Prague, Sept 6 (CTK) – Slavek Hrzal will be new Czech school ombudsman and he will mainly focus on bullying in the present school year that began last week, Education Minister Katerina Valachova (Social Democrats, CSSD) told journalists on Tuesday.

On September 15, Hrzal will replace Eduard Zeman, who was education minister in 1998-2002, in the post that was established two years ago.

Unlike Zeman whose task was to deal with complaints that neither the ministry nor the Czech School Inspectorate could answer, Vrzal should help create general recommendations for the ministry based on contacts with teachers, students and their parents.

Vrzal, 62, founded the Zlaty Amos annual poll in which the Czech teacher of the year is chosen based on nominations made by students. He has been heading the poll for 23 years.

Bullying and the development of a healthy environment at school became a hot issue after the death of an elderly teacher from a Prague secondary technical school who was bullied by her students earlier this year. In reaction, the ministry updated its recommendations for schools concerning healthy relations at school.