- September 12, 2011
With the return of “water”?
We waited on the step, we have gained a centimeter – so you can briefly summarize and evaluate the work of the intergovernmental expert group for education which met on Monday 12 September in Druskininkai. This committee has no chance to appeal the controversial law, but rather its controversial points. Vaidas Bacys, Lithuanian Minister of Education, told reporters: “Both prime ministers, citing this committee, do not put us to such a task …”…
This statement by the Deputy Minister may fill chagrin of many opponents of the new law. In their view, it is very harmful, threatening Polish schools in Lithuania and even create real conditions for the liquidation of the Polish educational system in this country. Attempts to introduce legislation similar to the imposition of the statutory sick powder on her face. According to the defenders of the Polish education in Lithuania, the current model of education was effective and proven system that passed the exam. Before the legislative acts developed and entered into force, will be followed a slow agony of the system, and Polish children could become hostage situation.
Mirosław Sielatycki, Polish Deputy Minister of Education and Chairman of the Polish delegation, agreed that there are two paths to improve the situation. Much more modest, but simpler: the introduction of such acts by law, which will minimize harmful act, or launch new legislation – that it can much better, but much more difficult, because it requires the involvement of the Lithuanian government and parliament. Needless that in this system, the Sejm, and even the government unless it – in fact, impossible. Or can they?…
Czesław Davidovich, director of the Gymnasium. A. Mickiewicz University in Vilnius, the representative of the Polish minority in Lithuania working group, appointed to the team by the Lithuanian Ministry of Education in Science, believes that “the path of small steps can go a great distance.”
So what has been achieved?
Within a week, to 19 September, the educational environment in Lithuania, together with Lithuanian examination centers are to develop the concept of uniform examinations and curricula of the Lithuanian language – is the only decision taken on Monday. Ideas were different. It seems that from the standpoint of Lithuanian Poles’ most sensible solution is to introduce a uniform curriculum Lithuanian language from primary school level (from grade 5). But only for a future first form. They have a pool of state language lessons, and their parents will be informed and prepared for the fact that their children, starting with learning the Lithuanian language, in 12 years seemed to be the Lithuanian language exam at the same level as their Lithuanian counterparts. Provided, however, that will be prepared appropriate curricula and textbooks, which today no one has yet thought of.
This idea of the Lithuanian side not quite to the liking. No problem – say, Polish representatives. According to new programs, students could learn right away, as soon as new programs and textbooks. Then everyone will agree, because contrary to established opinions of Poles did not shun the state language. But the department of education about the exam as soon as possible unification. How to solve this Gordian knot? The solution must be found Poles themselves within the next week. A week is so internal consultations in their environment, and teachers from Lithuania.
Restoration of high school in the Polish language, the shift of bilingual education at secondary school level, the abolition of the superiority of the Lithuanian school on a school of national minorities, ways of completing classes – of these demands were not speech, although by the Polish side have been reported. Talks on this issue was postponed to the next meeting. Perhaps the ambiguous – it is worth noting because it talks, it seems, are tedious, and compromise – is difficult. Mirosław Sielatycki argued in conversations with journalists: “We can not discuss everything at once, so far we took only one question, which does not mean that we forgot or ruled out other problems.”
The Lithuanian side at the first meeting more than once stressed that he wants to listen to Polish arguments and ideas (Vaidas Bacys). But it is still not clear whether just to listen or find beneficial solutions also …?
Monday’s meeting a clear answer to this question did not bring. Besides, the idea is still knocking, and where all these officials were before the adoption of the Act, at the stage of its preparation? Then also consulted, discussed, and it’s finally thrown in the trash all the ideas and proposals Polish educators, and law adopted under the most stringent form. Today, as it were from a new garment sewing.
In the corridors of the quietly spoken about the allegedly prepared amendments to the government’s education bill, which would suggest freezing it for three years. It would be real progress unless the whole matter and a nod to real concerned for the Polish community. It would be a time to discuss controversial aspects of the Act and prepare any amendments thought.
But no one was able to confirm me this announcement.
From Druskininkai: Edith Maksymowicz
Tłumaczenie Michał Sadowski w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu Translated by Michał Sadowski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu
Korekta Agata Wożnicka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu