Education is under state control and free, up to and including the university level. The government reports virtually no illiteracy. In 1996, 541,671 students were enrolled in 4,889 nine-year (or primary) schools, with 28,356 teachers. In the same year, secondary schools enrolled 1,190,725 students and employed 144,373 teachers. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 17 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 90% of primary-schoolage children were enrolled in school, while 84% of those eligible attended secondary school. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.2 % of GDP.
The universities, colleges, and advanced schools in the Czech Republic had a total of 207,221 students in 1997. Universities in the current Czech Republic include the world-famous Charles University at Prague (founded 1348); Palacky University at Olomouc (1576; reestablished 1946); and J. E. Purkyne University at Brno (1919; reestablished 1945).