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Czech schools have difficulty teaching foreign children

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Prague, Sept 8 (CTK) – Czech schools find it difficult to deal with students who do not speak Czech, daily Pravo writes Tuesday and adds that the children come most often from the Balkan countries, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Vietnam.

The Education Ministry registered 1559 children from EU countries, 6256 from other European nations and 4887 from the rest of the world in elementary schools in 2014, Pravo writes.

It adds that the numbers will be growing as migrants will be accepted in the country.

“We do not have any system of language preparation in the form of an intensive two-month out-of-school course, while head teachers are obliged by law to ensure some kind of language preparation,” Lukas Radostny, from META NGO focusing on the development of foreigners, told Pravo.

“If they have a student who does not know Czech, they cannot tell anyone I quickly need Czech language courses, but they must wait for a subsidy, file an application. Development projects are launched once a year, it is inflexible and unfortunate for schools,” Radostny said.

He said it would be good if schools could ask for an assistant teacher, but it is too late for the child before the bureaucratic procedure accompanying the application is settled.

The regional office that can provide money for the assistant’s pay on the recommendation of a consultancy centre may send not a crown, which happens commonly.

Radostny said head teachers sometimes decide to pay the assistant from the money destined for teachers’ bonuses, which is not always well accepted, however.

Another problem is that the teachers are not prepared for cooperation with the assistant because most of them still consider their own role in the class as paramount authority.

Besides, there are not many assistants capable of helping particularly these children, Pravo writes.

However, there exist two-semester courses for teaching Czech as the second language and META, too, organises a few accredited courses, including retraining courses for assistants annually, Pravo writes.

But on the whole, assistance to the foreign children is still based on the resolve of school employees first of all.

“It often happens that teachers themselves do the teaching after the regular lessons for free. But this should not be based on the teachers’ voluntary work,” Radostny said.

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