Central Bohemian Region to Expand Grammar Schools and Enhance Educational Opportunities

The Central Bohemian Region is set to construct two new grammar schools and expand three others, adding hundreds of new seats. Milan Vácha (STAN), the regional councilor for education, made this announcement on Monday. The four-year grammar schools currently have a capacity of 1,300 spots, and this year saw 2,988 applications, although the admission process is not yet complete.

As students were allowed to submit two applications, it remains unclear how many could not secure a spot at their preferred school. Vácha stated that if an applicant with a score of 80 points is not admitted to a grammar school, even in the second round of admissions, the region will assist them in finding an alternative solution. The same support will be provided to applicants who scored 60 points for other schools.

According to Vácha, the overall capacity of secondary schools in the region, which currently stands at over 14,000 spots, is sufficient to accommodate the approximately 14,000 ninth-grade students in Central Bohemia. He emphasized that the area is primarily dealing with localized problems.

Vácha noted that in previous years, weaker cohorts from primary schools had as few as 9,000 students transitioning to secondary education, and despite this, the capacity of grammar schools remained unaffected. However, the region anticipates a potential increase in the student population to 16,000 in the coming years, prompting the planning of several investments.

The Central Bohemian Region plans to construct a new grammar school in Černošice and Jesenice near Prague to address the capacity shortage. Additionally, there are plans for an attic conversion at the grammar schools in Říčany and Beroun, as well as the reconstruction of one floor at the Hostivice grammar school.

Regarding admission cutoff scores for grammar schools, Vácha stated that there was no dramatic situation in most Central Bohemia districts. For instance, Rakovník had a cutoff of 57 points, Kladno 69 points, Benešov 76 points, and Kolín 60 points. However, in some parts of the region, there were, on average, three to four ninth-grade students competing for a single spot, while the Prague-West district had 16 ninth-grade students per spot. If complications do not arise, an architectural competition for the construction of the grammar school in Černošice could be announced this year. The initial phase will consist of 12 regular classes accommodating 288 students, with four additional courses planned for the subsequent stage.

Vácha also advocated for including lyceums in gymnasia education, emphasizing the region’s support and expansion of such institutions. He highlighted the suitability of pedagogical lyceums for humanities-oriented university students who can focus less on technical subjects than those studying in grammar schools. The councilor also expressed the need to establish combined lyceums, offering high-quality general education to students who have not yet decided on a specific field of study.

Regarding other educational developments, the Central Bohemian Region saw 24,890 applications for secondary schools under its administration this year. The regional government has progressively approved capacity increases for selected schools, with several hundred additional spots already approved for the upcoming school year.

However, it is essential to note that these spots are not allocated for grammar school programs but for fields such as electronic mechanics, public administration, and others. The administration has greenlit an increase of 625 spots, with an additional 210 to be added later, subject to the speed of the administrative process, determining whether the spots can be offered this year or next.