Czech Republic: The English College in Prague fundraises for Romani student scholarship
Students attending The English College in Prague are holding a benefit concert for the school's Václav Havel Scholarship in collaboration with the National Gallery on 22 February at Prague's Convent of St. Agnes to raise money for a Romani student to study at the prestigious secondary school. "We study at a school where our accent, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or skin color do not matter. We appreciate that, and therefore we would like to make it possible for another Romani pupil to study together with us," the invitation to the event, authored by the students, reads.
Tickets to the concert featuring performances by Vojta Lavička and his band cost CZK 150 (EUR 5.55) and the profits will be used for the Václav Havel Scholarship. The aim this year is to raise the amount necessary to sponsor the studies of one pupil from a socially disadvantaged family, a total of CZK 2 million (EUR 74 000), which is what one student's tuition costs.
The elite institution is currently being attended by its first-ever Romani student, Marek Horváth, who is studying there thanks to the Václav Havel Scholarship. During his first year, Horváth came up with the idea of continuing to finance the scholarship by organizing a benefit concert to support another Romani student to attend.
"If one Romani person has this opportunity, then others should receive it too, this is just my obligation," Horváth told Czech Radio's Romani affairs program "O Roma Vakeren" last year. English College head Alena Švejdová explained how the scholarship began: "The impulse to establish the Václav Havel Scholarship was the initiative of some of our female students who graduated several years ago and organized a big auction at the British Embassy with the aim of raising money for a student who would otherwise be unable to afford studying at such a school."
The English College in Prague aids students not just with developing themselves, but also motivates them to aid those who are in need. It is a selective, six-year British-Czech gymnasium (college preparatory school) that has been offering a British-style education in Prague, in English, since 1994, and its students sit for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate (IB).
Students attending the English College who also pass the Czech state examination in the Czech language qualify for that examination certificate as well. Graduates of the school have continued their studies at universities in the Czech Republic, Great Britain and other countries, including the prestigious British universities of Cambridge and Oxford.
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