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Report: Czech education expenditures fall below OECD average

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Prague/Paris, Sept 12 (CTK) – The expenditures per student in educational facilities in the Czech Republic are below the average of the OECD countries, possibly due to the Czech teachers’ considerably lower salaries, the organisation says in its annual report.

On the contrary, professional education and training are much more expanded in the Czech Republic than in the other OECD countries, the 500-page report adds.

However, the leaders of the Czech government coalition of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) decided on Monday on a 15-percent pay rise for teachers. PM Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said he expected his cabinet to approve this by the end of September.

The most popular university study fields in the OECD countries are humanities and social sciences, informatics, journalism and engineering, the report writes.

Czechs generally prefer sciences, technical and engineering fields as well as mathematics. Twenty-nine percent of academic titles were granted in these fields last year, which is above the OECD average, the report says.

Engineering fields are even more popular than sciences and information and communications technology (ICT) in the Czech Republic.

A similar trend is apparent in vocational training that three-quarters of secondary-school students in the Czech Republic select, which is the highest share among OECD countries, the report concludes.

Economist Daniel Munich, from CERGE-EI, a Prague-based academic institution specialising in post-graduate economic programmes, said there is a demand for capable people of all professions on the Czech labour market.

Munich said mostly industrial associations complain about the lacking workforce, but this is because industrial companies dominate Czech economy.

People educated in technical fields are not missing, but employers often deal with the fact that highly experienced employees with secondary education get retired and the university graduates who replace them have worse results due to their lack of experience, Munich said.

The OECD report writes that most students do not gain professional experience during their education in the Czech Republic. Only 6 percent of Czechs who studied at secondary and higher vocational schools had experience from companies in their field, while in Austria 33 percent had experience from practice within their education and in Switzerland even 59 percent.

The OECD is of the view that technical fields offer better prospects of future jobs.

The employment rate among the graduates with an ICT diploma from higher educational facilities amounts to 92 percent in the Czech Republic, while the OECD average is 88 percent.

Nevertheless, men still dominate in engineering fields, while most graduates from health and social care vocational schools (90 percent) are women, which is more than in other OECD countries.

The share of adults aged 30-44 years whose parents did not achieve university or higher professional education and who did not achieve tertiary education either amounts to 85 percent in the Czech Republic, compared with 69 percent on average in the OECD, the report says.

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