Analysis of context

Legal framework in Czech Republic

Key competences in Czech Education System

Key competences in Czech Education System*

*) Following information and text is taken from the Framework Educational Programmes and Report published by ReferNet “Key Competences in IVET”

The purpose and aim of education are to equip all pupils with a set of key competencies on the level which is attainable for them and thus to prepare them for their further education and their participation in society. The acquisition of key competencies is a long-term and complicated process, which begins with preschool education, continues during elementary and secondary education and is gradually refined in subsequent life. While the level of key competencies acquired by the pupils by the end of their elementary education cannot yet be regarded as final, the key competencies acquired form a non-negligible basis for the pupils’ lifelong learning and their start in life and in the work process.

Key competencies are not isolated phenomena; they are variously interconnected, multifunctional, have an interdisciplinary nature and can always be acquired as a result of the overall educational process. The entire educational content and all of the activities taking place at school must therefore be aimed at and contribute to forming and developing these competencies.

The educational content of the FEP EE conceives the subject matter as a means of mastering the expected activity-based outcomes, which gradually link and create preconditions for an effective and complex utilisation of the acquired abilities and skills on the level of key competencies.

At the elementary stage of education, the following are considered as key competencies: learning competency, problem-solving competency, communication competency, social and personal competency, civic competency, professional competency.

Key competences are incorporated in all educational programmes. They are uniformly defined for all FEPs of relevant level of education on the basis of the Common European Framework of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. They relate to the education of the students within the age group 15-19 as well as to adult learners who increase their qualifications by means of study at secondary technical schools. In FEPs, key competences are formulated as learning outcomes at which learning in all fields and subjects of education shall be aiming. They are formulated individually as well as within particular contents and areas of education (linguistic education, mathematical education, social sciences, aesthetic education, sciences, economics, health education, training in ICT, specific vocational education depending on fields of study).

The key competences as defined in the framework educational programmes (FEPs) need to be incorporated in the school curricula, however, the manner of incorporation and their implementation is the responsibility of the school. Key competences might be developed by means of both subjects taught (general subjects, vocational subjects, specialised subjects focusing on a specific key competence) as well as by means of cross-subject learning and other forms (such as adaptation courses organised by many schools at the beginning of the school year in the first grade, students projects and project weeks). For example, communication skills are being developed within the subjects of Czech language and literature and a foreign language, reading literacy (work with a text and information) is promoted by means of other subjects – including the vocational subjects and media education. At least one foreign language is incorporated in all educational programmes. Foreign languages teaching covers also communication skills within the area of particular profession.

The framework educational programmes specify also the cross-subject topics aimed at deepening the knowledge as well as developing key competences. The topics include: “Citizen in a Democratic Society”, “Man and the World of Work”, “Man and Environment”, “ICT education”).

All the cross-subject topics need to be incorporated in the school educational programmes. The topics can be incorporated in the teaching process in various manners depending on the decision of individual schools. They can be implemented through both the core subjects as well as the specialised ones, however also in other forms or by means of extracurricular activities. The cross subject topics enable the schools to respond promptly to the existing social, political or school issues and problems. To support implementation and assessment of cross-subject topics, several methodological reference books including also examples of good practice at schools have been published. The schools make use mainly of various thematic student projects and project weeks, including even the projects with wide public or pupils of primary schools as a target group.