When calculated in the euro and adjusted for purchasing power parity, the proportion does not look much better. Data from 2008 show that the Czech Republic spends EUR 3000 a year on every pupil – the same amount as Lithuania. Much less developed Rumania and Bulgaria spend one quarter less.
The Czech Republic is thus doing exactly the opposite of what Czech and foreign experts suggest it should be doing.
Education is the key (so don’t lose it)
The Czech government’s advisers consider a better education system the key to future prosperity.
“We can preserve (the Czech Republic’s) role of the processing and logistic center of Europe only on the basis of a differently educated population,” said economist Michal Mejstřík.
And in this respect, the most crucial phase of the education process is always primary education.
A PISA 2009 report, conducted by the OECD, shows that Czech primary schools are getting worse in terms of the quality of the education they give. The data on how are Czech primary schools financed show that the bad results from PISA and other tests are caused by insufficient financing. Among the seven countries whose pupils fared the worst in the reading part of the test, five of them are the countries with lowest spending per pupil. In addition, the OECD data show that in these countries, teachers have the lowest salaries compared to other professions. According to an analysis conducted by McKinsey & Company, a consultancy firm, this factor can be a crucial obstacle to improving or just preserving the quality of education.
“Education systems with best results (in PISA) show that their quality depends on the quality of the teachers,” the report explains. Low salaries discourage high-quality graduates from a pedagogical career. “There are three requirements for a successful education policy: demanding preparation of teachers, good starting salaries, and high social status for teachers,” the McKinsey report concludes.