Why we refuse to participate in the IGS in Novy Bor.
Some time ago I was described by the Mlada fronta newspaper editor Mr. Sebelka as a naive academic. There are no doubts that I deserve this description as fighting the evil and injustice almost always turns out to be a waste of effort, a pointless and therefore naive activity. However, to quote Mr. Jan Werich (a Czech famous actor), one needs to fight against stupidity out of principle, although we know it can’t be beaten ultimately.
These days every small child here knows that our Secondary School of Glassmaking in Kamenicky Senov has for three years been in a battle for survival with its founder whose intentions are to fuse it with another school in a nearby town of Novy Bor. We are still far from victory in this exhausting battle. Yet, as far as I am aware, our school is the only one in the Czech Republic that has managed to resist the efforts of its founder to be eliminated. This would not be possible without our loyal staff who have renounced a part of their salary for half a year, without students, individuals and other institutions which have been helping and supporting us and those who do not consider this battle with the official and political juggernaut as one that is to be lost. We feel very thankful for that. Our hope for the future lies in students. We have been working very hard to secure a sufficient amount of them. For the next school year we have already got 27 applicants, which is three times as many as there were for this year.
We have also received significant support from politicians from across the political spectrum. By far the greatest support came from the former minister of education Mr. Dobes who upon visiting our school early in 2011 declared that it should be saved for the future as „family silver”. This declaration followed by further negotiations of the Ministry of Education with our founder stopped, at least for some time, the destructive efforts of our enemies. The minister of education is no longer in office, the “family silver” policy has not been pushed forward yet and the funds from the Ministry of Education that we thought were aimed to help our school were allocated as follows: The Secondary School of Glassmaking in Kamenicky Senov 800 000,- Czech crowns, The Secondary School of Glassmaking in Zelezny Brod 1 800 000,- crowns and the secondary school in Novy Bor 2 2000 000,- crowns.
The injustice makes us feel immeasurably sad and excites anger especially now that we are aware of the current situation in the government department of education where the funds are very likely to be cut down by 2 billion resulting in reduction of a monthly teacher’s salary by approximately 1 000,- crowns. Under these circumstances we see the competitive school in Novy Bor receive money from the district council to support its project of further extension. Our school, by comparison, was in 2011 in the last moment deprived of 1.5 million crowns designated for the equipment and modernization of the design of lights department of our school when this already approved project was rejected by the district council supposedly due to its unsustainability. Furthermore, the Novy Bor school has in the past three years received the amount of 6 426 000,- crowns from another fund (Hustoty a specifika fund) whereas our school has been allocated the amount of 336 000,- crowns! We perceive this as discriminatory and absurd especially when we take into consideration the fact that the Novy Bor school has not for three consecutive years opened the glassmaking and design of lights department.
Recently our school has received an invitation, signed by the headmistress of the Novy Bor school Mrs. Jindrova, to take part in the International Glass Symposium, which she co-organizes. We will not take part in this symposium. We refuse to participate in events organized by the school which co-intended the elimination of our school and one that is in all aspects favored by our founder at the expense of our school. Our absence at the IGS is an expression of protest against this permanent discrimination.
Frantisek Janak MA
The Secondary School of Glassmaking
20th April 2012