- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Czech Pediatricians Call for Streamlining Administrative Requirements for Schoolchildren
Pediatricians in the Czech Republic are advocating for changes to the administrative requirements placed on schoolchildren, asserting that many of these demands are excessive and lead to an unnecessary bureaucratic burden. Specifically, they argue that the requirement for food hygiene certificates is no longer necessary, as schools are no longer authorized to demand them. Instead, pediatricians propose that schools should only request proof of a child’s health when it is deemed necessary.
Alena Šebková, the head of the Czech Society of Pediatricians, noted that discussions have taken place with the Ministry of Health and Education, resulting in an agreement on distinguishing between essential and superfluous requirements. According to Šebková, certain demands should be eliminated, and a similar approach may be adopted for sports activities, although the specifics are still under discussion. Collaboration with the National Sports Agency will help determine when proof of health for sports is necessary and when it is not. Legislative changes will likely be required to implement these adjustments.
The effort to reduce administrative paperwork will extend to middle schools in the near future, although schools focusing on health or social care studies may still necessitate certain documentation.
Negotiations are anticipated between pediatricians for children and adolescents, the Ministry of Education, and other stakeholders to revise the health suitability requirements for secondary schools, with the potential for changes to be implemented by February.
To further streamline the process, schools are being encouraged to enhance parental awareness of the evolving requirements. The Ministry of Education has requested primary schools to inform students and their legal representatives through educational or career counselors about which fields of education do not require proof of health suitability. However, pediatrician Šebková has observed that this communication does not always occur, particularly regarding food hygiene certificates, which have not been obligatory since July.
While schools may request proof of health suitability, parents can provide a certificate issued less than two years ago, such as one obtained for a summer camp. This certificate could serve as proof of health suitability, and it is worth noting that a copy of the certificate may suffice in many instances. Additionally, for nature stays exceeding five days, schools can require proof of health suitability, but a new certificate should not be demanded if an existing one is still valid. When children have restrictions, a pediatrician can issue a single letter to cover multiple subjects or club activities, simplifying the process for parents and students alike.
Article by Prague Forum