Exam grades reveal failures of Czech education

In the Czech Republic the grades of this year's school leavers are worse than ever before. In Czech and maths in particular, many failed the exam altogether. Commentators express concern for the state of the education system as a whole, noting that a negative trend has been noticeable for years.

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Aktuálně.cz (CZ) /

When bus drivers earn more than teachers

The poor performance of the school-leavers is a direct result of teachers being underpaid, Aktuálně.cz contends:

“The higher education entrance qualification exams are not just exams for those taking them, but also for the state and its education system. This system is failing; the results aren't getting any better. More than ten percent failed Czech, and in maths we met our Waterloo: more than 22 percent failed while 24.5 percent managed to muddle their way through to a D. ... There is a reason for these results: we pay our teachers particularly poorly in comparison to all other developed countries. A bus driver earns more than a teacher. From 2021 the maths exam is to be compulsory for everyone. That sounds like black humour in view of the current results.”

Mladá fronta dnes (CZ) /

Like back in the days of Franz Joseph of Austria

Success in education doesn't depend solely on raising teachers' pay, Mladá fronta dnes counters:

“While technology is advancing at breakneck speed, our country's education system is like an old lady with a walking stick. Worse still: this old lady is surrounded by bureaucrats and conservatives who are doing everything they can to prevent school education from becoming even a little more challenging. Here in the Czech Republic the forms of education are like those in the times of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Pupils are condemned to teacher-centred teaching. The levels of competence among teachers are mediocre, and what they teach is quickly forgotten. Change is only possible if school directors and teachers themselves want it to. Nothing else can achieve this. Not even 1,000 reforms or better pay for teachers.”