Vladimír Balas Sworn In As The New Czech Minister of Education, Youth and Sports 

Prime Minister Petr Fiala inaugurated the new Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Vladimír Baláš, on Friday, 1 July. The new minister was appointed to the post by President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday 29 June. Photo credit: vlada.cz

Czech Republic, July 2 (BD) – During the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Petr Fiala thanked his predecessor Petr Gazdík (STAN) for his work and wished the new minister success in the role. 

Gazdík announced his resignation on 19 June in connection with a corruption scandal related to the Prague City Transport Company, which has also implicated several other figures in his party. Gazdík denied any wrongdoing, but acknowledged that his ties with businessman and lobbyist Michael Redl were “a mistake”. Gazdík also resigned as vice-president of STAN.

The new minister, Vladimír Baláš (also STAN) is a law professor who has worked at Charles University and the University of West Bohemia, and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in October 2021.

“I am glad that Professor Balaš is the new Minister of Education,” said Prime Minister Petr Fiala. “He is a man with a long and successful professional career behind him. He has a great deal of experience in research, but he also has a long experience of working in higher education; I think it is a prerequisite for a Minister of Education to have that experience in a teaching environment. It is not a necessary condition, but nevertheless, it is certainly an advantage for any Minister of Education,” 

Fiala noted that the new minister has a number of difficult tasks ahead of him. “Education is one of the priorities of the government’s program. We are convinced that if the Czech Republic is to be a successful country, we must have quality education. There are many challenges. One of them is adjusting the framework of educational programs so that there is less emphasis on information, data and facts in teaching, but pupils have deeper knowledge and are able to apply it better,” he said. He added that education reforms would be the subject of expert discussions in the coming months, to be led by Baláš.

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