Education and training of library technicians in Czechoslovakia.
Johnson, Ian M.
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Czechoslovakia, since 1969, has been a federal state of two nations. The Czech Socialist Republic (CSR) covers the western areas of the country, traditionally known as Bohemia and Moravia. The eastern portion, Slovakia, forms the Slovak Socialist Republic (SSR). The educational system is controlled separately by the Ministers of Education in each Republic, but the Federal government takes a close interest in the state and development of educational work. Since World War II, substantial progress has been made in the development of education in Czechoslovakia, particularly in Slovakia where education had been comparatively neglected by the Austro-Hungarian government prior to the establishment of the Czechoslovakian Republic at the end of World War I. Emphasis has been placed on the development of higher education and, under the influence of the Russian system, with programmes of study adapted to the economic and cultural needs of the country as perceived by government planners. The aim of schools is to educate the youth and the working people to function as socially useful citizens of the republic. Nine years of compulsory basic schooling, beginning at the age of six, is followed by a four-year secondary programme. This programme can be completed in the "gymnasia" (general secondary schools), in vocational secondary schools, or in apprentice training schools. Students can take the school leaving certificate at any of these types of secondary schools. The first courses for librarians were offered in Czechoslovakia in 1918, and the first library school was established in 1920 under the control of the Ministry of Education and Culture. A school of librarianship was established in Charles University, Prague, in 1927, but it was re-established in the early 1950s following the amalgamation and re-organisation of three schools of librarianship in Prague. During the same period, in the early 1950s, the first of the specialist secondary schools was opened, the vocational secondary school for librarians in Brno. Today, there are two university schools of librarianship, in Prague and Bratislava, and three secondary schools for librarians, in Prague, Bratislava and Brno.