The Modern School of the 21st Century for Deaf/Hard of Hearing in Hradec Kralove
Educational approaches to Deaf and hard of hearing students with special educational needs always develop from the educational options and needs of the individual students. Special pedagogues and many professionals give 100% in serving students as they lead the child on the path to knowledge. The interest of the child always takes precedence, in order for the student to reach similar targets as his peers without special needs in other schools. These children are as smart, clever and inquisitive as the majority population. If they will have daily special-pedagogical support and have alternative ways to attain their goals with different kinds of attitudes, approaches and methods, they will be successful. For this reason, it is necessary to have cooperation between the family, school and the special pedagogical center, which must be based on the confidence of all participants.
The school for Deaf and the hard of hearing in Hradec Králové is at the top of the educational system for students with special educational needs. In many ways it is unique in the Czech Republic.
This school works closely with similar schools abroad and collaborates on many foreign projects. One such project is Spreadthesign for all, which includes 38 countries from around the world with our school, VOŠ, SŠ, ZŠ a MŠ in Hradec Králové representing the Czech Republic. Some of the international special pedagogical methods for deaf are applied here in our school.
The school in Hradec Králové also offers some unique specializations to graduates from elementary schools. Some of these include Media Reproduction Graphics, Pre-school and out-of-school pedagogy, Joiner, Artistic joiner and carver, Joiner and upholstery production. With the philosophy of inclusive education and equal opportunity approach in mind, the school is developing new specializations for students with special needs in fields not already available to them in the Czech Republic. The vocational school also offers the only Czech/Czech sign language program in the Czech Republic.
A very important change was to the student residential accommodation. This came in the form of flats in the city center. They are called “Apples”. Small groups of students live in these Apples with a tutor in a home environment. The purpose behind such accommodation is to offer social inclusion within the community and independence for the deaf children. Such an atmosphere is the wish of the students and their parents and it fulfils a very important need.
History of Deaf Education in Hradec Králové
The history of deaf education in Hradec Králové reaches as far back as 1881. In that year, bishop Josef Jan Hais founded a deaf institute in Hradec Králové on the occasion of the marriage of the crown prince Rudolf with princess Stéphanie of Belgium. The institute started with two houses in the Tomkova street, these, however, did not suffice. It was therefore decided to build a new modern building for 100-150 pupils. This new institute, “Rudolfinum”, opened on Pospíšilova Avenue in 1902.
The school has gone through several changes in location during its existence, for example during World War II and the following totalitarian era the beautiful and modern school premises were repurposed. Nevertheless, the school did return to Hradec Králové eventually. In 1987 the construction of a new school complex began on Štefánikova Street and first opened its doors to the public in 1991.