Czech Republic PDF Print E-mail

1. Inclusion in General Education
Development:

Integration of children with a disability into regular education for able-bodied children started after the World War II - as the re-action on sad situation: lack of school buildings, lack of intelligentsia, mostly teachers, school system renovation after 7 years closed schools at middle and university level. The integration process was "natural", spontaneous.

During the 1960's different kinds of special schools were established (or re-established). The first idea was positive - to concentrate educated staff (teachers, educators), to concentrate economic, financial potential for a high quality education for children with disabilities. The system was typically categorical.
Step by step this idea in reality was transformed in transferring these schools on the edge of society, mainly after "sovietisation" of education in 1970's. In this period a child with a diagnosis "disability" had to be educated automatically in a special school, special boarding or residential school etc. Staff at this school consisted only of MA special educators or teachers (including PE). Minimum 3 PE lessons per week plus other forms (like tourists trips, swimming courses, outdoor summer/winter activities, local and national sports competitions) were obligatory in the school curricula. International activities were not permitted.

The first official school law that proclaimed the right to enrolment in school of choice (either special or general) was published in 1993. This law excluded children with mental retardation. Experiments oriented on inclusion of children with mental retardation lasted in the end of 90ies. There were 2 main problems:

1. the legislation started but with minimum financial support, with minimum attention for future teachers education or re-education, unclear follow-up social support (legislation), unclear conditions like personal assistant, teacher assistant etc.
2. due to critics there were a lot of additional guidelines, supplements, etc. which miss-understood process in reality.

Recent situation:
- University law (1998),
§ 21 acts university to be responsible (beside others):
d) for advisory services related to study orientation, study process as well as job orientation in practice,
e) for arrangement all services for leveling chances of study enrollment, process and graduation - for all students.
Explanation: Developmental granted projects oriented on better conditions of university study of students with disability started in 1994. Several of these projects oriented on leveling chances for APA, sports/sciences study, etc. This year (1994) Palacky University of Olomouc coordinated a project. The most successful results seemed to be Bach. study program of motor activities, drama and pantomime of students with hearing disability, APA structured program (Bc.-MA in APA) in Olomouc. Report (115 pages - with English abstracts) is in the hand of author.
Developmental projects of CZ Ministry of education, youth and sports go through the competition every year, up to these days, financial support can be used for development related to characteristics of university: study rooms, students dormitory, special advices, personal assistant, sign language interpreter, etc., as well as for APA study improvement, university conditions for sports and recreation of students with disability.

- Law about governmental support to sports and physical education (2002):
8 paragraphs together, support to "disabled sport" as well as integrative recreational activities and school PE are proclaimed. www.msmt.cz - Zákon o podpore sportu.
Explanation: the law is quite proclamative, very general - but there is opportunity to use it as a background for a lot of things (municipality and politics, moral support, pushing ideas and programs, fund raising, public relation etc.) In reality, Paralympics (elite) sport is supported quite a lot, other spheres not too much. Integrative activities on recreational, leisure time level, are very common and successful, due to municipalities (politicians) attention and due to low costs.

- School Law - ACT No 561 (Sept. 2004, valid from 1. 1. 2005)
- § 14 - Education of Members of National Minorities,
- § 16 - Education of Children, Pupils and Students with Special Education Needs. Term "child/pupil" with special needs is clarified, basic principles are defined as well as individual educational plan,
- § 17 - Education of Gifted Children, Pupils and Students,
- § 20 - Education of Foreign Nationals
Term "child/pupil with special needs" or "Giftedness" or "Foreign Nationality" are clarified, basic principles, like right to enrolment in the school of choice, individual educational plan are defined. as well as individual educational plan.

Further sections explained basic principles, responsibility of school, parents, student, etc.
Explanation: the law react on critics, improves some principles: parents are responsible for selection of school with the advice of special education centers and school staff. Student/parents have right to be included into all subjects. Student/Parents are responsible for adequate care outside school (additional rehabilitation/physiotherapy, speech therapy, personal assistant etc.). The school is responsible for appropriate services and support (smaller number of students in integrative class, teaching and learning environment, tools and advices, teacher assistant, individual educational plan, professional staff, etc.). The school has the right (school is obliged) to ask financial support from municipality.

In reality - the process of integration is improving step by step, mainly at primary school level and at university level. "Category" of disability - CP (movement, not intellect problems), children with hearing disability. The number of integrated students in CZ regions is not clear for author in this time due to "saving personal data". But - we are in process.

