Accepting 34 pupils in a class in secondary schools could lead to a reduction in the quality of teaching. Such filling of classes can also be hindered by the spatial possibilities of school buildings. Therefore, schools do not have to increase class capacity even if their founder calls them to do so. This follows from statements given to ČTK by the president of the Association of Gymnasium Principals, Renata Schejbalová, and the president of the Union of School Associations of the Czech Republic – CZESHA, Jiří Zajíček, in response to the state’s intention to solve the lack of secondary school capacity by fully utilizing the maximum class capacity. Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) and Minister of Education Mikuláš Bek (STAN) presented the plan to increase capacity today in connection with the strong population year of study applicants.
In some regions this year, according to many education experts, there are problems with the capacity of places in popular fields. According to the prime minister and the minister, the full use of the maximum class capacity would help to solve the situation. According to the legislation, there can be no more than 30 pupils in a secondary school class, and the founder can allow an exception to increase by another four, provided that this does not harm the quality of education and the conditions of safety and health protection are met. According to Bek, some regions, such as Liberecký, have already ordered an increase in class capacity.
According to Schejbalová, schools do not have to increase class capacity, even though the founder, i.e. in the case of secondary schools, the region, invites them to do so. If one of the principals now decided to enroll 34 pupils in one class, he could, according to the chairperson of the association and the principal of the Prague Grammar School Nad Štólou, accept pupils who failed the first round of entrance exams and appealed against the decision not to accept. Zaječek added that it would also be possible to hold further rounds of entrance exams.
According to Schejbalová, teaching 34 students in a class would threaten the quality of teaching. In such a number, according to her, it is not possible to work with children individually or assign group work. According to Zajíček, the spatial possibilities of buildings can also be a problem for accepting a larger number of children. Some classrooms cannot accommodate more desks, difficulties could also arise with the amount of equipment needed, for example, for teaching computer science and languages.
It could also be a complication if one of the older pupils had to move to a fully filled lower class. “Such a child, who studies at school for two or three years and then has to interrupt his studies for health reasons, would not be able to be placed in a lower class and the pupil would have to leave school. There would probably not be many such cases, but they can occur,” says Zajíček .
At the same time, the representatives of school organizations agreed that due to the high number of applicants, it is necessary to accept higher numbers of future freshmen this year. According to them, school principals who have the conditions to do so are already doing it. Many are taking 32 children to a class, even though they used to take fewer children, they said.
They added that schools these days continue to accept applicants who were rejected in the first round of the admissions process and for whom they now have a vacancy because a more successful student has decided to join another school. According to them, the problems with the overpressure of those interested in secondary education are caused by the form of registration for studies and the form of the admission procedure for secondary school subjects with a high school diploma.
Source: Tyden.cz by www.tyden.cz.
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