- January 7, 2013
What will happen to the exam in Lithuanian language?
The new Minister of National Education in Lithuania, Dainius Pavalkis, opts for the unified exam on Lithuanian. The future Deputy Minister of National Education, Edita Tamošiūnaitė, said that all the issues concerning the exam will be verified.
Despite the fact that national minorities hope that the government of Algirdas Butkevičius will solve long-lasting problems, none of the ministers has done anything to deal with these issues.
When journalists asked the new Minister of National Education, Dainius Pavalkis, about the unified exam in Lithuanian language for the abiturs of non-Lithuanian schools, he replied with empty statements, which showed his incomprehension of the problem.
“We have to respect Lithuanian language. The current year should be called the year of Lithuanian language. Polish students pass the exam in Lithuanian with good results. Sometimes their results are even better than the results of Lithuanian students. That is why we will still carry out this exam,” said the Minister of National Education.
However, Dainius Pavalkis assured that he will discuss all the issues concerning education of national minorities together with Edita Tamošiūnaitė, appointed as deputy minister by AWPL (Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania).
“AWPL delegated the deputy minister, who represents the interests of Polish schools and the Polish minority. We will meet in one office and search for proper solutions,” said Pavalkis.
Edita Tamošiūnaitė has already resigned from the post of deputy director of administration in Vilnius. From Friday, 11 January 2013, she will act as deputy minister.
Edita Tamošiūnaitė said to “Wilnoteka” that it still has not been officially stated what she will be responsible for. However, as the representative of a Polish party she is going to stress current problems of national minorities.
“As far as the exam in Lithuanian language is concerned, we will not introduce any major changes this year. It would be unfair towards the students who has already started preparing for the matura exam in accordance with the current standards. We will verify assessment criteria and modify them so that they would be more adjusted to the students of non-lithuanian schools.”
The future deputy minister assured that the form of the exam will be discussed in the following years. “We will try to prolong the transitional period and even stop carrying out the current unified form of the exam,” said Tamošiūnaitė.
She states that other important issues for Polish minority are: saving all schools for national minorities, especially in smaller towns where these are the only centres of education and culture, as well as verifying the criteria of dividing classes.
“The current political atmosphere can help in solving the problems of Poles living in Lithuania. AWPL, the parliamentary faction, entered a coalition. We also occupy different posts in departments, which requires taking proper actions,” claims Edita Tamošiūnaitė.
Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Kurowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Kurowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.