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Revolution in Czech School System: Grading and Admissions to be Changed

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Ninth-grade students are bracing for transformative shifts in the upcoming school year, marked by diverse changes. These changes encompass hygiene standards overhaul, admissions process digitization, and incorporation of prior report card grades into admissions. The Ministry of Education’s current leadership is steering towards a departure from conventional grading, recognizing its disparity-inducing nature due to school quality differences.

A prevailing thread across the impending alterations is the strain on school capacity and the push for modernizing admissions. The ministry and MEPs are expediting these changes to avert the previous spring’s chaos of long queues during applications. Additionally, an imminent demographic surge, overlooked for fifteen years, will impact the following school year more significantly.

These adjustments not only aim to enhance capacity but also intend to streamline the admissions process. This includes potentially eliminating the requirement to consider recent primary school report card grades. Though secondary schools must presently account for pupil results, the option to exclude these from entrance exams is being introduced, aligning with the ministry’s long-term strategy.

The envisioned transition away from grades isn’t confined to entrance exams; it extends to grading methodologies under new curricula. A prospective “pilot” initiative in lower primary schools might be initiated, addressing the issues of consistent progress monitoring and the potential demotivation caused by grades.

Although the Education Act permits substituting or combining grades with alternative assessments, grades dominate Czech primary education. The ministry’s plan, if sanctioned, will involve supporting teachers through this transition. While opposition exists, with a STEM survey indicating 53% dissent towards scrapping traditional grades for first grades, the trajectory of change is underway.


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