Minister Gazdík: At the moment, no one knows when the war will end

Madam President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been asked about education here. I am sorry, I received the Croatian Minister of Education, but I will try to answer these questions briefly, or I will answer your questions on the situation of the refugee crisis in education. I am sorry. We have said here how the government wants to go about it or what its strategy is.

I apologize, I have already presented it to this House in connection with the approval of the law, which we call the lex Ukraine in the field of education. I was saying clearly at the time that we are dividing it into two parts, the first part is now in this current school year, that is by June, when we try to put in place the second path that the lex Ukraine allows, in addition to being included in regular classes, and it is the so-called adaptation groups, which we want to fund in the form of models. The third thing that we are addressing as crucial until June is Czech language courses so that secondary school and university students can obtain a B2 or A2 level certificate and can start regular universities.

And then there are the regular Czech language courses, to which anyone whose mother tongue is not Czech is entitled to inclusion today, so in primary or secondary school they have the opportunity to obtain an intervention, which is paid for an inclusion of up to 200 hours of the Czech language.

You can blame us for not preparing for September. I want to assure you that we are preparing for September. However, and I also said this at this counter, you will find it in the wall register, whether the actual numbers in September are half or triple are completely different solutions. So we will come, and again, I said at the counter, at the beginning of June or at the end of May, we are ready, I called and was very grateful that we were able to discuss the Lex Ukraine with the opposition . The law was passed here unanimously, and I think it has been doing its job very well in schools for 14 days now.

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  • Minister of Education, Youth and Sports

I would still love him in this situation, in these real numbers, because me and none of us know at this time if the war will end and half of these students will return home in May, in which case the interventions and the solution will be; let’s say, minimalist, or by that time there will be 300,000 children, and in that case we will have to look for such measures, such as teaching in the morning and in elementary art schools, that there will have a branch in the capacity of the elementary school, or primary school class and spatially – it will use the premises of the basic art schools, or for example the morning and afternoon classes in the schools primary and secondary, all this is possible, but it depends on the number.

We don’t know that number now. Now there’s something at the end of March we’re preparing, we’re preparing scenarios for smaller numbers as well as larger ones, but actually we’ll discuss it in late May, early June, when the preparation will begin. I think that will come with a budget modification, which we are discussing with the Ministry of Finance, so that we are ready for September 1st. It is also connected with this, and it is already in the first stage that we are dealing with now, it is also connected with holiday camps and Czech language courses or camps with Czech language instruction.

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Then Professor Rais said here that there was not a word in the material about non-teaching staff. Yes, it is not, because it is the usual system, after the reform of regional education funding, we have the so-called TH max, the Ministry of Education yesterday launched a survey of schools, a questionnaire on what the numbers are increasing, how many children have increased. The Ministry of Education always holds this regular survey at the end of September, and the following school year runs from there. At the moment the numbers are increasing significantly, so we are counting on last March, and in the event that there is a greater increase, there will of course be an increase in funding for the non-teaching staff associated with it .

On the other hand, it is very individual for each school, if you have 2-3 Ukrainian students in your unsatisfied class, it does not mean that you need a new cleaner in this class, it is not the case. School canteen capacities aren’t 100% full in most places either, so if they have 30 students in the whole school, for example, that doesn’t mean you need to add a new cook or janitor.

Given. The big problem – the strategy, the situation of the migration wave, I may have sketched it here now and I repeat that I am ready to discuss it with the opposition. As it will be from the beginning of school, as the teacher requested, I have also told you now what it will be like.

Anyone who pays the following costs related to the wave of refugees will of course need a budget change in the middle of the year. We have now quantified, as the Department of Education, the costs associated with all three parts, now, say, by August, which I was talking about, one part is an increase in the number of regular schools, the other part is funding in the form of models, these adaptation groups, the third part is the Czech language courses, which could reach 5.2 billion crowns, we will know the real figures after the survey, after the questionnaire, and of course we will only pay according to reality. However, we need to have these things ready in the state budget, and that is what is happening now, we are working on it.

Regarding the costs from September, there must of course be a change in the state budget, again, I also personally prefer the change in June, July, after that we will really see the numbers, how the situation will evolve. We are now a month and a few days away from the start of the war. I find it incredibly positive that tens of thousands of Ukrainian children have been coming to our schools for weeks at this speed. Yes, I’m sorry, we are in a different state than we were used to before the invasion of Ukraine, and we will just have to deal with some things on our knees, but we are always ready to discuss it, and discuss it with the opposition.

As for – specific materials, you can find these specific materials on the website edu.cz/ukraine, there are materials for schools, there are methodological materials that went to founders, that went to principals on the law lex Ukraine, on other things, you can find almost everything there. The ministry has also set up an information line for municipalities and school principals, an e-mail address where we immediately respond to inquiries. In short, it may be enough.

Thank you.

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author: PV

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