Mrs. teacher in the classroom. Illustrative photo.
Prague – By law, teachers could have a salary on average at the level of 130 percent of the average gross salary from next year. However, school principals will have an influence on the specific amount of salaries of individual teachers. The coalition MPs' proposal for an amendment to the Education Act, which the House of Representatives sent to the final round of approval today, takes this into account. The draft also introduces the position of an accompanying teacher to increase the quality of pedagogical practices and a system of introducing teachers who would support beginning colleagues for two years. The target of criticism was the possibility of university students to teach for a limited period of three years at the second level of elementary schools and at secondary schools as qualified pedagogues even without teaching qualifications.
The original government proposal assumes that the amount of money for teachers' salaries would be set at least 1.404 times the average gross monthly nominal wage in the Czech Republic for the previous year. According to the coalition arrangement, from next year the total amount of funds for teachers' salaries should represent “on a monthly average for one full-time teacher, at least 130 percent of the average gross monthly nominal salary for the calculated number of employees in the national economy”.
Average gross According to the Czech Statistical Office, teachers' monthly earnings were 46,843 CZK the year before last, which corresponded to 115 percent of the national average wage. Last year, according to the calculations of the Ministry of Education, it should have been 113 percent, this year 50,523 crowns, i.e. 116.6 percent.
According to Marek Výborny (KDU-ČSL), the law would guarantee a minimum amount of salary funds for teachers for a given school or school facility according to the number of teachers and other teaching positions. It remains fully within the competence of the school director how to distribute this guaranteed volume of salaries in the tariff and extra-tariff components, Výborný added.
The subject of the dispute between the deputies was the introduction of the possibility for professionally educated non-pedagogues to teach as qualified, which the association of university faculty deans and some teachers' associations do not agree with. SPD deputy Zdeněk Kettner proposed the cancellation of this part of the amendment, which, according to him, will lead to the “deprofessionalization of teaching”. Jana Berkovcová (ANO) demanded that non-pedagogues should only be able to teach in secondary schools, not in the second level of primary schools.
MP STAN Jan Berki reminded that these non-pedagogues will have to supplement their pedagogical education according to the amendment, if they want to continue teaching. According to Jiří Mašek (YES), they should have five years to do so. Karel Rais (ANO) would like only universities to provide pedagogical education, not non-profit organizations or limited liability companies, whose graduates, according to him, “for the most part can't do anything and basically buy business cards”.
A considerable part of the debate was taken up by the MPs discussing the proposal whether to rename school speech therapists to “special pedagogues for defects and speech disorders” so that the public does not confuse them with clinical speech therapists, i.e. the healthcare profession. According to the Association of Clinical Speech-Language Pathologists of the Czech Republic, people would not be able to distinguish who is responsible for diagnosis and therapy and who is responsible for educational intervention. According to the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Education, the amendment defines the qualification requirements for school speech therapists who have no ambitions to work elsewhere than in education.
The amendment should strengthen the powers of school principals in relation to the methods and means of teaching, which teachers can now choose according to their own discretion. The parliamentarians want to extend the competence of accompanying teachers to participants in the study of pedagogy for second grade primary school teachers and secondary school teachers. For the further education of teachers, the committee recommended including, on the proposal of a group of government deputies, informal education and sharing of experiences in addition to self-study.