Prague in Depth: Education - Educators

Get to know the Czech education system

The most common of the many complaints that educators have are low salaries and the poor quality of some of their colleagues.

Obviously, these two problems are related. As in public-education systems elsewhere, teachers are under-funded, underpaid, overworked and overburdened.

Many teachers here are throwbacks to the old Communist era and have had to struggle to make the transition from instructing upon the strength and integrity of the old system to a more realistic approach to the modern world, its politics, history and direction.

There are no more propaganda machines to dictate the curriculum.

Perhaps the greatest victim of this change has been the instruction of the English language. After 1989, many Czech elementary-school teachers who once taught Russian as a compulsory second language were obliged to switch to English -- in most cases having to first learn the language themselves before they could begin to teach it. Because of this, many Czech students were compelled to find outside tutoring or live abroad in order to improve their English.

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