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CR's modified version of graduation is final, the official version is not on the table

August 25, 2021

Original Article: https://www.ceskenoviny.cz/zpravy/plaga-upravena-verze-maturit-je-konecna-uredni-neni-na-stole/2006700

According to the Minister of Education Robert Plaga (for YES), the modified compromise form of this year's school-leaving examinations, which was presented on Wednesday, is the final version. The official graduation, which was pushed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (YES), would require a change in the law and is not yet on the table, the minister told deputies today during a debate on the form of graduations and the possibilities of resuming full-time teaching in schools.

"This version (graduation), which will be a measure of a general nature, ie by decision of the Minister, determined and distributed to schools, is the final version," said Plaga. "The official granting of school-leaving examinations would require a change in the law. If it is possible to return to schools, this is not on the table," the minister added.

According to the vice-chairman of the TOP deputies, Dominik Feri, Babiš is "a chaot which, with its micro-management interventions, has created frustration and uncertainty in the lives of tens of thousands of students". At the end of last week, the Prime Minister promoted official school-leaving examinations and on Tuesday he wanted a triple form of school-leaving examinations, which he rejected on Wednesday. According to Feri, with his comments on the form of graduation, Babiš made a "potato pancake" similar to the statements about vaccination. "What the prime minister is involved in, there is a mess," the deputy added.

According to pirate MP Lukáš Bartona, the Prime Minister threw a bomb into the media space without consulting the Minister, in order to displace the current topic of the fight against coronavirus. "Unfortunately, the gardening law is already out of the game, so we will pull out those graduations. The Prime Minister can very well shake a dog," the deputy remarked. According to Václav Klaus (Tricolor), Babiš's idea was marketing.

Only ANO MP Karel Rais stood up for the premiere, according to which all possibilities must be taken into account, including a possible repetition of the year. MEPs have not closed the debate, which will continue in two weeks on 25 March.

The modified form of school-leaving examinations envisages that this year's school-leaving examinations will take oral school-leaving examinations in Czech and a foreign language voluntarily due to the cancellation of full-time teaching due to the coronavirus epidemic. Graduates who help in hospitals or nursing homes will not even have to take state didactic tests. They will remain mandatory for others, only their time will be extended. All of them will be waiting for a school-leaving examination in two or three subjects, including a possible practical exam according to the field.

Plaga: The modified form of graduation will contribute to the employment of graduates

According to the Minister of Education Robert Plaga (for YES), the adjusted form of graduation examinations for this year will contribute as much as possible to these examinations being full-fledged for the future employment of graduates. The minister told deputies today. According to Plaga, the modifications to the school-leaving examinations, which required restrictions due to the coronavirus epidemic, were pre-negotiated and have the support of school associations and the Czech Rectors' Conference.

According to Plaga, this year's graduates will not have to pass the oral school-leaving examinations in Czech and a foreign language compulsorily, but voluntarily. Graduates who help because of the covid-19 epidemic in hospitals or nursing homes will not even have to do state didactic tests. They will remain mandatory for others, only their time will be extended. All of them will then be waiting for a school-leaving examination in two or three subjects, including a possible practical exam according to the field.

Due to the covid-19 epidemic, the date of state matura tests will be moved from May 3 to 7 to May 24 to 26. The special date for high school graduates who will be quarantined during the regular term of the tests will be from 7 to 9 July. The school-leaving examination period will not start on 16 May, as expected, but will be from 1 June to 23 July. The practical tests, which were to start on 1 April, will be able to take place from 19 April to 27 August.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (YES) advocated the possibility of a so-called official school-leaving examination for all, according to the average for the entire study. On Wednesday, he proposed three forms of graduation, the classic, lighter and official, but subsequently withdrew from the idea. Plaga had previously rejected Babiš's ideas of a comprehensive official school-leaving examination, which was also opposed by representatives of employers and universities, as an unjustified devaluation of education, as were representatives of other parties.

Babiš would like to discuss the official form of graduation in the parliamentary school committee. Communist MP Ivo Pojezný called it unnecessary. According to former Minister of Education Kateřina Valachová (ČSSD), official school-leaving examinations would only be possible if the modified form of examinations could not be implemented by June due to the worsened epidemic situation.

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