The number of children is increasing, but the number of schools is increasing significantly and slowly. Many cities cannot accept all applicants and some places hold lotteries for admission. Prague and its surroundings are mainly troubled. Newly elected City Hall leaders should increase school capacity. Aktuálně.cz presents Part 5 of our election coverage.

Pod Zvahovem Primary School in Hlubocepi, Prague, has 325 students in the new school year and the class cannot accommodate any more. They even had to draw lots to decide which applicants would be admitted to the first class. I am obliged to give you the right. It also takes into account whether the child has siblings at school, so parents don’t have to drive siblings to her two different locations. However, if it still exceeds the capacity, it will be a lottery.

“For enrollment, we collected only watershed children. We selected five of the unattached children,” says school principal Jan Horkel. did not. “We’re still recalculating how the kids will fit here,” he adds. The school is awaiting reconstruction to increase the number of locations, but it has been delayed.

The situation is also complicated this year by war refugee children from Ukraine. They mostly headed for Prague and other Czech cities after the Russian invasion of the Czech Republic in February. In September, 60,000 students were enrolled, and only those who belonged to Zvakhov were accepted.

Experts contacted agree that the small number of elementary schools represents a problem that must be resolved by its founders, the local governments. waiting. People are going to vote for him on September 23rd and 24th.

At first glance, it may appear that everything is going well. There are 1.3 million vacancies and 982,000 students, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Education in March this year. However, children do not live in free places, and there are big differences depending on the area.

The biggest problem is Prague, with a shortage of 3,000 locations, according to research firm PAQ Research. This is followed by a ring around the capital, Brno, Pilsen and its environs. In satellite areas around big cities, children often cannot go to school. The area is home to more and more homes with disconnected infrastructure. On the other hand, the peripheries of the country do not have to deal with depopulation.

Hlubochep has drawn lots for places for children who didn’t get it, and many schools have people who live nearby waiting for them as well. “Somewhere it is very important,” asserts Miroslav Hřebecký, his director of programs at the education company EDUin. Those who cannot reach him will have to travel more than 20 kilometers.

Excessive pressure is also created by families claiming permanent residency in their school of choice. For example, if you want your child to be educated at work, or if you don’t think the school is of good quality. So some fall freshmen enroll in more than the class capacity.

instead of soil class

Schools in Prague 6 have long been understaffed, but City Hall is finding solutions in building renovations and extensions. In September, the new attic spaces for the two schools opened. “Specialty classrooms, a library, a study room and offices have been created here and the capacity of both schools has increased by 240,” explains Jizzy Hannich, spokesperson for the city district, and the construction of the new primary school. is about to begin.

With more than 600 Ukrainian children attending school since September, Prague 3 will soon need new capacities. A place will be created by the reopening of schools in Haverichkovar Naměsti or in the attic of Jarof Primary School. Also open the second level. But even extensions are not enough here.

This building does not allow as many people as needed due to the large number of children. This school relies on the fact that some children leave her 5th grade to go to a multi-year gymnasium, while some enter her 2nd floor in another school in Prague 3. is guaranteed.

Elsewhere, with the arrival of Ukrainian children, the capacity has been increased to the maximum, so that 34 children are in one class at the same time. This is the situation people remember from the good times in the mid-1970s. However, in conditions in then-communist Czechoslovakia, the state intervened and quickly built new schools.

Today, many municipalities lack funds for more expensive reconstructions and often cannot extend for other reasons. For example, it is located in the center of Prague due to the fact that the building is located in the Heritage Zone and City Heritage Reserve. “Most of the schools are in historic buildings,” says Prague 2 spokeswoman Andrea Zlova.

How to plan your expenses well

Most of Prague’s candidate political parties have promised to invest in schools. STAN representatives, for example, want to audit school buildings to see if the city can subsidize private school places when public schools are running out of places. Meanwhile, the ANO movement calls for Prague’s schools to be co-funded from the Central Bohemian region, where students frequently commute to the capital.

300,000 more people live in Prague than in the middle of the last century. However, the number of school locations is increasing more slowly. Satellites are being created across city boundaries where new people are moving. The same is true for other large cities in the country. “Many new municipalities must realize that they will have to think about setting up schools when the construction of larger residential areas begins,” warns STAN Education Minister Vladimir Barash. increase.

EDUin’s Hřebecký reminds us that municipalities that complete demographic surveys and plan ahead have an advantage. “Construction of new school buildings is very expensive and hats off to the municipality that was able to allocate it in time,” he points out. He cites Pardubice, Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, or Tabor as examples.

Prague 12 is also working on a demographic survey and currently has 6,641 places in schools, which is enough, according to education councilor Petr Prchal. However, in the near future, due to the construction of condominiums, many new students will appear. As such, the city hall is planning to build a new school in Komojani to accommodate her 800 students.

Milan Vacha of STAN, education councilor for Central Bohemia and mayor of Psar in the West District of Prague, points out that local governments often do not have enough money for construction. Therefore, he welcomes support from the state. But he said the mayor’s initiative is important. “They need to work on the project and the moment the state is faced with it, they can start construction,” he urges. recommended. That way, new places for benches are made where they really need to be.

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