Education in the Czech Republic is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15. The Programme for International Student Assessment ranks the Czech education system as the 15th best in the world.
The education system is free, although preschools are frequently paid for by parents. This is because child care is often included at younger ages, as well as parents wanting to provide an educational advantage. There has been considerable discussion about changing the university system so it would be paid for. Currently however, the only costs associated with higher education are textbooks, basic equipment, food, and housing. The state also pays health insurance for students up to 26 years of age.
The school year starts on the first weekday of September and ends on the last weekday of June. It is divided into two semesters with exams at the end of each period.
There is an issue in the school system among the ethnic Roma. It has been shown that their children attend school less regularly, and disproportionately attend special schools for mentally disabled or socially maladjusted individuals. The government is working to correct this problem.
The first stage of formal education occurs between grades 1-5. As the student advances, basic subjects stay the same, but become much more complex. Classes would usually consist of Czech language and literature, mathematics, English, science, history, and physical education. School usually takes place between 8:00- 13:30.
Grades 6-9 may be at the same school (especially in less populated areas) or be in a different school entirely. At this stage, students classes become much more difficult, and several new subjects are added. For example, science splits to become more refined into chemistry, biology, physics, etc. Students will also usually learn another language in addition to advancing their English skills. It is also at the stage students begin to separate into their final education destination, whether that is trade school or university.
The Municipal Library of Prague is a public universal library. It has approximately 650,000 items. Fiction and non-fiction for children, youth and adults, newspapers and magazines, maps, audio carriers (CDs, cassettes and LPs), music and multimedia CD-ROMs.
Central Library Address: Marianske nam. 1/98; Prague 1
Telephone: 222 113 555, 222 113 363