Environmental education in the Czech Republic is guided by the National Environmental Education Program passed by the Czech government. It is also a cross-subject theme within the national curricula for primary and secondary schools. Environmental educators can engage in professional development opportunities through nongovernmental EE organizations, and can receive an official qualification degree. Environmental education centers in the Czech Republic can become members of Network of Environmental Education Centres Pavučina, a national NGO EE association with over 45 member organizations. Within the national government, the Unit of Voluntary Instruments and Cooperation with NGOs at the Ministry of the Environment takes a lead role in coordinating environmental education at a national level. Funding for EE comes from a variety of sources, including the national government, international NGOs, county and city administrations, foundations, business corporate social responsibility programs, and individuals
Policy & Practice
The National Environmental Education Program is legislation passed by the Czech government. The program was accepted in 2000, and thoroughly updated in 2016. It defines priority areas, priority themes, goals, and objectives to foster environmental education at the national level in the Czech Republic.
EE in K-12 Education
Environmental education (EE) is a cross-subject theme in national curricula for primary and secondary schools. This means that all schools must incorporate, in one way or another, EE into their work with children. Advice on how to develop EE at schools is elaborated in more detail in Recommended Learning Outcomes for Environmental Education, which cover the areas of environmental sensitivity, principles, problems and issues, inquiry skills, and action strategies.
Environmental Educator has recently become one of the professions in the National Register of Qualifications. It enables people to prove their competencies and receive an official qualification degree. However, there is little experience with the process so far. In addition, there is a program run by a Czech nongovernmental umbrella organization for EE Pavučina that offers certification for organizations providing EE programs. The certification scheme checks the prerequisites for high quality EE in the fields of EE programs, development of environmental educators, organizational and environmental management. Most often, professional development of environmental educators is supported individually by various organizations working in the field of environmental education. The Czech nongovernmental umbrella organization for EE Pavučina is offering trainings and workshops for both beginners and advanced environmental educators. There are also other possibilities of connected trainings and seminars.
Network of Environmental Education Centres Pavučina is a national NGO EE association with over 45 member organizations. Pavučina is a place for cooperation and exchange of experiences. It supports its members to achieve high quality EE. It also advocates and negotiates for the development of EE on the national level with other partners. The Czech Republic is also affiliated with other international groups that support EE, including: Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) through the Czech member organization TEREZA; the Institute for Earth Education (IEE); the European Association for Heritage Interpretation; and Real World Learning Network.
EE in the National Government
The Unit of Voluntary Instruments and Cooperation with NGOs at the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic is the main body to coordinate the environmental education system on the governmental level.
National EE Campaigns and Funding
On a national level, the biggest funding for EE comes from the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic and Grants for NGOs Program of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. A substantial part of the Czech Republic’s EE funding comes from occasional EU grants, European Social Funds, or EEA and Norway Grants. Some funds on EE are available from different county and city administrations, foundations, business corporate social responsibility programs, or individuals.