A word from the Dean

Dear colleagues,

We now have a semester that was completely unconventional in almost every way behind us. It was full of turbulent changes, requiring us to practically overnight respond to new coronavirus measures imposed by the government and individual ministries. Simply put, it was a "high level of education" for all of us.

We not only had to follow the relatively clear instructions, such as wearing face masks but also cope with challenges that were entirely new to all of us, such as communicating and teaching through digital technologies. Many of us were not equipped to work from home, we "fought" with remote access, we learned to use applications such as MS Teams and others so we could be in touch and solve everyday tasks and work on projects remotely. Academic staff had to learn how to continue teaching, carry out examinations, provide for defending dissertations, and many other activities that needed to be done under given circumstances.

Despite all difficulties, we made it. Thank you all very much for your efforts; you have my admiration. As a matter of fact, I am very pleased because you have shown that we are able to mobilize our forces and overcome a crisis.

I also thank all of you for selflessly helping others, regardless of whether your efforts were visible or not. Thank you for sewing or distributing face masks and for the production and distribution of disinfectant. Thanks to those who came up with a program for children of health professionals or helped schoolchildren/students with their learning. Thank you also to those mentioned in the following articles for finding projects related to the fight COVID-19 in their fields. Thanks to everyone who got involved. And I would also like to thank the parents of small children for managing to combine work and taking care of their children.

I sincerely hope that a similar situation will not happen again, but if it does, we have proved that we are ready. At the same time, I believe that we will carry on using in the future all the new things we have learnt  -  for example in distance learning, or by sharing lectures and seminars with our foreign colleagues.

Finally, let me wish you a pleasant summer. Enjoy a special holiday with family or friends and gain strength for the next academic year.

Tomáš Kašparovský
Dean of the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University

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