COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Czech Republic/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.1 Institutional overview

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MEYS) is the primary body responsible for education in the arts in the CR. In conformity with the National Programme for the Development of Education in the Czech Republic (the "White Book on Education" – see also chapter 8.3.3), Act No. 561/2004 Coll., on Preschool, Elementary, Secondary, Higher and Other Education establishes a multi-level system for the creation of educational programmes for educating children from the age of 3. Framework Education Programmes (FEPs) are formulated at the state level for individual types of education. Based on these FEPs and the rules established therein, individual schools each create their own School Curriculum (SC). To date FEPs have been issued for pre-school education, elementary education (including a programme for special education elementary schools), academic secondary schools, for 279 secondary schools with a vocational speciality, including conservatories, for language schools that administer language exams certified by the MEYS, and for elementary-level arts schools.

The FEP for preschool education establishes five learning areas that include arts subjects. The FEP for elementary education establishes Arts and Culture as one of nine learning areas in elementary education. The Arts and Culture learning area encompasses the subjects of Music and Art (which are compulsory subjects in the curriculum for grades 1–9 of elementary school). Complementary course subjects include Drama, Film / Audio-Visual Studies, and Dance. The Arts and Culture learning area is also part of the FEP for academic secondary schools. Music and Art are established as compulsory subjects in the curriculum for the first two years of study, and related taught subjects may also be offered in the upper grades and they may be offered with the option of an end-of-school exam granting an advanced-level academic qualification. The subjects of Drama and Film / Audio-Visual Studies are here again included under Complementary Subjects.

The most complex programme of arts education is offered by Elementary Arts Schools (a Czech phenomenon) as extra-curricular educational institutions. In conformity with the FEP they teach subjects in music, dance, the visual arts, and literature / drama.

Conservatories provide grade-level education in the fields of music, drama, and dance and specialise in preparing students for a professional career in the field of the arts and in arts education.

Secondary vocational, academic-technical, and technical schools provide an education in the arts by specialisms either directly within a given arts field (Art or the Applied Arts), in the framework of an education studies programme (secondary pedagogical schools and academic-technical schools), or within a course in Aesthetics taught as a foundation course for understanding the arts and culture.

There are four public post-secondary schools in the Czech Republic that offer educational programmes in the arts: the Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague (http://www.amu.cz), the Academy of Fine Art in Prague (http://www.avu.cz), the Academy of Applied Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague (http://www.vsup.cz) and Janáèek Academy of the Performing Arts in Brno (http://www.jamu.cz). Other universities have separate arts faculties, such as the Institute for Arts Studies at the University of Ostrava, the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Brno University of Technology, the Faculty of Restoration at the University of Pardubice in Litomyšl, or the Faculty of Applied Arts and Design at J. E. Purkynì University in Ústínad Labem. Education faculties and some post-secondary arts institutions also prepare teachers of individual arts fields based on curricular documents.

Next to state schools and schools under the jurisdiction of the municipalities there are also private arts schools at every level of education. Since the start of the 1990s a variety of initiatives of professional and interest associations, professional conferences, and discussion forums have been striving for a place in arts (especially formal) education (e.g. Scholaludus, a document put forth by the state-wide Creative Drama Association in 1990; Dance in the Schools, a project by the civic association Tanec Praha; and Dance Vision, existing since 2006; or an initiative that emerged from a Meeting on Film Education in February 2011).

In September 2011 an initiative of NIPOS and the professional community in cooperation with the MEYS and the MC led to the organisation of the Inter-Ministerial Discussion Forum on Arts Education and the Role of Cultural Organisations. The Forum initiated a nationwide discussion of the role of and support for arts education in the CR. At its conclusion, participants agreed on summary communique in support of essential dialogue between representatives of the ministries of culture and education (see also chapter 3.3). In a follow up to the discussion forum, an initiative of the Department of Drama in Education at DAMU and the Theatre and Education Studio at the Theatre Faculty of JAMU resulted in a public discussion form, held on 21 January 2012 at DAMU, on the position of subjects in the arts within the general education system, which was attended by representatives of post-secondary schools, the ministry of education, National Institute for Education, and other organisations concerned with education in the arts.

The conclusions from both meetings and proceedings from the September forum are available online at: http://www.umeleckevzdelavani.cz/df_minule.html.

In the follow up to both forums, in February 2013 in cooperation between NIPOS and the Goethe Institute a conference was held in Prague called "Impulses for Education in the Arts in the Czech Republic and Germany". The programme provided representatives of Czech and German cultural institutions with a platform for sharing experiences with programmes and projects in the field of arts education in Germany and the Czech Republic. The conference provided participants with impulses for the further development of formal and informal education in the Czech Republic.

In May 2013 the first year of the Week of Arts Education and Amateur Creative Work took place. A total of 254 musical, theatre, literary, dance, audio-visual and interdisciplinary projects and events signed up and posted their event on the activities map of this event. As the coordinator of this project NIPOS helped to promote all these activities nationwide and created a unique map offering the public a geographical presentation of an exceptionally wide range of activities taking place in the CR over the week of this event. The Week of Arts Education and Voluntary Arts is an initiative that fuses UNESCO's International Arts Education Week and Europe's Voluntary Arts Week (for more information, see http://www.amaterskatvorba.cz/o_akci.html).

In February 2014 a round-table meeting was organised on the subject of Formal and Informal Education in the Arts under the aegis of the Czech Commission for UNESCO.  The main discussion points were the relationship between formal and informal education in the arts and the role of public administration, civil society and professional cultural organisations. The round-table meeting produced a declaration that can be obtained at: http://www.culturenet.cz/aktuality/kulaty-stul-na-tema-formalni-a-neformalni-umelecke-vzdelavani/n:14537/.

Another round-table meeting, this time on the subject of the Role of the Media in Education in the Arts, is being prepared for October 2014, again under the aegis of the Czech Commission for UNESCO.


Chapter published: 28-01-2016

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