Overview: Czech Republic Education System

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is responsible for the education system in Czech Republic. It formulates the educational policies and objectives. The Czech Republic education system encompasses state, public and private educational institutions/schools.

Snapshot of Czech Education System

Pre-Primary Education

Pre-primary education in Czech Republic is provided by nursery schools (mateřske skoly). The municipalities are responsible for pre-primary education in Czech Republic. It is not mandatory to attend nursery schools. Children between the ages of 3 and 6 years can go for nursery schools.

Compulsory Education

Children aged 6 years through 15 years must attend basic schooling. Compulsory Education in Czech Republic lasts for 9 years and is provided by primary and lower secondary schools. 

Basic/Primary Education

Basic education in Czech Republic includes primary education (ISCED 1) and lower-secondary education (ISCED 2) education. Some students leave basic schools after fifth or seventh grade to attend multi-year general secondary schools (gymnazium).
  • Duration: 9 years
  • Ages: 6-15
  • Credential awarded: Primary School Leaving Certificate (Vysvědčeni) 

Secondary Education

Upper secondary schools (středni skoly) offer upper secondary education (ISCED 3) which can be general, technical or vocational. Students have following upper secondary school options:

General Upper Secondary Education [ISCED 3A]

The General secondary education (Gymnazium) is of 4 years in duration and children between the ages of 15-19 can attend it. It prepares students for tertiary level of education.
  • Credential: School-leaving examination certificate (vysvědčeni o maturitni zkousce)

Technical Secondary Education [ISCED 3B]

This form of education is of 4 years in duration and children between the ages of 15-19 can attend it. 
  • Credential: School-leaving examination certificate (vysvědčeni o maturitni zkousce)

Vocational Secondary Education [ISCED 3C]

This form of education is of 2-3 years in duration and children between the ages of 15-17/18 can attend it. These schools prepare students for a particular vocation and the focus is on developing practical knowledge and skills. 
  • Credential: Apprenticeship Certificate (vyučni list)
Students who leave upper secondary education can go for follow-up and shortened courses of 1 to 2 years in duration. Such students are awarded final examination certificate (vysvědčeni o zavěrečne zkousce).


Conservatoires (konzervatoře) provide art education of 6 and 8 years in duration. The 6 year programmes are offered by the upper secondary and tertiary education, while the 8-year programme is offered by the lower and upper secondary and tertiary education. This type of school focuses on music, dance and drama. The programmes that concentrate on dancing lasts for 8 years, starting with grade 6 whereas the programmes that concentrate on music and drama lasts for 6  years. 
  • Credential Awarded: maturitni zkousce  and absolutoriu 

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education sector of Czech Republic is split into higher education (ISCED 5A and 6) and tertiary professional education (ISCED 5B). The minimum admission requirement for tertiary studies in Czech Republic is the school-leaving examination certificate (vysvědčeni o maturitni zkousce).

Higher Education

Higher education in Czech Republic is provided by higher education institutions. Higher education encompasses 3 cycles:
  • Bachelor’s degree programme (ISCED 5A): These programmes are of 3-4 years duration 
  • Master’s degree programme (ISCED 5A): These programmes are of 1-3 years duration, or  4–6 years in case of programmes not following bachelor’s degree studies. Such programmes are known as non-structured study programmes
  • Doctoral degree programme (ISCED 6): The length of these programmes ranges from 3 to 4 years
Higher education institutions are either of a university type, offering all 3 cycles of study, or a non-university type, offering the Bachelor degree programmes. Higher education comprises public, private and state universities

Tertiary Professional Education

Tertiary professional education develops and promotes skills and knowledge that pupils gained in secondary education and provides general education and vocational training to carry out professional activities. Education at this level is provided by tertiary professional schools (vyssi odborne skoly). However, it can also be obtained at conservatoires (konzervatoře).

Adult Education and Training

Adult education and training includes the field of general, vocational and civic/special-interest education. Along with the lifelong learning, adult education further splits up into formal, non-formal and informal.
Adult education and training is provided by primary, secondary, tertiary professional schools and higher education institutions, public administration and self-government bodies and their educational institutions, employer organisations, non-profit organisations and professional and commercial institutions.  
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