So far the science of pedagogy has neglected the problems of vocational education of apprentices and of pupils of technical schools. This fact may be explained by „objective“ and „subjective“ reasons.
1. T he „objective“ reasons may be summed up as follows; The schools concerned represent comparatively young types of school. On the territory of our state, technical schools have existed for more than 130 years, but they were scanty till the liberation in 1945. In vocational schools instruction was only an adjunct of vocational training. In the capitalist system, even the vocational training was not systematic. The apprentice rerpesentcd, above all, a cheap labour power. As a system which organically connects the vocational training with the theoretical instruction, the vocational schools began to be constituted as late as in the last ten years. A very im portant step in furthering the vocational schools has been made by the decree of the Central Committee of the Com m unist Party of Czechoslovakia from April 1959 according to which these schools have been placed first among the schools of the second cycle (i.e. schools that prepare youth after finishing the obligatt)ry school).
2. „Subjective“ reasons are common both to vocational schools and to technical schools. T eachers of technical disciplines at these schools, are technicians, engineers, agronoms, physicians, economists etc., who, as a rule, are better acquainted with problems of their disciplines than with pedagogical problems. Scientific workers in the field of pedagogy are nearly all recruited from teachers of gram mar schools. Consequently their erudition does not encompass the field of technical preparation which is very complicated and, as yet, has been given only a very small literary publicity.
In Czechoslovakia there is a right tendency to solve^ the problems of technical preparation at technical and apprentice schools within the complex of45edagogical problems. Two things are needed here:
1 . to establish a special working place and 2 . to excite ah interest in these qyestions among pedagogues working in the field of general pedagogics.
The general objective of education is common to all our schools, but the conditions of its realization are different.
Technical subjects at technical schools are taught by experts who mostly have no systematic pedagogical education. There is a considerable num ber of apprentices who have not finished their basic education, especially the apprentices in the little-sought-for lines. Another peculiarity of the apprenticeship is the fact that apprentices are mostly in the educational charge of persons other than teachers, i. e. of foremen and instructors who only exceptionally have any pedagogical education. The vocational training of apprentices usually takes place in a normal working environment which also exerts a considerable influence upon them . A uniform educational working upon apprentices is achieved in a more difficult way thaii in other schools, because the teachers of theory and the teachers of vocational training (foremen or instructors) are usually separated in organizational respect, the teachers of theory being employees of National Committees, the foremen and instructors being employees of plants.
In the field of theoretical instruction there are many features common to technical schools and to the apprenticeship . First of all, it is the fact that those who have finished their studies at technical and apprentice schools, immediately enter their jobs. Thus the level of the work of these schools is directly verified by the achievements of their graduates in practice. Of recent years this form of control has evoked practical changes in the content and in the organization of the vocational preparation of qualified workers.
A clean-cut technical bearing of secondary technical schools and the establishment for the education of apprentices bring further specific problems and tasks: 1 . the task to state the num ber and scope of the lines of study so th a t they be in accordance with the needs of national economy and at the same time meet the pedagogical and organizational requirem ents; 2 . the variety of problems and tasks concermng the content, forms and methpds of work; 3. the different duration of vocational preparation, especiaUy in the apprenticeship; 4. the need of a great num ber of different curricula and of different textbooks. There are also some organizational peculiarities arising, for instance, from the dispersity of the working sites for vocational training in some lines. The variety of lines creates very complicated conditions for the research in this field.
As the starting data for stating the lines, content and scope of the education serve the profiles of qualified workers aild technicians and the analysis of those profiles. A close relation of the vocational preparation to the technology and economics forces us to consider not only the present situation, but also to analyse the changes that will be caused by further development.