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Babiš wants to debate schools, disinformation fight in Finland

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Helsinki/Prague, May 20 (CTK correspondent) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) wants to find inspiration for the school reform and the fight with disinformation in Finland, he told reporters on Sunday before his departure for a two-day working visit to Helsinki.

Babis pointed to the problem of a low prestige of the teacher’s profession in the Czech Republic, unlike in Finland.

“We have a fundamental problem with the teacher’s profession not being popular in our country,” Babis said.

There is a low interest in this occupation not only due to low salaries of teachers, but students lack motivation as well, he said.

“I will definitely ask (in Finland) whether they have someone to give us advice with our school reform,” Babis added.

Babis will visit a university and a primary school in Finland.

Finnish schools focus on the development of both analytical and practical skills of students. Digital technologies are broadly applied in classes and the education system is interconnected with the economic needs of the country.

Another issue that Babis is to touch upon in Finland is the fight against hybrid threats.

Finland ranks among the countries that are strongly involved in the protection from the intentional spread of fake news on social networks and in some media.

On Monday, Babis will sign a memorandum on the accession to the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats on behalf of the Czech Republic. It has been operating in Helsinki since April 2017 under the aegis of NATO and the EU.

Along with Finland, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United States participate in the centre’s work now.

Disinformation that might influence the elections was discussed in the Czech Republic of late, Babis said.

On Monday, Babis will attend the Czech-Finnish business forum and meet his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila and Foreign Minister Timo Juhani Soini.

Babis is to discuss mainly the future European budget, the EU heading as well as the asylum system reform with Sipila.

Babis mentioned on Sunday that he would also be interested in fighting the bark beetle and nuclear energy in Finland.

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