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Dual Qualification in the Czech Republic
Study branches
 (back to index of schemes)


(1) National framework of the scheme; 
(2) Major features of the scheme;
(3) Educational concepts underlying the scheme;
(4) Organisational implications of the scheme;
(5) Evidence of the scheme's effect. 
Info unit 1 of 5 
Czech Republic: Study branches

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(1) National framework of the scheme

Educational programmes with a dual orientation play an important role in the Czech educational system. After leaving basic schools, pupils can choose from among three main types of secondary school, two of which offer full time education programmes with a dual orientation: 
(a) The Secondary Technical Schools offer mainly four year educational programmes. The programmes are focused on training of technicians and similar experts (type A).
(b) Secondary Vocational Schools offer a minority of four year educational programmes. These educational programmes train mainly for some demanding (craft) worker’s occupations (type B). 
(c) The extension study (type C) involves two year courses offered to graduates of three-year vocational programmes who wish to extend their vocational qualifications and to reach an educational level allowing study at tertiary level.
    All the above mentioned educational programmes with a dual orientation are also offered in the form of part time provision. The duration is five years for type A and B courses and three years for type C courses.

Sources
DUOQUAL 
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Petr Vicenik
Info unit 2 of 5 
Czech Republic: Study branches

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(2) Major features of the scheme

All three types of educational programmes provide students with a complete secondary vocational education: that is, an advanced level of secondary education that gives access to higher education. This means a full equivalence for these graduates with those from general secondary education. 
    The educational programmes are divided into study branches and in some cases into specialisations within the study branches according to their vocational qualifications. They are completed by the Maturita examination. However, the same name for the final examinations (and in general upper secondary schools - Gymnasium) does not mean that the internal structure of the examination is uniform. It depends on the type of the educational institution and the study branch in question. 
    Common requirements in the field of general education and key skills have been set for the programmes with dual qualifications and the requirements for the basic vocational education in these programmes are differentiated into 21 education specialisations, i.e. units lager than individual education branches or group of branches. These requirements are specified in the Secondary School Standard. 

Sources
DUOQUAL 
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Petr Vicenik
Info unit 3 of 5 
Czech Republic: Study branches

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(3) Educational concepts underlying the scheme

The concept following from the so-called ‘principal study branches‘ has become incorporated into a systematic platform since September 1998. The system of principal study branches makes groups of education programmes, which may differ in name, educational plans and subordinate curricular concepts and objectives, linked in their arrangement or their contents. These are conceived so that their graduates are trained for jobs or professions in the same general field of activities. 
    The Secondary School Standard approved in 1997 set forth its requirements in the form of education goals, characteristics of the topics, scope of the different components of the general and basic vocational education, education goals relating to the key skills, and basic time proportions of the programme composition, to be implemented in the different programmes.
    General education subjects are intended to raise educational standards and some general subject matter components have an application functions and so are included within basic vocational subjects. From this point of view the transition between general and vocational components is smooth. The proportions of the components are set at 45% of general to 55% of vocational components. 
    The Maturita verifies to what degree the students succeeded in learning the knowledge and skills, within the scope of the subject matter as defined by the educational plans and curricula, and tests the students’ readiness for jobs, occupational activities or further study. For all types of secondary schools the Maturita contains a common emphasis upon Czech language and literature. This examination has written and oral parts. Besides it there are examinations of the subjects chosen by students, with theoretical examinations for vocational subjects and practical examinations for vocational training.

Sources
DUOQUAL 
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Petr Vicenik
Info unit 4 of 5 
Czech Republic: Study branches

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(4) Organisational implications of the scheme

Head-teachers decide upon admission of students according to criteria, which they set up. These involve abilities, knowledge, interests and health condition of students. Schools usually organise entrance examinations. 
    Education processes are regulated by valid education documents (specifying the curricula). Schools have the right to adapt nationally approved curricular documents by up to 10% of the total weekly number of lessons and they can adapt syllabi of subjects by 30 % of the total number of their lessons.
    Timetables are based on the teaching plans of the particular study branches. A portion of the teaching time is reserved for exercises in some general education subjects as well as in basic vocational subjects. The practical and laboratory training usually takes place in the school laboratories and workshops of STSs. Practical training at SVSs is managed as a separate subject and it is realised at Practical Training Centres or in workplaces.
    Requirements for professional and educational competence of the teaching staff are governed by regulations.

Sources
DUOQUAL 
Contact

Petr Vicenik
Info unit 5 of 5 
Czech Republic: Study branches

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(5) Evidence of the scheme's effect

The percentage share of pupils enrolled in full-time study of educational programmes leading to Maturita increased from 44% in 1989 to 63% in 1997. This increase is caused mainly by the growing proportion of pupils entering the programmes of STSs (from 24 % in 1989 to 41% in 1997). In comparison, there is no trend toward the significant increase of students at Gymnasium (from 15% in 1989 to 18 % in 1997). An enormous increase (by a factor of about 3.5) in the enrolled students in both forms of extension study was recorded between 1991 and 1997. 
    Results of a selective research of manpower demands demonstrate a structural harmony between the `production‘ of graduates and the needs of the economy. The most significant proportion of graduates from STS are placed as technicians. Graduates from SVS are distributed almost uniformly between technicians (34 %) and skilled workers (42%). 
    Graduates from programmes with dual qualifications do not enter higher education institutions as often as graduates from Gymnasium do. But these graduates with dual qualification who decide to continue their study at higher education are usually strongly motivated and thus successful. An index comparing the number of students admitted against the number of participants in the admission procedures in 1996 illustrate that students from different schools have broadly similar chances of gaining entry to HE. (Gymnasium 0.37, STS 0.34, SVS 0.36, schools offering different types of programmes 0.38).
    The graduates with dual qualifications are prevalent mainly in the technical branches of higher education. Their interests in other study branches of higher education (e.g. law and social sciences) is markedly lower and they are less successful in admission to these branches. However, it does not mean that they can’t study these branches. 

Sources
DUOQUAL 
Contact

Petr Vicenik

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