Primary school pupils' applications to schools increased by 13 pct, two fifths of them are for gymnasiums

Primary school pupils' applications to schools increased by 13 pct, two fifths of them are for gymnasiums

Enrollment of pupils from ZŠ on bikes increased by 13 pct, two fifths of them are at gymnázia

Entrance exams for secondary schools – illustrative photo.

Prague – The number of primary school pupils' applications for the unified entrance exams this year rose by 13 percent compared to last year to 212,344. Of these, 80,073 applications, i.e. almost two fifths, were submitted by pupils to gymnasiums. This follows from information provided by the Cermat organization, which organizes the unified exams. Experts point out that the capacities of secondary schools with general education, i.e. mainly gymnasiums, are not growing in proportion to the number of applicants. In some regions and disciplines, problems with the capacity of places can also be expected due to the strong population year of ninth-graders. The Ministry of Education does not know how many are on offer for freshmen starting this September. School founders have an overview, office spokeswoman Aneta Lednová told ČTK. Secondary schools are mostly established by regions, according to which there will be an excess of demand over supply at gymnasiums.

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Uniform entrance exams for four-year courses will be held this year on April 13 and 14, and for multi-year gymnasiums on April 17 and 18. 114,000 candidates will go to the first of the two exam dates, Zermatt spokeswoman Jana Patáková told ČTK. A total of 4,726 applications for secondary schools with matriculation were submitted by Ukrainian refugees who will take the exams in a modified form.

In this school year, according to data from the Ministry of Education, about 106,000 pupils are studying in the ninth grade of elementary schools, which is roughly 33 percent more than four years ago. Already last year, many people interested in secondary schools, especially in Prague, complained about the lack of places in matriculation subjects. Representatives of the regions that establish secondary schools and whom ČTK contacted claim that the offer of places is sufficient, even if, for example, a large overhang is expected at grammar schools. On the contrary, there is little interest in courses such as chimney sweep or metal worker.

According to Patáková, of the total number of applications for the unified exam, 13,214 were submitted to six-year high schools, 34,397 to eight-year high schools and 32,462 to four-year high schools. The spokeswoman added that applicants had the opportunity to submit two applications. Last year, Zermatt did not publish the number of applications for gymnasiums, so it is not possible to state how they changed from year to year. The organization only stated that last year about 44,000 pupils applied to grammar schools, most of whom applied to two or more schools.

In the 2021/2022 school year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Education, 69,868 students studied in the first years of four-year gymnasiums and four-year matriculation courses at secondary vocational schools. 11,590 children started studying at multi-year gymnasiums. The number of schoolchildren completing primary education has been increasing in recent years. In the last school year, there were 95,198 children in the ninth grade of primary schools, a year earlier there were 90,286, and for example in the 2018/2019 school year only 79,703. This year, experts expect a problem with a significant excess of applicants for some fields of study in other cities as well as Prague.

According to some experts, the supply of secondary schools with general education, especially gymnasiums, is not growing in proportion to the number of applicants. “In 2015 and 2021, 22 percent of all 15-year-olds are studying at grammar schools. As a result, those interested in general education are being forced into secondary vocational schools,” Jan Zeman, an analyst at the non-profit organization EDUin, told ČTK earlier.

In the school in 2019/2020, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Education, there were 130,725 students in 355 schools with grammar school education. Two years later, there were 133,321 pupils in 363 grammar schools. The capacity of secondary vocational schools is about three times higher. About 30 percent of secondary school students are in general education in the Czech Republic, the rest attend secondary vocational schools and secondary vocational schools. On average, in the member states of the European Union, 51.3 percent of high school students have recently been accepted for general studies. The Czech Republic thus belongs to the EU countries with the lowest share of pupils with this degree, according to Eurostat data for the year 2020.

According to According to the Ministry of Education, there are enough places in secondary schools in the Czech Republic. This January, there were 687,512 of them, the most in the last three years. Roughly 200,000 places were vacant. According to the spokesperson of the office, the problems with the overpressure of interested parties are only in some regions and fields.