Poles from Vilnius praying for a future of the Lelewel School

© Marian Paluszkiewicz

Today, at the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, people were praying for a successful resolving of the case of the Joachim Lelewel High School’s future.

At the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul at Antakalnis, a holy mass took place on Thursday for the intention of the future of J. Lelewel High School in Vilnius, its successful accreditation and maintaining current its seat. The holy mass for the intention of Polish school’s community was led by priest Andrzej Byliński.

A great number of students arrived – starting from the youngest to the oldest, through teachers, parents, graduates, friends to sympathizers of the school.

The metropolitan government, led by a liberal-conservative coalition, does not let the Lelewel School ( former the “Five”) proceed to the process of accreditation for a long junior high school with an engineering profile. Moreover, the government blackmails an administration of the school and make the start of accreditation conditional on moving its seat to its branch’s building of Antonio Wiwulski primary school in a neighboring district, Žirmūnai. In such a way, in one of the biggest districts in Vilnius – Antakalnis – there soon might be no national minorities’ school .

In a defense of the „Five” and other endangered Polish schools in Vilnius, communities of these institutions are frequently going out to the roads, protesting and demanding from the metropolitan governments to stop discriminatory politics and a devastation of national minorities’ schools

‘’We are going and knocking to a lot of institutions’ door. Now, we ask God for help. We are living a hope’’- Renata Słotwińska, a member of the Committee for Defense of Joachim Lelewel High School in Vilnius said while talking to the website. Beata Bartosiewicz from the Committee pointed that the school’s community is ready to fight for its prosperous future till the end.

During the rally in a defense of national minorities’ school that took place on the 17th of March in front of the self-government authorities’ building, the Committee stressed out that it is ready to seek justice in European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg.

J. Lelewel School have played a significant role in post-war history of Polish education in Vilnius. For over 70 years, it has been taking care of Polish traditions and it has raised a lot of notable Poles, including 2 Nobel Prize winners.

Source: http://l24.lt/pl/oswiata/item/124091-wilenscy-polacy-modlili-sie-o-przyszlosc-szkoly-im-lelewela

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

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