EDUCATION IN OUR COUNTRY
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EDUCATION IN OUR COUNTRY, LEARNING FOREIGN LANGUAGES In my opinion school is really important. Everybody should be at least basically educated. The more educated you are, the bigger is the possibility you will get a good, well-paid job. Pre-school education usually begins at the age of 3. Children go to kindergartens, where they learn basic things such as alphabet or counting. But mostly they are playing games, singing, sleeping after the lunch and simply maintaining their first big contact with social rules and ethics. Some children (who have busy parents) attend day nursery schools from 1 year to 3 years of age. At the age of six Czech children must enter nine-year primary school. The school year begins on September 1st and finishes on June 30th. It has 2 parts – first school (from 1st grade to 5th) and lower secondary school (from 6th grade to 9th). Kids gradually learn to read, write and count, later they are introduced to the geography, history, natural sciences and so on. During the school year their performance is marked in every subject. At the end of the school year children get report of their academic record. Actually, there are two reports – the other is at the end of the first term. But this less important. Naturally, every child is looking forward to holidays. The longer, the better. That’s why the 2 months long summer holidays are the best! Other holidays are Christmas holidays, spring holidays, half-term holidays, and a few free days on state holidays. Most schools are financed by the state. However, there are also private schools where you pay for tuition. By law, the school-leaving age is 15. Primary school is compulsory for all kids. I n the final year of elementary school many pupils face a problem. They must decide if they will to continue studying or start working. For those who will to continue, there are many secondary education alternatives. Thegrammar school prepares students for university and lasts four years or longer (if the students have enrolled earlier from elementary (primary) school). The studies may be focused more on humanities as well as science, but they have no specialisation. Students simply have to learn everything. The secondary studies finish with a final school-leaving exam in the fourth year, which consists of minimum of four subjects, two compulsory: Czech and a foreign language/mathematics and two or more electives.Apart from grammar schools, students may attend secondarybusiness schools oragriculture ortechnical schools.For the talented, there areconservatories where you can study music or acting.Another option issecondary vocational school, which train young people for jobs of bakers, mechanics, bricklayers or waiters. These schools end by gaining vocational certificate. In order to study at university, students have to pass demanding entrance exams or interviews. The school choices are quite wide-ranging. We can decide whether we will study at school with a technical, humanities or economic orientation, medical facility or a conservatory. Education at universities is free of charge in the Czech Republic. But there are some private ones, where you have to pay for your studies. Universities have several levels. The first is a three-year-bachelor programme. If you successfully complete this level, you can attend master programme. If you study economical or technical college, you will gain the title of engineer. Than you can try to get doctor’s degree, if you want. Every studying programme finishes with a final state exam and a thesis defense. The completion of studies is marked by a ceremony, where we get a diploma certifying the successful completion of studies. The diploma might be red or blue. The red one marks that you were extraordinary successful. One of our most renowned universities is Charles University, founded in the 14th century by Charles IV. There are also special driving schools. Here you can learn how to drive any kind of vehicle – car, bus, motorcycle, tractor etc. These are not state institutions, everyone has to pay for tuition. The final exam consists of theoretical knowledge and driving skills. It would be suitable to mention some special schools that prepare children with mental or physical handicaps for normal life. Specialised teachers are using special methods to help them prepare for the life. Finally studying foreign languages. In my opinion it is important for everybody. We have many reasons to study them. Travelling abroad, reading foreign books, newspapers, magazines, business communication, corresponding with friends or for cultural reasons (watching films, visiting concerts and exhibitions) – that is where we need to use foreign languages. The most important language for the world communication is English. It’s spoken in many parts of the world, mainly in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (and also in Malta and Gibraltar). We can find English expressions more and more at present – in technical and electronic scientific circles people use many English expressions, computer programs and games are in English. English is very popular and important now, but we can also study other foreign languages. In our country we study mainly German, French, Spanish and Russian. We begin studying them at elementary school. But there are courses for younger or older people in several language schools. Nowadays exotic languages are becoming more and more popular. Also you can learn language by watching filmy, listening to songs or downloading an application to your mobile phone.