Monday, 21 May 2018

Council of Europe welcomes Czech preschool attendance duty

ČTK |
16 May 2018

Strasbourg, France, May 15 (CTK) - The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) appreciated the introduction of at least one year of obligatory and free preschool attendance in the Czech Republic in its assessment report released on Tuesday.

The ECRI, which is a body of the Council of Europe, said the Czechs met all its recommendations from 2015.

Under a Czech law approved in January 2017, all five-year-old children have the right and duty to attend kindergarten for free before entering school.

The ECRI report says the step aims to engage socially disadvantaged children in preschool education to make them more ready for entering the first grade of elementary school.

The ECRI notes that children aged four, three and finally two will be gradually entitled to go to kindergarten according to the Czech education law.

However, Czech parliament is currently discussing a draft amendment to the law that wants to cancel the right for the two-year olds. Unless this amendment is passed, children at the age of two will be allowed to go to kindergarten as of 2020.

The ECRI calls on Czech authorities to monitor the impact of the introduction of the compulsory preschool attendance and check whether it helps decrease the differences between Romany and non-Romany children and whether Romany children have problems after the start of their school attendance.

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