Boy from a children’s home studying at Kellner’s prestigious school

Life has not been a rose garden for Vladimír Kuliš. His mother had no money and he had no place to sleep. Since the age of nine, he has lived in the children’s home at Hodonín u Kunštátu in the Blansko district. He is fifteen now, and thanks to the foundation supporting the underprivileged he is now a student at a prestigious school that was established by Mrs. Renáta Kellnerová and Mr. Petr Kellner.

“Four years ago somebody in the children’s home came across an offer of studying at the Open Gate eight-year grammar school at Babice near Prague. I said to myself it might be worth a try. I registered for the admission tests and I passed the IQ test and the general aptitude test and that was that,” says Vladimír Kuliš.

e was very excited by the high quality of the school, which was established by a family foundation of Mrs. Renáta Kellnerová and Mr. Petr Kellner. “It’s fantastic. The quality of teaching, the facilities, everything.  Where else do you have a theater, cinema, a swimming pool, sports hall and playground just next to the classrooms? I was a bit taken aback by it at the beginning but I take it as normal now,” smiles Vladimír.

The advanced furnishings facilities are not the only thing that makes this school different from others. For example, starting from the fifth year, all instruction is in English, except for the Czech language and Czech area studies. “A second foreign language is added from the third grade. Biology, chemistry and physics are combined as one subject called Natural Sciences,” he explains.

The classes start at 8:20 a.m. and each class period lasts 45 minutes. “We mostly have seven classes a day plus longer breaks for lunch and a snack. And there is a five-minute break after each class,” the talented young man describes the Open Gate daily routines.

Uniforms blur the differences
The school fee at Open Gate is in the order of hundreds of thousands. “The students who commute to the school every day pay 236,000 and those living on campus, including me, pay a bit less than half a million,” says the South Moravian boy.

“Of course, I and others from the children’s home could not afford it. This is why Mrs. Renáta Kellnerová and Mr. Petr Kellner established the foundation, which supports the underprivileged and children from children’s homes,” notes Vladimír.

As he says, less than half of the students pay their school fees themselves. “However, social differences are not an issue here. Nobody asks if your fee is paid by the foundation or your family. This is also due to the uniforms,” thinks the student.

This is Vladimír Kuliš’s fourth year at this prestige school established by one of the wealthiest Czechs. “So far I’ve survived here,” says the boy, whose hobbies include surfing on the internet and reading. What surprised him the most was how quickly he learned to speak English.

“I came here not knowing anything but after a year I was able to speak fluent English. I should also thank my teachers for that. They are able to transfer what they know very well. It is not about sitting at a desk and searching through textbooks. They can answer questions and talk with us about what we are learning at the moment,” says the boy from the Blansko district, who dreams of studying law in England.

(Author: Pavel Šmerda)


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