- Law 563 - educational professional (Sept. 2004, valid from 1. 1. 2005) (in Czech "pedagogický pracovník")

- § 2 - defined term "educational professional":

  1. teacher
  2. educator
  3. special educator/teacher
  4. psychologist
  5. pedagog of leisure time
  6. teacher assistant
  7. coach (trainer)
  8. leading educational professional
Explanation: the law determines the accepted positions for a job under umbrella of Ministry of education, youth and sports. The level Bc.- MA (Mgr.) and content (characteristics) of education is defined as well. Characteristics are presented in competencies (modules) related to requirement including "leaving exam approval". Recent situation was following: school directors employed very often non-graduated staff due to less salary for them in comparison with fully educated staff.

The law is quite fresh, we have no experience. In my opinion - the law can improve staff education (in case of chances in long-life study programs for recent elder generation O.K.practicals, in case checking and assessing situation in practice).

Related to APA graduates we don't perceive problem as APA graduates Bc are relevant for teacher assistant, pedagogue of leisure, pedagogue for EP at primary level). MA students have to pass pedagogy/psychology (requirement for teacher profession, educator and pedagogue of leisure), PE module (requirement for profession in PE, sports and leisure), special education (for SE profession, integrative PE and sport setting).

2. Inclusion in Physical Education

"PE paradox" phenomenon was described in THENAPA project: students are excluded from PE under parents decision (parents have no information about chance for PE and sports) and under medical decision (old fashioned directive about "health categories" and PE exclusion is still valid but discussion between Ministry of education and Ministry of Health started).
PE integration increased very rapidly since 1997. More successful is inclusion on elementary and primary level, worse situation seems to be at secondary level, quite good at universities (leisure time activities) and in APA professional study. The main problem is education (or additional education and/or support) of PE teachers. PE inclusion process is developed under official PE curricula of regular class and IEP of the pupil/student. Currently, very recent, a 4 weekends program was accredited (theory + practice + closing requirements) specially for specialist of school PE inclusion. The pilot program was successful this year (as a document for accreditation) and will start officially in October. Curricula for future specialists will be published in that time.

Inclusion in sports and physical activity

Czech Paralympic Committee and Czech federation of sportsmen with disabilities are roof non governmental organizations responsible for competitive sport.
Inclusion through sports federation depends on characteristics of federations, organisations.
a) Organisations, civic activities (friends, parents, volunteers) - not basically oriented on sports - would like to cooperate, they ask knowledge about integration and PE, sports.
b) General sports organizations - not too bad, not too excellent. Official agreements: tennis federation and wheelchair tennis federations, Czech-Moravian Football Federation and Special Olympics, basketball and wheelchair basketball. Attention to sports for disabled and changing to positive attitudes, more frequent disabled sports presentations during "normal" sports events - there is reality in CR. Currently sportsmen with hearing disability are included in regular sports clubs, very often compete with able-bodied group (athletics, swimming). Last examples - Czech National Academic Sports Games (May 2005) were opened to sportsmen with disability, they compete in regular events, without "indices" etc. (Athletics, swimming, badminton, archery.)

Foundation "EMIL" named in memory of Emil Zatopek, supports young athletes with disability economically (financial contribution for sports equipment, training campuses, international events etc.).
Foundation "Paraple" (based in cooperation of well-known popular actors and public Tv) supports persons with physical disabilities and movement disabilities in general, priority of the foundation is improvement daily life quality, but sports is supported in several cases.
"Bariery" - like Paraple, but oriented on all "categories" of disability, support sports and sports events as well. Public TV - channel 2 - regular programs per week:

- paralympic information (30 min.),
- Klíc (Key) - problems of deaf persons (25 min. general + 5 for sports).
- All international events are transmitted - from 5 min. reports up to "live" transmitting.
Situation in written media is worse than in TV - recent situation is analyzed due to several diploma thesis.

Employment of youngsters with a disability

General information about chances for job opportunities of young persons with disability is not O.K. due to maintaining low level of education. Educated persons can achieve better position (mainly they are oriented on computer services or languages or bank/insurance advising.
Top sportsmen with disabilities and graduates in "Kinanthropology studies" (APA, PE, Sport management, Sport Sciences) have great chance to be employed. In this time we finished serious research analyses with help students thesis.
E.g.: 2 professional basketball players in abroad contract
1 professional table tennis player in abroad contact
2 - with Ph.D at university and in governmental service
several as a teachers or teacher assistant
several - private sector (compensative advices and tools, sports advices)
etc.

Hana Valkova
http://www.inclusivesports.org/countries/czech.htm

 

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