Czech News in Brief
Linguists Call For Continuation of Second Foreign Language Lessons in Primary Schools
Prague – University lecturers of foreign languages plan to meet Czech Education Minister Mikulas Bek, to discuss his predecessor Vladimir Balas’s proposal to remove the obligation of primary schools to teach a second foreign language apart from English.
In an open letter to Bek, who became education minister a few days ago, they say the ministry’s intention is dangerous for the future development of education and scholarship in the Czech Republic. Language teachers from the Faculties of Arts and Education at Charles University, the Association of Teachers of French, the Association of University Teachers of French Gallica and others have reiterated their support for retaining a second foreign language as a compulsory subject. The Czech-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the French-Czech Chamber of Commerce and the Czech-German Fund for the Future have also supported the initiative.
The teaching of a second foreign language has been compulsory in grades eight and nine since 2013. In March 2022, an expert panel of the ministry proposed that pupils could choose it voluntarily.
Prague Plans To Charge Fees For Vehicles Entering The Historical Centre
Prague – Prague City Hall, in cooperation with the central Prague 1 District, is planning to introduce fees for non-resident cars entering the historical centre of the city, with the aim of calming the traffic, said Prague Deputy Mayor Zdenek Hrib and Prague 1 Mayor Terezie Radomerska yesterday. The measure could come into force at the beginning of next year, but the exact details are still being discussed. There are also plans to restrict visitor parking in the centre.
According to Hrib (Pirates), an agreement has been reached on charging fees instead of closing some areas completely. The City Council will decide whether to introduce the measure. He said charging for entry should not affect residents of Prague 1 at all, as it will be monitored by cameras linked to the parking permit database.
Double Murder Suspect Dies in Prison Cell, Possibly Suicide
Brno – A 47-year-old man, who was charged with double murder and facing a long prison sentence, died in his cell in pre-trial custody in Brno, said Czech Prison Service spokeswoman Marketa Prunerova yesterday. She added that the death was not caused by anyone else, as the man was alone in the cell.
Brno pre-trial prison’s spokesman Tomas Babora said the man had died on Monday morning, and the investigation had ruled out any errors by the prison guards
Two people were found dead in Svitavka, South Moravia on 12 April. The 47-year-old suspect was caught in the evening on the same day and later confessed that he had killed the two people due to bad personal relations.
Requiem Mass in Hradec Cathedral to Precede Cervena’s Funeral
Hradec Kralove – The burial of world-renowned opera singer Sona Cervena will take place in Hradec Kralove’s Pouchov cemetery on the evening of 16 May. This will be preceded by a requiem mass in the St Spirit Cathedral at 5pm, led by Hradec Kralove bishop Jakub Srsen, his spokesman told CTK yesterday.
The singer at the mass will be famous soprano Gabriela Benackova, accompanied by the Hradec Kralove Philharmonic Orchestra. The coffin’s departure will be marked by Augustin, the cathedral’s bell, which is the third largest in the Czech Republic and rings on holidays and local important events.
Cervena, a mezzo-soprano who performed in many leading opera houses all over the world, and received a number of awards, including the Medal of Merit bestowed on her by Czech President Milos Zeman in 2013, died in Prague on 7 May, aged 97. Earlier on 16 May, her coffin will be on display in the Prague National Theater, for the public to pay their last respects.