Can more practical classes be organized in companies?

We called high school and insisted to send students to practice in our company. They told us that this is a problem because they then reduce the standard fund of teachers’ hours. We do not know what it’s all about, but we said – so let teachers come with children!

A representative of a metal processing company

Representatives of the company appeal that it is necessary to improve the practical teaching of secondary school students, who “have almost no practical knowledge” for the professions for which they are educated. Companies offer space, capacities, raw materials and time to maintain practical teaching in their facilities, having in mind the possibility of choosing future workers trained to work on their machines. Also, for the organization of practical classes, workers in companies should use their working time to perform practical teaching for students, i.e. to train them for work on machines (which are outside the production process during the course of practical training) and protect them from injuries.

On the other hand, workshops for practical classes in secondary schools are most commonly equipped according to the minimum requirements necessary for the approval of the profession by the Ministry of Education: old machines and devices, insufficient number, from different sources, purchased machines and old tools.

Following the example of the developed countries, practical training would certainly be improved by increasing the fund of classes practiced in enterprises.

However, despite the company’s interest in increasing the number of classes of practical teaching in their facilities, secondary schools do not use it or do not use it sufficiently.

The reasons for this are the following (defined in cooperation with a representative of a secondary school):

  • If students perform practice in the company, teachers in that sector of practical training would become a technological surplus, since the RS Ministry of Education and Culture does not finance teachers who conduct practical classes outside the school workshops.
  • The total number of classes for performing practical teaching is defined by the curriculum for a occupation and it is not allowed to change the number of classes at the level of the educational institution. The Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska is responsible for changing the number of classes (and it is applied for all schools in the Republic of Srpska). Depending on the needs of enterprises and capacities of practical workshops, schools can change the curriculum up to 30% and thus meet the needs of the employers, with the aim of improving the specialist knowledge needed to work on their machines, in their technological process of production (according to the representatives of the secondary school, this percentage of changes can mostly cover most of the important needs of the company and this is for now the only legit way to improve the quality of students for work in the industry).