extra seats, but it is probably not enough, “Schejbalová told the daily Echo24. According to her, the efforts began two years ago. “But the capacities are simply not there, because the grammar schools in Prague are already completely full, we do not have free classes that we could open,” Schejbalová added.
Councilor Šimral also acknowledges that capacity should have increased sooner and more. However, according to him, the problem is to get or keep pedagogy in Prague due to the valid conditions, but also to exhibit new premises due to the traditionally lasting processing of the building permit. “They have been increasing their grammar school capacities in the last two years, other fields more only where we have shown that they really have some space to handle it,” added Šimral.
However, according to him, the real situation at grammar schools will only become apparent with the second rounds of entrance exams. “It often happened that the reason was that students and parents choose a couple of well-known grammar schools, where the overhang is five times higher,” said Šimral, adding that in the second round, several less busy schools register multiple overhangs.
According to him, in the future it is important to focus on low capacity in the Central Bohemian Region. “There was no increase in capacity there, so now all Central Bohemians have moved to Prague. It will be important for us not only to increase our capacity, which is not only the highest space, but also the number of teachers we have, but it is a matter of building some high school capacity, preferably in the district of Prague-West, Prague-East, “added Šimral.
According to Cermat, a significant population growth can be observed across the country. While in 2019 about 64,000 children applied for four-year courses, this year it is already 79.5 thousand. According to a report by the National Pedagogical Institute, the growth trend began in 2017 due to stronger years, and even higher increases are expected in the coming years. The curve should break again after 2025.