- April 18, 2012
The educational demands of the minorities in Lithuania
Last December the Lithuanian minister of Education and Science appointed the working group which would be working on the proposal of the legal instruments introduction in the minorities education in Lithuania.
The board of the Polish Schools Teachers in Lithuania Association ‘School Matrix’ proposed the following representatives to take part in discussions:
Irena Karpavičienė — a member of the association ‘School Matrix,’ a vice-president of the K. Parczewski Secondary School in Niemenczyn. Miroslav Szejbak — the head of the parents committee of the Sz. Konarski High School in Vilnius, the co-ordinator of The Parents Forum of Polish schools. Edyta Tamošiunaitė — a vice-president of the Vilnius local government administration.
The people indicated by the board of the association were appointed into this group by the minister of education and science of Lithuania.
Aiming at a complete and firm representation of minorities education in the meeting of the working group, the board of the association ‘School Matrix’ and the Russian schools teachers association in Lithuania with the working group members representing Polish and Russian schools developed a common stand on the main issues. The proposals were read out at the group meeting on 12 April 2012 by Irena Karpavičienė, a member of ‘School Matrix’ and were given to the head of the association, Lithuanian vice-minister of education Vaidas Bacys, in the written form,.
In order to familiarize the Polish community, the parents, teachers, pupils, all the people involved in the issue of Polish schools in Lithuania, we present a list of issues mentioned in this document:
‘(…)I. Unification of the matura exam from the Lithuanian language.
The conditions of a temporary period, proposed by the ministry aiming at unification matura exam from the Lithuanian language, don’t satisfy the schools with Polish and Russian language of teaching. They violate the equal chances rule and do not allow for the objective assessment criteria. It’s impossible to achieve an identical level of knowledge with the students of Lithuanian schools
We demand that the minority schools have 12 years temporary period and we expect that in this time:
the exam will be unified in form but different in terms of the content;
a minimal numbers of words in an essay will be fixed on 400 words;
there will be separate topics for the schools with the Lithuanian language and with the minorities language (Polish, Russian) without determining a set list of the authors;
there will be a different norms of assessment for the pupils from the schools with Lithuanian and with the language of teaching minorities (Polish, Russians).
We should underline that our demands are not against the new Education Act — in the matter of unification of the exam from the Lithuanian language because this Act authorizes the introduction of general curriculums but it doesn’t determine the content and the time of the unified matura exam from the Lithuanian language,
II. The model of minority schools in Lithuania
Let us underline that the preparation of the model of universal minority schools in Lithuania is not possible and intentional. We should consider the kind of a minority: ethnical, closely living, its number and historically formed cultural traditions.
That’s why we should take into account some factors while preparing the model of school with Polish and Russian language of teaching. We should:
1. Provide teaching of all the subjects from 1 to 12 grade in the national language;
2. Restore the exam from the national Polish and Russian language as a compulsory matura exam, adding respectively two points to the sum of the contest points in the recruitment for studies
3. On the parents and students’ demand we should enable the introduction of teaching the separate subjects in Lithuanian ;
4. More hours should be devoted to teaching subjects in Lithuanian predicting an additional financing in the method of counting pupil’s basket
The document was signed by the members of the working group representing Polish and Russian schools.
The president of the association of
Polish Schools Teachers in Lithuania ‘School Matrix’
Tłumaczenie Adam Gałązka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Adam Gałązka within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.