- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Czech Education Minister to Introduce Regulations to Control Growth of Teaching Positions
Starting in January next year, Czech Minister of Education Mikuláš Bek plans to amend regulations aimed at managing the proliferation of teaching positions in the education sector. The existing rules have led to a significant increase in the number of teaching positions over recent years. The proposed changes do not intend to reduce the overall number of educators but to establish a maximum limit. To achieve this, adjustments to school funding and the allocation of teaching hours are under consideration.
Minister Bek emphasized that the objective is not to diminish the number of teachers but to control their expansion. The Ministry of Education is currently preparing proposals for these adjustments, which will be discussed with school associations in the coming week.
The recent trend of a greater increase in teachers compared to students has prompted the ministry to take action. Bek believes that the annual creation of 7,000 new teaching positions is unnecessary and does not contribute to the quality of education, especially when compared to student-to-teacher ratios in other developed countries.
While the exact number of schools affected by potential reductions in teaching positions is yet to be determined, the changes will apply to all types of schools. However, the measures will not be uniformly implemented, as specific programs and school types will be considered. The ministry is committed to supporting schools that exceed the new limits during the transitional period.
To mitigate the potential impact of the new regulations on schools and the possible reduction of teaching hours, the ministry plans to allocate a portion of the additional four billion Czech koruna funding to compensate affected institutions. The maximum number of teaching hours financed by the state budget for schools and teachers in regional education will be adjusted through the proposed regulation changes. While the current method of school funding has been in place since 2020, adjustments to the law governing school financing may also be considered.
These developments in Czech education align with global trends, as several countries have been reducing student-to-teacher ratios. OECD data reveals that the number of students per teacher in the Czech Republic has decreased by 4.9% between 2015 and 2021, compared to an average decrease of 5.6% in OECD countries. This shift can be attributed to the rapid increase in the number of educators in the country. However, the student-to-teacher ratio in Czech secondary schools remains similar to neighboring countries, with an average of 13 students per teacher.
In addition to managing teacher numbers, the Ministry of Education aims to enhance the efficiency of Czech schools by encouraging consolidation. The formation of larger educational entities can optimize the use of resources, including teachers and teaching assistants. Currently, many small independent schools contribute to higher operational costs, which the proposed measures seek to address.
The Ministry of Education’s proposed budget for the next year allocates 269 billion Czech koruna for educational expenses, representing a substantial increase of 33.2 billion koruna compared to the previous budget. However, Minister Bek emphasized that the budget details are subject to change during the parliamentary process. The proposed regulatory changes underscore the government’s commitment to ensuring quality education while efficiently managing resources in the Czech Republic.
Article by Prague Forum