- March 20, 2012
„Lietuvos Rytas” about the unity of Lithuanian Poles
One can be jealous about the unity of Lithuanian Poles – writes a publicist, Liudas Dapkus in the Tuesday’s edition of the daily news „Lietuvos Rytas”, referring to the Saturday protest in Vilnius in defense of the education of national minorities, which gathered few thousand participants.
The author of the comment spares no praise for the organisers of the march down the main street of Vilnius, Gediminas Avenue and the rally at the seat of the government. “Everything was well thought through. Where to go, where and when to stop. How many minutes to speak and what to say. Just a perfect order and a demand for justice. “- writes Dapkus.
He acknowledges that the actions of Poles in Lithuania „are becoming more numerous and more impressive”. “One can be jealous of such unity (…) One can have an impression that a good spirit watches over those people, who are looking for and not finding justice in Lithuania” – we can read in the comment.
The author expresses his understanding for Poland’s attitude towards its compatriots in Lithuania. “All big states defend their interests abroad: be they geopolitical, economic or cultural. One can only be surprised that so far Warsaw has remained so restrained towards Lithuania” – wrote Dapkus.
Around 7 thousand people took part in the Saturday’s protest. The action was held on the first anniversary of the adoption of the Act on Education, criticised mainly by Lithuanian Poles. In their opinion, the law is the beginning of the end of teaching in Lithuania in ethnic minorities’ languages: Polish, Russian, and Belarusian. The action was attended by teachers of schools of national minorities, school youth, parents, as well as the Lithuanian Trade Union of Educational Workers.
According to the adopted last year Act on Education, from 2013 onward, the Matura exam from Lithuanian language will be unified for Lithuanian schools and schools of national minorities. Currently, the Lithuanian language curricula are different in Lithuanian and non-Lithuanian schools. The language is taught as a native language in Lithuanian schools (so in a broader scope – above all, in terms of Lithuanian literature), whereas in schools of minorities – as a state language.
Starting in September 2012, the subjects, such as history and geography of Lithuania, as well as knowledge on the world, concerning the parts related to Lithuania, will have to be taught in Lithuanian in Polish schools. Besides, the subject named “the basis of patriotic education” has to be entirely taught in Lithuanian.
Tłumaczenie Małgorzata Juchniewicz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Małgorzata Juchniewicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.