- February 8, 2013
The Prime Minister A. Butkevičius in Šalčininkai (with a video)
The Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius paid a visit in the Šalčininkai District Municipality where he met with the disitrict authorities and employees of the Administration of the Self-Government of the Šalčininkai District Municipality . During almost 2-hour meeting the basic local problems were discussed, among which the issues of national minorities’ education are of great importance. The head of government avoided concrete declarations but he promised to solve problems.
“It’s an important event. It’s the first time when the prime minister holding an office has visited our district just at the beginning of his term-of-office. We treat this fact as a sign of respect and readiness to solve our problems” – said the mayor of the Šalčininkai District Municipality Zdzisław Palewicz.
“I’m happy that it wasn’t a courtesy visit. The meeting was to the point, constructive and optimistic. The compromise in the majority of issues was managed to achieve. Now it remains only to fulfil these promises. – summed up Z. Palewicz.
In talks and presentations the representatives of the Self-Government of the Šalčininkai District Municipality presented to the Prime Minister the review of economic, social and educational situation of the district. The main problems of Šalčininkai are the following: high unemployment rate, no foreign investments, the lowest in the country an average salary, low rate of entrepreneurship.
In education the main problems concern national minorities’ schools. These include: requirements concerning accreditation of secondary schools not taking into account the specificity of the region, too small student’s range, and the issues resulting in a new Act on education: bilingual education and the unified Lithuanian language exam.
Exactly about the latter the students of secondary school graduation class of Jan Śniadecki Gimnasium, who waited for the Prime Minister in the hall of the self-government, spoke . They didn’t ask for postponing the exam any more – to its new form they have been preparing for the last two years, in their opinion the next changes would cause only chaos. The main postulates of students and parents concern the introducing particular facilitation in the exam and applying bigger concessions during its assessment.
A. Butkevičius assured that these issues will be discussed during the meeting of Political Council on Monday, 11th February. The topic of the meeting will be the order of the minister of education and science prepared in accordance with the proposal of EAPL, introducing other procedures in the exam for the graduates from Polish schools. We are presenting the recording of the meeting of the head of government with Polish students to the readers of “Wilnoteka”.
During the meeting in the self-government the Prime Minister related also to the issue of spelling of surnames and double naming of streets. He informed that an operational group was created and it consists of the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education of Science and the Ministry of Culture. On the basis of conclusions made by the operational group the decision on preparing a bill concerning spelling of surnames will be alternatively taken.
“Lithuania is a small country, I think that we should agree on all issues and find a compromise if any problems arises. In the searching of solution it must be deemed that one and the other side have to win. And this means that one and the other side have to compromise” – said A. Butkevičius.
The following people arrived in Šalčininkai together with the Prime Minister: the vice-minister of education and science Edita Tamošiūnaitė, the vice-minister of agriculture Leokadia Poczykowska, the vice-minister of communications Władysław Kondratowicz, the vice-minister of economy Marius Busilas and a MP of EAPL Rita Tamašunienė. The Prime Minister was also accompanied by Remigijus Motuzas, the director of the Department of Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. The visit in Šalčininkai began the series of visits of A. Butkevičius in districts of Lithuania.
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.