In the following lines, you will discover interesting facts about entrepreneurial education, its role and position into the school curricula in the Czech Republic. These conclusions resulted from the regional desk research undertaken in 2018 by InnoSchool project partners.
Entrepreneurship is part of the school curricula in the Czech Republic, but not to the extent to which the topic is to be taught. It depends on the director and incorporation of the topic into a field of study. At the grammar schools, entrepreneurial competences are divorced in the socio-scientific basis. Secondary vocational schools have a wider version and more space in terms of business activities. Separate chapters are economic secondary schools, which have a direct subject of applied economics, which deals directly with business. Entrepreneurship also appears in the content of education itself, but it is generally marginal and focuses rather on the position of an employee.
Introducing a new learning system to existing curricula
The curriculum is set by the Ministry of Education. The curriculum lays down generally binding education requirements for each degree and education area applicable to all schools. The curriculum specifies only what the student must know. How the student acquires knowledge depends on the school and, especially, on the teacher. A new educational system (InnoSchool) is difficult to directly integrate into the curriculum. The curriculum will develop methodologies in which InnoSchool can be incorporated. An advantage for InnoSchool would be the accreditation of the Ministry of Education. Accreditation is granted by the Ministry of Education for a period of 3 years. This approach would help schools get funding for project implementation at their school. The accreditation can be obtained by the educational institution or by a natural or legal entity.
Existing entrepreneurship programs & initiatives
The following entrepreneurial subjects exist outside the curriculum:
-- Fictitious Firms - Center of Fictive Firms - CEFIF was founded in 1992 at the University of Economics at the Department of Economics of Didactics. In 2002, it was transferred to the National Institute of Vocational Education (NUV), where is housed today. CEFIF's task is to coordinate the activities of the network of fictitious companies in the Czech Republic, provide support and advice to pupils and teachers working in fictitious firms. CEFIF allows interested parties to establish a fictitious business and deal with other fictitious companies in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. Currently, fictitious businesses are expanded to more than 100 schools. In more than 350 companies, more than 3500 pupils are educated primarily in fields with an economic focus. Pupils simulate the activity of a business entity and follow the valid legislation of the Czech Republic.
-- Junior Achievement - The Czech Junior Achievement office was founded in 1992 by Mr. Tomáš J. Baťa. Since then, the Junior Achievement educational programs in the Czech Republic have been attended by over 300 thousand children and students. Primary schools offer an Alpha Business course. Students of secondary and tertiary vocational schools are helping to set up real business firms to try business in practice and to teach them about economic theory, ethics or interactive subjects where they learn to use money through computer simulations or become managers of manufacturing companies or banks. The basis of the education system is cooperation with companies. Managers lecture students and participate in course tuition and management.
-- CENTRES (Creative Entrepreneurship in Schools) is funded by the European Lifelong Learning Program and its chief coordinator is the British Council. In the Czech Republic, the National Institute for Education is responsible for project implementation. As a whole, the project focuses on developing young people's core competencies in the field of initiative, creativity and entrepreneurship, as it is very difficult to find entrepreneurial and creative staff with the right mix, according to the views of employers' representatives, especially the so-called Creative and Cultural Industries knowledge and skills. The main objective of the project is to create a European forum on entrepreneurship education, with an emphasis on the specific area of creative and cultural industries, and to share innovation and best practices in this field.
-- Business for Breakfast - aims to give young people the courage to develop their own business by sharing business experiences between generations. This activity has led to the desire for young people to become personalities who can do great things and stand firm on their own feet.
-- "Soutěž a Podnikej" - a program for high school students from the Czech Republic. The competition is designed for students who are interested in innovative problem solving and creating their own business in high school and later in their further study or practice.
-- Mars Teachers - they want to improve the graduates' practical readiness and have therefore decided to innovate the teaching of economics by using topical themes, sharing teaching materials and passing on experience.