Pavalkis: Lithuanian schools in the Vilnius region will remain under control of Ministry. Narkiewicz’s commentary.

© DELFI (K.Čachovskio nuotr.)

The Minister of Education and Schooling, Dainius Pavalkis, said that there are no plans to give control over Lithuanian schools in the Vilnius region to local self-governments. The vice-speaker of the Seimas, Jarosław Narkiewicz, described the existing situation as being “at least weird”.

“Neither in the government nor in the political groups has anybody considered the possibility of giving the control over Lithuanian schools, which now is held by the Ministry, to local self-governments. There is a registered amendment to the act but, in my opinion, the Ministry will not agree to it and it will suggest the government to do the same.” – said Pavalkis to journalists in the Seimas.

“People are currently oversensitive, this is why, for some time, we should maintain the status quo between Lithuanian and non-Lithuanian schools.” – emphasized the Minister.

Pavalkis made a statement after a meeting with the oppositional conservative group, which is afraid that on request of some politicians from the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, the current situation in education will be changed.

“I have not seen any proposal or anything similar. We will not be planning anything until we make an agreement with the Polish side in the case of Puńsk and, speaking of Lithuania, the Ministry will maintain the separated network of schools.” – said Pavalkis in the conversation with members of the opposition.

When he was asked whether it means certain steps are taken on the Polish side about schools that are being closed in Puńsk, the Ministry will cede the power over schools to local self-governments, the Minister said that he was misunderstood.

“These schools are under control of the Ministry, the Ministry is the founder, the Ministry maintains the entire infrastructure, pays for the heating, repairs roofs in these schools. This is the specificity of Vilnius. When I was living in Kaunas I had no idea that similar problems exist.” – explained the Minister.

“The AWLP had not registered any amendment of this kind. The matter is, probably, about one of the proposals of the working group, dealing with introducing the programme of national minorities, which does not mean that a double system of schools, which exists only in Vilnius and Šalčininkai Regions, is at least weird because in the whole Lithuania high schools are under control of local self-governments. We make this issue visible but we do not pose fierce questions.” – told PL DELFI Jarosław Narkiewicz, the vice-speaker of the Seimas.

Usually a self-government is the founder of an educational institution in a region, but in the self-governments in which the majority of representatives are members of national minorities, Lithuanian schools were founded by regional authorities. After the reform, control over these schools was given to the Ministry of Education, although AWLP wanted them to be controlled by local self-governments.

According to the 2011 census, in the Vilnius Region there were 59 per cent of Lithuanians, 23 per cent of Poles and 1- per cent of Russians.

Source: http://pl.delfi.lt/aktualia/litwa/pavalkis-litewskie-szkoly-w-okregu-wilenskim-zostana-podwladne-ministerstwu.d?id=60994877

Tłumaczenie by Emilia Zawieracz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Emilia Zawieracz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu. 

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