On the 6th of April in the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius was held a three-day international, interdisciplinary conference ‘Study and educating national minorities in Europe : yesterday, today, tomorrow (educational, sociopolitical, juridical and historical aspects)’. Representatives of Lithuanian, Polish and Czech academic world will take place In the conference organized by the Association of Polish Scholars in Lithuania.
Participants of the conference were greeted by guests of honor – The Speaker of the Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis and Dr. Vida Montvydai, head of the Department of National Minorities. According to arrangers of the meeting, the conference aims to focus the attention on good practice, problems and dangers that are faced by national minorities in European countries in the field of education. These matters will be approached through the prism of different topics, like pedagogy and history, sociology and politology, philosophy and law, as well as other social sciences.
-We should not expect big changes in the area of education, because it only is a scientific undertaking. Scientific method consists in gradual reaching of conclusions. Representatives of academic world are gathering in order to talk about problems that occur not only among Polish minorities in Lithuania, but also among other minorities in European countries. Most of the lectures will be dedicated to Polish minorities. Not only the situation of Poles living in Lithuania will be discussed, but also in Czech Republic, Romania, Moldavia and some other countries – said prof. Dr. Henryk Malewski, the head of the Association of Polish Scholars in Lithuania. There will also be lectures about educating German minorities and others in Poland. Prof Malewski highlighted that getting to know the truth is easier when you have a chance to compare some matters.
– That is why it is important to step beyond country boarders and organize international discussions, that give ability to compare different situations in multicultural societies. I think that politicians could make use of presented content. I hope that Viktoras Pranckietis pays attention to possibilities of solving educational problems of national minorities – said Henryk Malewski.
When it comes to the level of education of Polish minorities in Lithuania, Dr. Malewski said that this matter needs longer discussions.
We unfortunately see that level of education of Polish society in Lithuania is not high. When it comes to Doctor or Professor title, real serious problems occur. There is a lack of degrees among Polish environment. Every minority that is without elite cannot exist. It is a serious problem, but ways to solve it, is a subject for a long discussion – said prof. Malewski.
The aim of the conference is to evaluate occurring problems and dangers and presenting good European practice. During the conference there will be debates on: modern trends of education policy in European democracies, legal solutions in organizing education of national minorities, ways of educating national minorities in historical context, socioeconomic dimension of educating national minorities, activity of non-governmental organizations, influence and connections between education system of national minorities and education system of Macierz. The first lecture was given by Józef Kwiatkowski, the head of The Association of Polish Schools Teachers in Lithuania ‘Macierz Szkolna’, who spoke about the condition, challenges and perspectives of polish education in Lithuania.
Partners of the conference: The branch of the University of Bialystok in Vilnius „Faculty of Economics- Informatics, European Federation of Polish Scientific and Technological Societies, The House of Polish Culture in Vilnius.
The conference will last until the 8th of April.
Tłumaczenie by Agnieszka Piontek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Agnieszka Piontek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.