• December 2, 2011
  • 11

Are Polish schools in Lithuania worse than Lithuanian ones?

Polish students taking an exam, photograph: wilnoteka.lt

The article on the Lithuanian website Delfi on allegedly poor subject preparation of students from Polish schools in Lithuania has received a lot of publicity in the whole Lithuanian society and caused outrage among the Polish community.  According to the Association of Teachers of Polish schools in Lithuania ‘Macierz Szkolna’, the results of the study are distorted and falsified. The association placed a disclaimer, but it was completely ignored. Outrage was also expressed by the Forum of Parents from Polish Schools in Lithuania. Sadly, neither the journalist, nor the website will be held responsible for intentional manipulation of data. No consequences. Unfortunately, this is quite a common thing in Lithuania; exaggerated democracy.

The result was intended, it seems. “Wilnoteka” found out that the journalist writing the article got in touch via email with Mirosław Szejbak, the coordinator of the Forum of Parents from Polish Schools in Lithuania. He was given information and statistic data refuting the argument that Polish students have poor factual knowledge. The data was supported by figures. However, none of these was taken into consideration by the journalist.

The Forum of Parents from Polish Schools in Lithuania did, well in advance, their own study on education opportunities of Polish youth in Lithuania. The study was based on national Lithuanian rankings of the weekly magazine “Veidas”, statistical data and other material published in Lithuania. The study shows that the level of Polish schools in Vilnius and in Vilnius region is comparable, and very often even higher, than the level of the neighbouring schools where Lithuanian language is used.

It should be emphasised that according to the rankings in “Veidas”, in 2007-2009 two Polish schools and in 2011 all(!) Polish secondary schools were among top 100 schools in Lithuania.

The study related to four most widespread myths and opinions in the Lithuanian society; each of these arguments is refuted:

1)     that compared to their peers from Lithuanian schools, Polish schools graduates have a harder start in life

2)     that Polish schools graduates have insufficient command of the national language

3)     that unifying the curriculum will improve command of the Lithuanian language

4)     that Polish schools graduates find it harder to integrate in the Lithuanian job market because of their insufficient command of the Lithuanian language

Thus, four most commonly used arguments by the opponents of Polish education in Lithuania are FALSE.

In Troki, the representatives of The Forum of Parents from Polish Schools in Lithuania handed the report over to both deputy ministers. Familiarizing oneself with the content and the results of the study takes time, but undoubtedly it’s worth it.

We will soon publish the whole study on the Wilnoteka website.

Based on: Inf.wł.

http://www.wilnoteka.lt/pl/artykul/czy-szkoly-polskie-na-litwie-sa-gorsze-od-litewskich

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

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