Training & Qualifications: In 1996 approximately 138,500 full and part time teachers provided educational services to 16.6 percent of the country's population or the 1,712,900 students enrolled in primary and secondary schools. During the 1996-1997 school year about 36,000 teachers (approximately 33,000 women and 3,000 men) taught primary students, 46,000 teachers (approximately 35,000 women and 12,000 men) taught at the lower-secondary level, and 57,000 teachers (approximately 31,000 women and 26,000 men) provided instruction in upper-secondary schools.
Although kindergarten teachers in the Czech Republic receive their training in secondary schools and higher pedagogical schools, teachers of primary and secondary school students are initially trained at institutions of higher education. In-service training is provided by schools and paid for by subsidies received from the government for special programming determined at the discretion of the schools themselves. Special pedagogical centers and the pedagogical faculties in institutions of higher education also provide in-service training to teachers. Schools also have the option of sending their teaching staffs to courses in management, languages, and other subject areas. Subnational educational administrative offices or in the year 2000, the district-level school offices attached to the Ministry of Education also have provided and financed a certain number of teacher-education courses.
Because the majority of teachers and educational staff in the Czech Republic are government employees, most teachers are paid salaries relatively lower than those received by other professionals and persons employed in the business sector. This has been a formidable obstacle to attracting new teachers in the years since the Communist system was dismantled, as many young people find the pay levels in the education sector to be unappealing and therefore opt for careers where the wages are higher.
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