Published: 19.12.2019

ZLÍN - The Governor of the Zlín Region, Jiří Čunek, together with the Councillor for Education Petr Gazdík, today signed a memorandum with the Director of The Duke of Edinburghs International Award Czech Republic Foundation, Tomáš Vokáč. The subject of the memorandum is an agreement on mutual cooperation in supporting leisure activities and helping young people gain skills for their future life and career. The programme is aimed at the comprehensive development of young people aged 14 to 24, consisting of a variety of leisure activities in the field of sport, volunteering or adventure expeditions.

The Council of the Zlín Region had previously approved the conclusion of a Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation between the Zlín Region and the prestigious educational programme founded in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. This programme, expressed by the acronym DofE, was created with the aim of guiding British boys towards meaningful leisure time between leaving school and joining the army. It quickly opened up to girls and began to spread around the world. It currently involves 1.3 million participants from 130 countries. In the Czech Republic, the programme operates in 220 schools and organisations working with youth, or brings together over 4 500 pupils and students; in the Zlín Region, 8 schools are involved so far. The Gymnasium Zlín - Lesní čtvrt' was even the first school in the Czech Republic to participate in 1994, when there was no Czech national centre of the Foundation.

"We have good experience with the programme and I am therefore pleased that we will develop further cooperation on the basis of this experience," said Jiří Čunek.

Councillor Petr Gazdík, responsible for education in the Zlín Region, expressed his conviction that the number of participating schools will gradually expand to at least tenfold, as this is a very high-quality and meaningful programme. "We want to help young people gain valuable skills not only for their future careers but also for their overall approach to life. It is increasingly becoming clear, based on advances in science and research, that the most important thing any graduate needs to be able to do is the art of continuing to learn, and the Duke of Edinburgh's Foundation is making a great contribution to this by the way it approaches non-formal education with an emphasis on the all-round development of a young person's personality," said Petr Gazdík.

The Zlín Region will make financial contributions to participating organisations to cover the licence fee or individual training sessions.

Graduates of the programme will receive a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver or Gold Award in the form of an internationally valid certificate and a badge. The awards are always presented at a ceremony by eminent personalities from the Czech Republic and abroad.

DofE partners in the Czech Republic include actor and presenter Marek Eben, fisherman Jakub Vágner, traveler and journalist Dan Přibáň, fashion designer Klára Nademlýnská, skier Šárka Strachová and others. 

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Elaborated by: Helena Mráčková

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