Published: 06.02.2024

A total of 42 pupils from 11 secondary and primary schools in the Liberec Region received the prestigious award for the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (DofE), which was founded 68 years ago by Prince Philip, on 1 February at the North Bohemian Museum in Liberec. Over the past few months, school pupils have had to meet the requirements of the programme and demonstrate skills such as working collaboratively or completing activities within a set target. They were presented with their bronze and silver awards by the Deputy Governor of the Liberec Region for Education, Youth, Sport and Employment, Jiří Čeřovský. 

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (DofE) is an informal education programme for all young people aged 14 to 24. The programme was established in 1956. It focuses on developing personality and skills such as communication, teamwork, focus, reliability and completing activities within a well-set target. Everything is based on the intrinsic motivation of the participant. It focuses on discovering one's own interests and activities in which only the young person wants to develop himself or herself, without external pressures from parents, school and the outside world.

"The Liberec Region has supported the DofE programme since 2020, when it concluded a Memorandum of Cooperation with the DofE. Seven secondary schools established by the Liberec Region are now involved in the programme. The county contributes primarily to the licence fee for the programme, everything else is up to the pupils. At present, 147 young people in the region are involved in the programme. I am pleased that the pupils are interested in the programme and are trying to do something more for themselves and society based on their own decision and diligence. The programme is divided into three areas, namely volunteering, physical activity and skills," said Jiří Čeřovský, Deputy Governor of the Liberec Region for Education, Youth, Sports and Employment. "For the year 2023, pupils from the Liberec region spent 1,239 hours on volunteering activities, 1,410 hours on Movement activities and 1,335 hours on Skills activities in their free time."

The students awarded at the ceremony study at schools established by the Liberec Region: the Gymnasium U Balvanu, Jablonec nad Nisou; the Gymnasium F.X. Šalda, Liberec; Gymnasium Česká Lípa; Gymnasium Mimoň; Secondary Industrial School and Higher Vocational School Liberec; Secondary Medical School, Turnov; Secondary School of Arts and Crafts, Kamenický Šenov.

About the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award (DofE): 

  • In the Czech Republic, the programme has been inspiring young people between the ages of 14 and 24 since 1995, with 5,300 new students joining in 2023. Each participant chooses a skill, sporting activity and volunteer help according to their interest, and then pursues these for a period of time, which is linked to the completion of Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Completion of the programme is followed by a team expedition.
  • The programme has 3 levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, and is open to any student or pupil aged 14 to 24. Depending on the level chosen, the programme then takes 6, 12 or 18 months to complete.
  • For participants, the DofE is mainly a challenge of their own choosing. Although the programme is built on a very well thought out methodology and solid foundations, it offers great flexibility.
  • Each participant regularly completes the activities they have chosen in the areas and records their progress in a clear and intuitive app, which counts the hours completed and shows how they are progressing towards their goal.
  • At the end of each level, participants will receive an internationally recognised certificate that fits on any CV and can help them with job applications or entrance exams for secondary school or university, not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad.



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