Final Word from Tuesday, December 29, 2009

For years, society has been telling young Czechs that they live in a new age and that learning to surf the internet is more important than mastering the three R's. Young Czechs watched as people without any perceivable skills rose to positions of wealth and power, which strengthened the belief that education is a relic of the past. As HN noted today, fresh Czech university graduates are now being hit with the hard reality that crisis-conscious employers want people with demonstrable skills and experience. The best students will still find jobs, but there won't be much room for someone who can't write a proper letter, can't analyze a simple text and has an attitude problem. A few repentant souls will see the errors of their ways and, without blaming society, politicians or their parents, will climb mountains to make themselves employable. But this is the old way of doing things. In the new age, many young people will become what society has made them and will learn to sponge off the state for as long as they can.[Czech Republic Hospodářské noviny]

Glossary of difficult words

the three R's - reading, writing and arithmetic;

perceivable - apparent; visible;

relic - an object surviving from an earlier time; an object or custom that is now outmoded;

attitude problem - a personality trait characterized by refusal to accept authority or conventional modes of behavior;

repentant - feeling or expressing sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing;

to climb mountains - to go to great lengths; to do whatever is necessary;

to sponge off - to obtain or accept money or food from others without doing or intending to do anything in return.

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