Cities in CZECH REPUBLIC
From 1948 to 1989, the former Czechoslovak Republic was a communist state with a one-party system. After the fall of the communist regime in 1989, the Czechs and Slovaks decided to continue separately, after 71 years as a joint state. The Czech Republic officially started on 1 January 1993 as an independent state and parliamentary democracy.
According to the 1993 Constitution, the Czech Republic is a parliamentary republic whose head of state is a president elected by both chambers for a term of five years, with a maximum of two terms. The executive power is vested in the government, headed by the prime minister, so the power of the head of state is relatively limited. The president can veto legislative proposals and, after elections, can nominate the intended prime minister. He is also responsible for appointing ministers and the chairman of the Central Bank and has the power to grant pardons.
Legislative power is vested in the Parliament, which has two chambers: the House of Representatives (Poslanecká snemovna) with 200 members elected by universal suffrage every four years, and the Senate with 81 members, one third of whom are elected by direct suffrage every two years. Senators are elected for a six-year term.
All Czechs aged 18 and over have the right to vote. There is a 5% electoral threshold for political parties.
The Constitution stresses the independence of the judiciary. The Constitutional Court is the highest authority in constitutional matters and consists of 15 judges appointed by the President on a proposal from the Parliament. For the current political situation see History section.
Since 1 January 2000, a new administrative structure has been in place and the Czech Republic has gained a new elected level of government. The Czech Republic is now divided into 14 administrative regions. Previously, the Czech Republic was divided into seven regions and two urban districts, but these were abolished on 1 January 2000.
Education in the Czech Republic is of a relatively high standard and is largely financed by the state. After the fall of communism, however, there was an increase in the number of private schools and schools run by churches. Since then, fewer and fewer pupils have attended vocational schools, while more and more pupils are receiving higher education.
Almost 90% of all children between the ages of three and six attend kindergarten. From the age of six, children attend primary education from grades one to five. This is followed by secondary education from grade six to nine. Most children continue their education at a school for higher secondary education, which is divided into three directions.
First of all, there are the grammar schools, which provide a general education that prepares for university education. Then there are vocational schools and technical schools that offer three- and four-year courses.
Universities offer five- or six-year courses. The Charles University in Prague was founded in 1348 and was the first university in Europe north of the Alps and east of France. Annually, this university has about 27,000 students and about 3,500 teachers and professors.
Since 1990, many private schools have sprung up, especially in secondary education. In the school year 1998/1999, approx. 1.2 million children attended primary school, approx. 450,000 children attended different types of secondary school and approx. 236,000 students attended higher education.
Mandos, M. / Tsjechië
Schneider, J. / Tsjechië
Sioras, E. / Czech Republic
Wilson, N. / Czech & Slovak Republics
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