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NGO acquaints expatriates’ kids with Czech language, culture

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Prague, Aug 3 (CTK) – Czech schools without borders (CSBH), a network of NGOs operating abroad, acquaint the children of Czech expatriates with the Czech language, life and culture in order to keep them in contact with their homeland, CSBH chairwoman Lucie Slavikova-Boucher said yesterday.
The CSBH offers its services to children aged from 18 months until the end of their compulsory school attendance, Slavikova-Boucher said at a conference in the Czech Senate, the upper house of parliament.
The CSBH branches may gain subsidies from the Czech state if they successfully apply for them at the Foreign and Education Ministries, she said.
The parents pay tuition fees for the CSBH services, and the CSBH schools also seek support from sponsors, she added.
Eight Czech schools without borders operate in Europe. They were attended by 760 children in the past school year.
There are about 40 such schools all over the world, which taught about 2000 children Czech language and life.
From the age of six, the Czech schools without borders offer a supplementary education in addition to their common education in the country they live in.
“The children attend our schools at weekends, and somewhere in evenings,” Slavikova-Boucher told CTK.
Slavikova-Boucher heads the Czech school in Paris, where she teaches five lessons on Saturdays.
The state subsidies make up only 15 percent of the school’s budget. “Many things are made on the voluntary basis, in order to enable the school’s further operation,” she said.
A big problem is the recruitment of teachers from among Czech expatriates.
“We try to pay the teachers, who, nevertheless…still cannot earn their living this way. All of them parallelly have a second job, which exhausts them in a relatively short period of time,” Slavikova-Boucher said.
Now the CSBH wants to try to attract its students to continue attending the school even during their secondary school studies, so that their knowledge level enables them to study at Czech universities, if they wanted to, she said.
The CSBH is not the only organisation to provide such services to children from Czech or mixed families abroad.
Another one is the Centre for International Cooperation, which falls under the Education Ministry and sends teachers of Czech to teach compatriots abroad. They focus on students of all age categories, from pre-school kids to seniors.
At present, 13 such teachers operate in Europe and elsewhere in the world. In September, a fourteenth one is to leave for Zhytomyr, Ukraine.

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