14 SES 13, Parents, Schools and Communities to Prevent Disaffection and Reduce Inequalities
School clubs in the Czech Republic are traditional out-of-school time facilities that are engaged in childcare out of school hours. These facilities operate under the auspices of the school and provide organized and structured leisure time activities to pupils in primary schools (družina) and lower-secondary schools (klub). The participation in their afterschool programmes is voluntary and usually, the pupil enrolment is possible for a minor fee.
As noted by Pávková et al. (2002), facilities for leisure time activities (including school clubs) have several functions, one of which is the social function. Not only they care for children while their parents are at work, but they might also equalize the differences between unequal material or psychological conditions in families. That helps especially the children who grow up in less stimulating family background (ibid, p. 40–41; Knotová, 2011, p. 55). In general, the research shows that afterschool programs have positive impact on school absenteeism, school achievement and work and study habits, with greater benefits for disadvantaged children (see Mahoney, Larson, Eccles & Lord, 2005, p. 8–9). It is also established by the previous research, that participation in such programmes helps to prevent crime and drug use, promotes health and wellness and contributes to good social and emotional development (Little, Wimer & Weiss, 2007, Hájek & Pávková et al., 2008).
As the impact of afterschool programs are already quite explored in the scholarly literature, less is known about the factors underlying the enrolment and participation in such afterschool programmes, in which participation is not obligatory. To date, very few data was available on the social composition of the pupils attending the afterschool programs in these facilities (school clubs) in the Czech Republic, and the ministry does not collect the data on the socioeconomic background of pupils participating in their afterschool programmes. How accessible are these facilities in terms of availability and capacity for children? Are these facilities visited mostly by disadvantaged pupils to whom the structured free-time out of school activities might be most beneficial? The effects of the participation in such programs in the Czech context have not been not evaluated yet. What impact does the attendance of the school clubs has?
Having these questions in mind, the objective of the paper is to: 1) To assess the coverage of these facilities in the country and pupils’ enrolment rates in these facilities, 2) To assess the pupil-related factors (e.g. social background, participation in other out-of-school time activities) associated with the enrolment in school clubs,
The results will help to determine, what groups of pupils are underrepresented in these programs and thus on what groups of pupils should the recruitment for these afterschool programs be targeted. It will also help to evaluate whether such programs are effective in increasing the academic outcomes of their participants. The implications of findings are discussed with relation to the education policy.
Hájek, B., Pávková, J. et al. (2008). Školní družina. Praha: Portál. Knotová, D. (2011). Pedagogické dimenze volného času. Brno: Paido. Little, P., Wimer, C., & Weiss, H. (2007). After School Programs in the 21st Century: Their Potential and What It Takes to Achieve It. Cambridge: Harvard Family Research Project. Mahoney, J., Larson, R., Eccles, J., & Lord, J. (2005). Organized activities as developmental contexts for children and adolescents. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Pávková, J., Hájek, B., Hofbauer, B., Hrdličková, V., & Pavlíková, A. (2002). Pedagogika volného času: teorie, praxe a perspektivy výchovy mimo vyučování a zařízení volného času. Praha: Portál.
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