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Právo: Schools have no problems finding teaching assistants

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Prague, June 6 (CTK) – Czechs show interest in the responsible, but badly paid position of a teaching assistant, whom schools need particularly now that pressure for the inclusion of handicapped children in regular schools has increased, daily Pravo writes yesterday.
The new inclusion rules, which will create better conditions for the education of children with handicaps and give more money to schools for the employment of assistants to these students will take effect in September.
Pravo writes that the post of teaching assistants is a welcome opportunity for mothers after a long parental leave and retired teachers. They only need a certificate that they passed the secondary school leaving examination and attended a complementary qualification course.
The assistant’s pay depends on how arduous the work with individual children is. Now, it usually ranges between 11,000 to 15,000 crowns gross per month for a full-time job, which the assistants usually do not have, Pravo writes.
The average pay in the country amounted to 26,480 crowns in the first quarter of the year.
According to the new inclusion rules, the assistants should be paid up to 20,000 crowns gross per month. This will resolve the situation where head teachers have to relocate a part of the money destined for bonuses for teachers to the pay of the assistants, or parents have to contribute to it, Pravo writes.
It writes that the position of a teaching assistant is rather uncertain because the best assistants work for its end, aiming at the handicapped children doing without their aid.
However, head teachers do not complain of a lack of applicants for the job, Pravo writes.
It cites the example of a north Moravian school, whose head teacher said no assistant has as yet left the job, which is a problem of many schools. It can even happen that several assistants gradually help one child during its attendance of the elementary school.
“The teaching assistant is the most dynamically developing branch now,” Jan Zajic, director of the Nova skola (New School) NGO which operates a website for the assistants, told Pravo.
Zajic said a majority of the people interested in the position of a teaching assistant are aged around 40 years and do not depend on high incomes.
In addition to the mothers after a long maternity leave, who cannot return to their former employer, and teachers-pensioners, the applicants are also pedagogy students who work on a voluntary basis.
($1=24.221 crowns)

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