The number of children in primary schools exceeded one million for the first time in history
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Numbers on their own website published by the Ministry of Education (MŠMT) on Thursday. Its representatives have previously announced several times that they will publish the exact numbers by the end of November.

A total of 1,850,696 children and young people attend Czech kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and conservatories this school year. At the end of September, 50,285 children of Ukrainian refugees studied in them, which is 2.7 percent of the pupils. Schoolchildren with Ukrainian citizenship have become the largest group of foreigners among pupils in Czech schools. Most Ukrainians are in elementary school.

The data clearly showed that the number of refugee children and pupils from Ukraine in schools is slightly lower than originally expected

“From the reported data, it clearly emerged that as of September 30, 2022, the total number of children and pupil-refugees from Ukraine in schools was in contrast to the original expectations based on continuous monitoring, as well as the summary statistics of the Ministry of the Interior on the total number of these refugees in the relevant age cohorts on the territory of the Czech Republic, slightly lower,” the ministry said.

In connection with the war conflict in their homeland, 39,478 children, i.e. about 77.6 percent of all Ukrainian schoolchildren, are currently attending Czech elementary schools, according to the ministry’s data. According to him, 22,717 Ukrainian refugees study at the first level, while 16,761 children attend classes at the second level. The largest number of asylum seekers in schools are in Prague, the Karlovy Vary region and the Pilsen region.

At the end of September, 6,904 Ukrainian refugees attended kindergartens, which is 1.9 percent of all preschoolers. Ukrainian refugees and Ukrainian preschoolers with permanent residence in the Czech Republic made up 55 percent of foreigners in Czech kindergartens. A total of 10,718 Ukrainians attend kindergartens, an increase of 7,665 Ukrainian children year-on-year. The largest number of Ukrainian asylum seekers in kindergartens are in Prague and the Karlovy Vary region.

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Fewer asylum seekers go to secondary school

Fewest refugees from war-torn countries attend secondary schools in the Czech Republic. In its data collection for secondary schools, the Ministry of Education and Culture registered 3,457 Ukrainian asylum seekers out of a total of 7,062 Ukrainian high school students as of September 30. Most of them are studying matriculation subjects, there are 1,207 refugees in subjects without matriculation.

Most asylum seekers attend secondary schools and secondary vocational schools in the Pilsen and Karlovy Vary regions. Over 463,000 high school students attended secondary schools in the Czech Republic in September.

At the start of the school year on September 1, Education Minister Vladimír Balaš (STAN) stated that, according to the ministry’s estimate, 57,000 to 60,000 children from Ukraine entered schools in the Czech Republic. He said he expected a higher number of high school students. According to him, a number of children at the age of 17 did not apply to secondary schools in the Czech Republic because they want to finish their schooling in Ukraine.

According to the Ministry’s statistics, there are approximately 10,900 kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools in the Czech Republic. In the 2021/2022 school year, 360,490 preschoolers attended kindergartens, of which 12,103 children had citizenship other than Czech. In the last school year, 964,571 pupils attended primary schools, of which 23,359 were foreigners. There were a total of 446,245 high school students, of which 10,053 were foreigners.

Lack of seats

According to the available statistics of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the number of pupils in primary schools was the lowest in the 2010/2011 school year. At that time, 789,486 children sat in the pews.

Currently, some experts warn of a lack of places in secondary schools and gymnasiums in some locations. The problem was pointed out, for example, by analyst Daniel Hůle from the organization People in Need. This is because in the next school year, the most number of pupils in the last 29 years will go to secondary school. Children born in 2008 will apply for admissions. According to data from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ), about 119,000 children were born at that time.

The government will add half a billion to the construction of schools

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The lack of places in primary schools is currently causing problems, especially in the vicinity of Prague and Brno, Minister Balaš said earlier. The government therefore approved at the beginning of November that it would add half a billion to the construction of schools.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) said at the time that the amount of money for school construction would thus exceed 7.3 billion crowns.

The Ministry of Education has previously tendered two subsidy programs called Prstenec to support the development of the construction of primary schools. The first Ring I program is now being completed, the end of the second Ring II program is scheduled for 2028.

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