Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Karel Čapek School, Copenhagen Street

The Czech education system begins for most children with mateřská škola (3 to 6 years old) from which they proceed to the základní škola (basic school) from ages 6 to 15. At that stage, pupils can opt to prepare for university at a gymnazium, or attend a střední škola (literally, middle school) for a technical or vocational course to the age of 18. Confusingly, the next level (which we would call college) is called in Czech 'high school' - vysoká škola.

The local základní škola here in Vršovice was established in 1908 on a rather attractive street originally named Hálková but, since 1926, Kodaňská (Copenhagen). I thought it might be an idea to show this picture today as the Climate Conference gets underway in the Danish capital.

But the real reason for including today's photo is that the building, as you can see, is no longer called simply Vršovice School but 'Karel Čapek School' after the famous man of letters whose house nearby we visited a fortnight ago. No doubt all the children here are fully conversant with the important legacy of the Čapek brothers. To test this I have been speaking with a number of people young and old in the neighbourhood. They ALL say, 'Oh yes, but what you really need to read is his last novel, The War with the Newts'. Fellow bloggers, I am starting on the Penguin translation tonight.


In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

I see they have added his image, as well! Do the children really remember who he was? Thanks for an interesting post.

Three Rivers Daily Photo

Anonymous said...

Hi, you took a pohoto of me and my friend in front of this school. Do you still have the photo?

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