|Most children between the ages of 3 and 6 attend
kindergarten. After kindergarten, children go to elementary school, which
includes primary and junior high. Most students continue their education
at a secondary school. There are four kinds of secondary schools: gymnasia
(academically focused schools), secondary vocational schools, secondary
technical schools and integrated schools. Since 1990, many private schools,
particularly at the senior secondary level, have been established.
Since in many families both parents work
full-time, children may go from classes to druina, after-school
centres, until their parents return from work. When they complete the nine
years of schooling, some young people begin working, often starting with
a three-year apprenticeship program.
students played an important part in the resistance to the Soviet invasion
in 1968. On 16 January 1969, a student called Jan Palach publicly set himself
on fire in Wencelas Square in Prague to protest Soviet oppression. In 1989,
demonstrators chose this site to renew their protest.
|Postsecondary education is provided by universities
and non-university schools. Most programs last 5 or 6 years. There are
several major universities in the Republic. Universita Karlova (Charles
University) in Prague is the oldest, founded by Charles IV in 1348. The
others include Czech Technical University in Prague, Masaryk University
in Brno, and Palack'y University in Olomouc.
Special schools were created for children,
5 to 15 years old, who have mental or physical disabilities. They were
set up to give students the opportunity to learn skills and receive practical
job training. The diploma that students receive after completing special
basic school is not equivalent to that given at regular elementary schools.
At present, Roma children are often streamed into the special system because
education in the Roma language is not available. This limits their educational
opportunities in later life.