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Czech Deputy EdMin: Parts of social exclusion strategy not feasible

Prague, 28.5.2012 19:30, (ROMEA)
Ivan Gabal of the GAC research firm reports that a high percentage of Romani children will become unqualified adults.  (PHOTO:  ROMEA TV)

Last fall, the Czech Government adopted a breakthrough document called the "Strategy for the Fight against Social Exclusion". The Czech Education Ministry has been blocking implementation of the Strategy, which includes, for example, abolishing the "practical schools" (previously the "special schools") and extending obligatory school attendance to include a year of kindergarten. The former "special schools", which today are labeled "practical" or "special needs" schools, received strong backing for their preservation from former Czech Education Minister Josef Dobeš (Public Affairs - VV).

News server Aktuálně.cz has now reported that according to Deputy Education Minister Ladislav Němec, the complete abolition of such schools will probably not occur even though a new minister has been appointed. "Under no circumstances do we intend to abolish the 'practical schools' across the board. Pupils will attend them who need special support and for whom they will be more advantageous and better than mainstream schools," Němec in an interview.

During a previous meeting of the Czech Parliament's Education Committee, Deputy Minister Němec commented on the new social exclusion strategy, saying it is a very controversial document about which the ministry is receiving many complaints. "Approval of a strategy by the Government does not mean we must fulfill it in every detail. We are now discussing its individual points. The strategy was proposed in such a way as to have no impact on the state budget," Němec told the MPs.

The Government approved the strategy as a settled document, not as a motion for further suggestions by various ministries. Němec has now said it is clear that implementation of some of the points of the strategy is not feasible.

You can read the full interview with the Deputy Education Minister (in Czech only) here: http://aktualne.centrum.cz/domaci/zivot-v-cesku/clanek.phtml?id=745248

František Kostlán, Gwendolyn Albert, fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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