- February 4, 2013
EAPL: The unification of the Lithuanian language exam is unacceptable
According to the announcements the next operational meetings of the EAPL’s leadership with the representatives delegated by the party to the state departments are held.
On the last day of January the EAPL’s leadership met with the vice-minister of education and science Edita Tamošiūnaitė. For a meeting, which was chaired by the EAPL’s leader Waldemar Tomaszewski, the following representatives of the leadership of the EAPL’s fraction in the Parliament came: the chairman and the vice-chairman Rita Tamašunienė and Wanda Krawczonok, the president of the Society of Teachers of Polish Schools in Lithuania “Macierz Szkolna” and the member of the Lithuanian Parliament Józef Kwiatkowski.
In the first instance, the participants of the meeting considered a very essential question for voters: the situation of national minorities’ education, first of all, a very pressing topic which is the unification of the secondary school final exam in the Lithuanian language in Lithuanian and national minorities’ schools. The unification of the exam was put into effect under a new version of the Education Act which was adopted by the Parliament in 2011. EAPL invariably takes the position that the act discriminates the Polish education system in Lithuania.
To provide concessions for students of national minorities’ schools and change the act.
During the meeting it was stressed that currently, when emphasis is being placed on the individual development of particular skills of young people, the situation of status equalization of a mother tongue and a second language cannot take place. The level of knowledge of these two languages will always differ: we can know a second language very well but it will never be able to compete with a mother tongue. What is also very important is the fact that not every student has language abilities.
The participants of the meeting thought the same way on the necessity of taking appropriate decisions to provide concessions in this matter for the students of national minorities’ schools (Polish, Russian, and Belorussian) even in this year, and soon the act should be changed and its previous version should be in force.
To provide the network of schools, especially in the country.
At the meeting concrete possibilities of the mitigation of unreasonable requirements concerning completing classes were also discussed, because these requirements are real threat for national minorities’ schools, especially in places with several schools.
Discussing the reform of education, the need of maintenance of the present network of schools was emphasized, especially the country ones, which are not only educational centres but also cultural ones. The participants of the meeting also raised the problem which is vital for schools, i.e. the realization of educational investment projects planned by the Lithuanian government.
Tłumaczenie Barbara Szydłowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Barbara Szydłowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.