About 60 per cent of our youth pass through a period of apprenticeship. Therefore, if we speak about the education of adolescent youth, we are concerned primarily with the education of apprentices.
According to the Apprentices Law of 1958 apprentices are educated at Trade Training Centres, which have three organisational forms: 1. The Trade Training Centre as a complete educational establishment gives the apprentices practical training in their trade, instruction and all the other components of education; such a training centre forms an organisational unit and is administered by the firm; 2. practical training in the trade is given by an apprentices’ training centre administered by the firm, while instruction is gived by a trade school administered by local educational authoritles; 3. practical training in the trade is given individually at various places of work from the very beginning of the apprenticeship period, instruction is given as under 2.)
The first form of organisation creates the best conditions for educational work to be uniform and effective, while the third form is the least suitable in this respect. It is therefore desirable to pass on to the higher forms of organisation. Nowadays about 45 per cent according to the first pattern, and only about 15 per cent according to the third.
A new system of trades will come into effect on September 1, 1962. In this new system universal trades predominate. Therefore there are only 257 trades, all of them requiring three - or two - year training. Trades with one-year training are abolished. In the Czechoslovak industry there are about two thirds of skilled workers working in those trades for which preparation is organised at apprentices’ training centres. Training for less exacting occupations as to knowledge and skills has other forms than apprenticeship at training centres.
The system of trades must be derived from an analysis of conditions and requirements of the individual branches of our national economy.
On the basis of the resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia of April, 1959, a reform is now being carried out as to the content of education. The new syllabuses will come Into force in the school year 1962— 3.
The reform concerns all the three components of apprentices’ training — training in the trade, theoretical technical subjects and general education - and also their mutual proportions.
General education and P. T. are given more time. (E . g. In the syllabus for the trade of toolmaker the proportion of general education and P. T. is raised from 15 per cent to 19 per cent. The propotion of theoretical technical subjects rises from 16 per cent to 19 per cent). This increase is achieved, above all, by extending classroom instruction in the last year of apprenticeship from one day to two days a week. Instruction in general subjects is given, as far as possible, up to the last year of apprenticeship, in order to make it easier for the future workers to continue their education while working. Every third worker and later every second worker who has finished his apprenticeship is expected to continue to study while working.
The Russian language is introduced as a new subject. So are some optional subjects. The subject-matter in theoretical technical subjects is adapted in accordance with technical development. The principle of appropriateness in the selection of teaching material is more consistently applied. (So far there has been too much material of a descriptive character in some subjects.)
A small reduction In the number of hours devoted to practical training in the trade must not affect adversely the results achieved. It Is therefore necessary to organise the apprentices’ work better and to improve the methods of practical training. As regards collective or Individual form, of this training, a combination of the tvyo forms Is considered the most suitable.