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Education

Religious education

Religious communities which acquired “the special right to teach religion at public schools” according to Act on Churches and Religious Societies No. 3/2002 have the right to organise religious (...)

Religious communities which acquired “the special right to teach religion at public schools” according to Act on Churches and Religious Societies No. 3/2002 have the right to organise religious classes as a non compulsory subject in all public schools. They can organise classes in a particular school alone, or unite to provide common classes. The class must be open if there are at least seven pupils attending a school applying (meaning that their parents have applied for them).
Teachers need to be authorised by the relevant religious community but the school is their employer and pays their salary. All pupils may attend religious education classes, even if they are not members of the organising religious community. Religious communities support this practice because of ecumenical cooperation and common need.
The Church schools and private schools have an absolutely free choice to provide compulsory or voluntary religious education or to exclude it from their curricula entirely.

For further information, see the article "Religion in public education in Czech Republic" of Jiří Rajmund Tretera and Záboj Horák in Gerhard Robbers (Hrsg.), Religion in Public Education – La religion dans l’éducation publique, European Consortium for Church and State Research, Trier, 2011, 99-112.

D 9 October 2012    AZáboj Horák

Church Schools

Three types of primary and secondary schools can be found in the Czech Republic: the majority of schools are public schools, established by municipalities or regional authorities or exceptionally (...)

Three types of primary and secondary schools can be found in the Czech Republic: the majority of schools are public schools, established by municipalities or regional authorities or exceptionally by the State. Secondly, there are also church schools, established by a religious community. Thirdly, one can find private schools (established by an individual or legal entity of private law). Religious communities are recognized as a legal entity of private law and can established private schools too, but they do it rarely.
During the communist regime in the years 1950–1990, there were no private or church schools have not existed. Both have been newly established in 1990.
Only certain churches and religious societies, and their member bodies with legal personality (church national centres, dioceses, orders, parishes) can be founders of church schools. The Act on Churches and Religious Societies No. 3/2002 granted “the special right to create church schools” to: the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Ausgsburg Confession, the Unity of Brethren (Moravian Brethren), the Baptists, the Adventists, the Federation of Jewish Communities, the Apostolic Church (Pentecostal Church), the Church of Brethren (Evangelicals-Congregationalists).
Most of the costs of church schools are paid by the State. The religious community appoints the director of the school and usually provides a building. The students are admitted after fulfilling the admission requirements, and their admission is not the result of their religious belonging. The certificates given by church schools have a public validity.
There are about 130 church schools in the Czech Republic, 70% of them are Catholic. There are about 30 other church school facilities, which include pupil homes, pedagogical and psychological centres and recreational centres for children and youth.

D 9 October 2012    AZáboj Horák

Theological Faculties and Higher Theological Schools

There are in the Czech Republic five theological faculties within public universities, paid from the State budget: three at the Charles University in Prague (Catholic, Protestant and Hussite), (...)

There are in the Czech Republic five theological faculties within public universities, paid from the State budget: three at the Charles University in Prague (Catholic, Protestant and Hussite), and two Catholic theological faculties at other universities (Olomouc, České Budějovice). The main legal source concerning the legal status of theological faculties is the University Act No. 111/1998.
Churches have right of missio canonica in relation to teachers. The faculties have the right of public graduation of bachelors, masters and doctors of theology. The grades of Associate Professor and Professor in theology, conferred by a particular university, also have a public validity.
Religious communities have founded eleven public higher schools providing theological and other special education.

D 5 November 2013    AZáboj Horák

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