Children / family
The Czech educational system is overwhelmingly public (with the exception of pre-school level). At all levels, from primary through secondary to tertiary, the public system is free of charge, only private institutions are fee-paying. Educational institutions that offer teaching solely in a language other than Czech will be mostly private and therefore charge fees. The same usually applies for degree programmes at universities that are taught in English.
In the Czech Republic, there are optional pre-school facilities, such as kindergartens/nursery schools etc. taking care of children aged 3 to 6. For not Czech-speaking foreigners, who do not wish to put their child in a Czech speaking kindergarten (most of the public facilities), there are also some private childcare facilities specializing in alternative educational methods and communicating in foreign languages. Compulsory education is one year at pre-school and nine years at primary school, usually begins at age 5 until the age of 15. After that, there is a possibility to continue to the secondary education level, which lasts 4 years (might differ if you choose to study at general secondary school/gymnasium, where you can try enrolling after 5, 7 and 9 years at primary school). There are three main types of secondary schools: general secondary school (gymnázium), secondary technical school (střední odborná škola – SOŠ) and secondary vocational school (střední odborné učiliště – SOU). Which school you enroll at is your choice, you just usually need to pass an entrance examination. Secondary school is concluded with a final exam (maturita). Further, after secondary school, there are two tertiary level options: one called the higher specialized/professional shools (2-3 years, providing technical qualifications, graduate obtains a diploma) and universities (offering standard Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral programmes).