Exactly a year ago, a crowd of Poles went out on the streets of our Vilnius to protest against the new education law. We were accompanied by compatriots of the Crown and the Russians and Belarusians. It was our protest and prepare to fight for her. We fought the elections in the autumn of last year. With what effect?
We all remember those moments. Unity, solidarity, the strength of our voice … you can then be optimistic that this time the election is successful, that now we have to fight for the things most important to our national identity, we put aside disputes, differences of opinion on other issues, and all vote for the Polish party. The leader of the party and organizations made sure that they will try to eliminate all the harmful provisions of the new Act. Jan Mincewicz Rota quoted “ We shall not allow the enemy to opress us,.” Cytacka Renata said: ” A parent knows what is the best for their child. They want to drag us with truncheon to paradise!” They demanded at that time not only to withdrawal the unification of the Lithuanian exam for secondary school certification as unfair to the students, who in Polish schools learn the Lithuanian language by another program (our native language is Polish). Too loudly opposed the introduction of the Lithuanian language for teaching geography and history as well as to the “optimization” that threatens the closure of schools where there are Polish Lithuanian schools. Fell even demand the restoration the Polish language as a mandatory for graduation in our schools, or damages of 1998. Then there were elections, where we went with a crowd and voted properly.
When the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania joined the coalition government in December last year, has agreed to sign a government program in which it was written only consider the possibility of the extension of the transitional period on the unified matriculation exam of the Lithuanian language. Also satisfied their needs by obtaining ministerial Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Education, leaving the Labour Party. Even in January, Deputy Minister of Education and Science on behalf of the EAPL Tamošiūnaitė Edith said: “This year we will not introduce key changes. It would be unfair to students who already are preparing for final exams by a particular program. It is true that we are going to deal with the evaluation criteria in the exam and have to change them so that they are the most suitable for non-Lithuanian students.” She will then return to the matter of the exams in the next school year.
Then there was a dramatic instance of Waldemar Tomaszewski of 11 February, which threatened EAPL output of the ruling coalition if the Lithuanian authorities do not deviate from the standardized exam. However, shortly afterwards announced that the Polish party is in the coalition, and is recognized for its success the February decree of the Minister of Education stating that the non-Lithuanians school graduates will have to write the Certified develop a volume of 400 words, not 500 as in the case of Lithuanian high school graduates (250 words instead of 400 on the exam school). It is worth noting that the decision of the Minister Dainius Pavalkisa does not differ much from what the initiator of the infamous proposed new law Gintaras Steponavičius, trying to fix his fatal fall of the Act.
After more than three months after the establishment of a new government for the first time to assess. Unfortunately, so far the result is weak. The law is almost unchanged. Threat to Polish schools and students remains. And what about other important matters for us? Finally appeared postulates in case of the names. There is also a question about the use of the Polish language in the public sphere. The second postulate connects to override the new law on national minorities, the previous expired in early 2010. The only question is whether it is enough to postulate. Even the old law sued for official use of the Polish language in the regions inhabited by Poles … only that the law on the state language was directly contrary to the provisions finally acknowledged the supremacy of the Constitutional Court is the second act, which is already part of the Lithuanian legal system.
Of course, criticizing the lack of progress we have to admit that the position of the Polish political party is difficult. AWPL fraction is not necessary to create a coalition. It is known that the whole political elite of Lithuania is reluctant to the Poles, as it is the reluctant majority of Lithuanians and with them as our voters must reckon the Lithuanian political parties.. We understand, therefore, that Waldemar Tomaszewski political game must take place in the comfort of offices about which I wrote immediately after the formation of a government. However, even if this is the case, what action is the Party of the Polish quieter louder voice must be Polish social organizations and all of us, to be heard and for the Lithuanians, and for politicians AWPL. So to hear well what we demand and what we will not resign. Unfortunately, now this radical voice is missing and that is why there is also a weaker position in W. Tomaszewski in his competition gabinet. This is connected with the fact that both the President and the President of ZPL M.Mackiewicz Motherland J.Kwiatkowski are now Members of Parliament and leader of the Parent Forum Schools Student Renata Cytacka Polish Deputy Minister of Energy. Today they play in one team party on principles such as and Tomaszewski. One statement for the Parents Forum at the beginning of February is not enough. Perhaps it’s time for a new manifestation? Definitely time for a hard, loud reminder of all the demands by our community organizations.
Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Dąbrowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Dąbrowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.