News Poll finds parents less than satisfied with quality of foreign language teaching at schools
More than three-quarters of Czech parents share the opinion that their children do not get enough hours learning foreign languages both at the primary and secondary school levels, according to a new poll conducted by Data Collect. Two-thirds of those questioned also said the quality of teaching languages was erratic, varying from teacher to teacher and upon methods used. Many consequently sign their children up for afterschool lessons or find other means of bolstering learning. Of those who took part in the survey, a full 80 percent said they preferred when teachers of English used only English in the classroom. Ninety-seven percent said they wanted their children to learn English first as a second language, followed by German, Russian, French and Spanish. Two percent of parents said learning Chinese was important.
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A Czech has been given a 10 year jail sentence by a British court for abusing a young boy and being in possession of more than 30,000 child porn images. The 25-year-old, who was working as an au pair, was caught by police when they raided a Bradford home where he was caring for two children. They found a vast quantity of child porn images. The child abuse charges related to a young boy in the Czech Republic, the images from which he later circulated on the internet. The Czech said he wanted to serve his sentence in his homeland rather than Britain.
Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg has hit back at the politicization of the case of two Czech brothers subject to Norwegian care authorities, according to a report by Czech Television. She said it was not for politicians to intervene in individual cases, referring to the case of the sons of Czech mother Eva Micháková. She added that when weighing up care orders no difference was made in Norwegian law between the of Norwegian and foreign born children. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka took up the Micháková case last week with the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week firing off a second diplomatic note to Norway over it. Czech Christian Democrat member of the European Parliament Tomáš Zdechovský raised the case in the parliament this week saying that Norwegian authorities had removed the children from their parents on the basis of flawed evaluations.
The DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague launched an exhibition of more than 200 front covers from the French satirical weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo’on Wednesday. The exhibition draws on examples held by a private collector and will run until March 9. Charlie Hebdo hit the headlines worldwide when attackers shot down many of its editorial team in an attack at the start of January. A similar exhibition planned at the Belgian city of Louvain-La-Neuve was cancelled for security reasons.
Forecasters are warning of the dangers of snow drifts, especially in Eastern Moravia and Silesia, when winds combine with snow showers overnight. The winds are expected to reach speeds of up to 110 kilometres an hour on high ground over 600 metres. The meteorological office says that difficult conditions could affect almost the whole country with the exception of Prague and central Bohemia.
The Czech Cabinet on Wednesday selected its so-called ‘super civil servant’ from a shortlist of three candidates. The holder of the new post at the top of the civil service is Josef Postránecký, who has been in government service for the last 17 years. His latest posts have been in the Ministry of Interior with previous postings in the Ministry for Regional Development. The post has been created in connection with the reform of the Czech civil service which is aimed at creating a professional and non-politicized administration which falls into line with demands from the European Commission.
Archeologists says they have found a rare burial site in Prague dating from the seventh or eighth century BC. The two graves apparently belonged to highly placed members of society given the rich hoard of effects found in the burial chambers. The effects include the remains of the burial carriage and equipment used by horses during the iron age. Only one similar burial site to the latest discovery at Letňany has been made previously in Prague and that was more than a century ago.
Czech tennis player Lucie Šafářová has reached the women’s doubles finals at the Australian Open. Together with US partner Bethanie Mattek Sands, she cruised to an easy 6:0 win against German opponents Julie Görges and Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the first set before the pair conceded. In the final the Czech-American pair will face Taiwan’s Yung-Jan Chan and China’s Jie Zheng.
The Czech Republic’s biggest car maker, Škoda Auto, is preparing itself for tougher times and a downfall in demand in spite of its record breaking year in 2014. The company is reported by the daily Mladá Fronta Dnes on Wednesday to be preparing a programme whereby hundreds of workers will be transferred and become contract workers for external companies. The move, affecting up to 800 workers, is part of an organizational shake up under which Škoda Auto focuses on manufacturing cars and other activities are spun off to external companies. Unions say they are prepared to strike over the move.
Nine people were injured when a train collided with boulders which fell on the track during a landslide near Semíly in north-east Bohemia. The train driver was the worst casualty and was helicoptered from the accident scene to the hospital at Liberec. Accident investigators said he had no chance to brake the train in time. The line is expected to be closed for the whole day.
Bavarian police say they intercepted 15 kilogrammes of pervitin which traffickers tried to pass across the Czech border last year. That total is down by half compared with the total intercepted in 2013, but around the same levels as 2012. But German police say the intensity of drugs being shipped across the border has not diminished. Rather, the hike in pervitin seizures in 2013 resulted from a massive police clampdown on trafficking that year.