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New apprentices among those admitted to secondary schools was the lowest so far in Czech Republic

October 04, 2022

Original Article:

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On the other hand, according to the data, the number of those admitted to matriculation courses of secondary vocational schools increased by five percentage points to roughly two fifths since 2012. The fact that schools did not have to hold uniform entrance exams in the spring of 2021 probably contributed to the increase in the share of students in matriculation courses, which about half of them took advantage of in vocational education, the institute said.

According to the NPI, the development of the share of pupils in secondary school subjects has varied in the last decade. At first, it increased slightly in academic subjects until it reached its maximum in the 2012/2013 school year: 32.1 percent.

But then it started to fall to a value of around 30 percent and after 2020 it is even lower. However, according to the institute, the decrease in the number of apprentices was not so significant. The reason is that more and more strong years are entering high schools. Last year, 30,199 pupils enrolled in academic subjects, which is 308 less than a year earlier.

In the past 10 years, the share of students has also changed in the classical matriculation fields of secondary vocational education. It dropped to 34.8 percent by the 2012/13 school year, then gradually increased to 37.5 percent in the 2019/2020 school year.

After the outbreak of the covid-19 epidemic in 2020, the number of students in matriculation courses increased even more. In the last school year, two fifths of the newly admitted high school students joined them, which represented 44,450 pupils. This was approximately 4,000 more than the year before.

In 2011, the share of those admitted to all matriculation fields, including gymnasiums and fields with a matriculation certificate and a teaching certificate, reached about 67.4 percent. Now it is 71.9 percent. The smallest share of pupils entered these fields in 2012, when it was 66.9 percent.

At the same time, the number of students in secondary vocational schools is increasing. According to statistics from the Ministry of Education, last year vocational schools accepted 57,137 children into four-year matriculation courses, while four-year gymnasiums accepted 13,081.

Currently, the largest share of children in the Karlovy Vary and Ústí Regions, where it is around a third, go to academic fields.

The fewest new apprentices go to schools in Prague, where at the same time there is the greatest interest in matriculation subjects. Last September, 83.5 percent of those admitted to secondary schools in the capital entered them. The Zlín and South Moravian regions have the next largest share of new pupils in matriculation subjects. About three-quarters of those admitted to secondary schools enter fields with a high school diploma.

In recent years, the decline in interest in academic fields has affected the fields of gastronomy the most. Restrictions due to covid, when, among other things, restaurants were closed, probably also had an influence on this. NPI recorded a significantly smaller decrease in new students in the fields of engineering and art, and an increase in the fields of agriculture, construction and healthcare.

The number of new pupils in the regular extension study increased by 13 percent
NPI representatives also said that there was a significant increase in students in the extension studio last school year. Year-on-year, 13 percent more people joined full-time classes in them, and there was a 26 percent increase in evening, distance or combined studies. Schools newly accepted 8,370 apprentices, compared to 7,148 a year earlier.

According to the institute, the main reason for the increase in the number of new admissions was that secondary schools were able to waive uniform entrance exams last year due to the covid epidemic, which roughly half of them took advantage of.

Extensions enable apprentices to continue their studies for two years and pass the matriculation examination after obtaining a teaching certificate. According to the NPI, this possibility is of considerable importance, because the subject areas are not a closed educational path even to higher professional or university education.

However, according to the institute, up to two-thirds of those admitted do not complete their extension studies. They either fail it or fail the matriculation exam, where their failure rate is very high. E.g. this year, according to Cermat's analysis, 3,901 students of the secondary schools took the state matriculation tests, and roughly two-fifths of them failed the tests.

According to statistics, the number of high school graduates with a certificate of completion who could obtain the matriculation certificate during extension studies increased by 729 year-on-year to 22,185 last year. Last September, 8,370 of them switched to extension courses, of which 5,654 were newly admitted to full-time studies. In the previous school year, there were 1222 fewer pupils enrolled in extension classes, and their number was 664 fewer in full-time study.

It follows from the statistics of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science that the increase in the number of graduates with a teaching certificate is a consequence of the demographic development, where increasingly strong grades are currently graduating from secondary schools. The growth in the number of new pupils at the superstructures was also strengthened last year by the fact that the schools were able to accept applicants even without the uniform admissions organized by Zermatt, NPI noted.

He pointed out that the share of apprentices who went on to further studies rose from 23.3 percent to 25.5 percent.

In the regions last year, the share of apprentices transferring to full-time extension studies varied between 8.9 percent and 33.5 percent. The largest shares of those interested in superstructures were in Prague, Pilsen and South Bohemia regions. The fewest apprentices went to superstructures in the Karlovy Vary region. The second lowest share was reported by the Hradec Králové region with 12.7 percent.

The largest number of new students in full-time extension study was in the 2003/2004 school year - around 12,000. In other forms of study, the statistics recorded a similar peak in 2008/2009, when in total about 23,000 pupils joined the superstructures. From 2011 to 2019, their number dropped from roughly 16,700 to 7,000.


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