Sunday, 21 April 2019

News site: Labour minister's thesis copies other authors to an extent

17 July 2018

Prague, July 16 (CTK) - The thesis of Petr Krcal, the new Czech labour and social affairs minister, from 2007 contains many pages with the text identical with older texts by other authors, Seznam wrote on Monday, shortly after Tatana Mala's departure as justice minister amid a plagiarism scandal.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told journalists that he is not going to propose the dismissal of Krcal (Social Democrats, CSSD) for the time being.

"I am curious to see the reaction of the media, mainly whether it will be the same as in the case of Ms Mala (ANO)," Babis said.

Krcal defended his thesis, headlined The Youth and Leisure Time, at the Tomas Bata University in Zlin, south Moravia, in May 2007.

He told Seznam that he cannot explain himself the identity of whole parts of his text with older ones and that he worked on his thesis honestly.

A special programme for plagiarism detection has found such identities in 14 percent of Krcal's thesis, mainly in the form of whole paragraphs copied from scientific books, which Krcal did not present as citations, thus indirectly passing them off as his own formulations.

Zpravy writes that the number of paragraphs almost or fully identical with other authors' older texts is in fact far higher than what the special programme detected.

Copied or almost copied text fills a total of 25 pages of Krcal's thesis, the server writes.

Nevertheless, the supervisor of Krcal's thesis at the university, Frantisek Vizdal, then assessed the thesis as a document of a high professional quality, high above other students' theses, and he appreciated Krcal for having worked on it independently, responsibly and with enthusiasm.

According to the ministry's website, Krcal, 53, completed electrical-technical vocational school in 1982 but passed the school-leaving exam in 1988 only. He graduated in social pedagogy at Tomas Bata University Zlin in 2007 and andragogy at Jan Amos Komensky University in Prague in 2009.

Tatana Mala, 36, resigned as justice minister last week, after 13 days in office and still before parliament could take a vote of confidence in the new cabinet of ANO and the CSSD. Critics called on her to step down after suspicion of plagiarism emerged in connection with her theses at two different universities several years ago.

Mala dismissed having cheated deliberately, but admitted her failure to observe the rules of citation appropriately.

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