Tuesday, 17 July 2018

LN: Foreigners may pass easier Czech school-leaving exams

13 September 2017

Prague, Sept 12 (CTK) - A new regulation of the Education Ministry allows foreigners who take secondary school-leaving exams in the Czech Republic more time to sit for the Czech language examination, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote on Tuesday.

All students, including Czechs, who have studied for a total of at least four years within the last eight years before taking the Czech language part of the school-leaving exam will now be able to request reliefs in the form of a prolonged didactic test time and the use of dictionaries during both the didactic and the writing tests, the daily writes.

The school attendance abroad does not have to be uninterrupted, but must meet the minimum four-year requirement and be proven by certified copies of the school certificates.

These alleviations will newly apply to both Czech and foreign students, while previously only those with another citizenship could use them.

According to the statistics of the Czech Education Ministry, there were 6,614 foreigners with a Czech permanent residence and 268 asylum-seekers studying at secondary schools in the Czech Republic in the past school year.

The numbers of foreign students at elementary schools are more than double at the moment. Majority of them come from Europe, but there are students from Kazakhstan and China as well. LN says.

A Czech language exam has often presented a major obstacle for these students, Lidove noviny writes, citing the experience of Kristyna Titerova from the META organisation, which supports the equal access of foreigners to education.

"We have a client from an African country whom we have been helping from the ninth grade of the elementary school through his attendance at a Prague's grammar school. He communicates in Czech without any problems. However, he did not pass the school-leaving exam by two points in the third trial. Therefore, he couldn't go to university," Titerova told LN.

Czech Ombudsman Anna Sabatova is currently examining the aforementioned case described by Titerova.

This case, however, is far from unique. When the uniform state secondary school-leaving exam was introduced in 2011, META conducted a survey, which showed that a number of its clients were not even admitted to the exam, while the rest of those who were admitted failed.

META maintains that the conditions for foreigners sitting for school-leaving exams remain discriminatory, in spite of the newly introduced measures.

Best would be if these students could sit for the school-leaving exam in Czech language as their second language, Titerova said.

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