- February 11, 2013
Today politicians are making their decision on the exam in Lithuanian
Today, on February 11, a meeting of the governing coalition political council is being held in order to decide, among other things, on the issue of this year’s Matura exam in Lithuanian for students from national minority schools. It is said that the future participation of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania [Polish: Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie] in the coalition depends on the willingness of the coalition partners to make concessions.
The discussion of leaders and representatives of parties forming the governing coalition will concern an order issued by the Minister of Education and Science to change the procedure for the exam. The basic proposals of AWPL include: a smaller number of words in an essay, a free choice of authors to whose works students may refer to in their essays, different assessment criteria for the knowledge of grammar for the students from national minority schools.
“We have reached a compromise which has to be supported by an official document. Unless we have such a document, we will be extremely cautious about all declarations: Are they only empty words spoken with regard to the visit of high Polish officials or is it an attempt to lower our guard?”, Jarosław Narkiewicz, a vice-leader of Lithuanian parliament, said in an interview with “Wilnoteka”.
The politician stressed that the Monday negotiations will concern the procedure for only this year’s exam. The next step is to prepare an amendment to the Law on Education.
“The document we will discuss today is not an amendment to the Law on Education. Theoretically, the Minister could sign this document last Thursday. However, now we do not have such a document, which could have been signed without the acceptance of the Seimas, and there is a huge question mark over the future negotiations. It is not our fault but our partners are to blame for such a situation. There is a question whether our partners are really able to solve the problem or make only empty promises. The first step to clarify our doubts is the signing of the document by the Minister”, said Narkiewicz.
Meanwhile, Lithuanian media are citing words of Waldemar Tomaszewski who will consider the future of AWPL in the governing coalition if the coalition partners do not approve of the proposals of Polish party for the exam in Lithuanian.
“If the authorities do not quickly accept the Law on national minorities and an amendment to the Law on Education, and do not change the criteria of the exam in Lithuanian for national minorities schools, we will consider leaving the governing coalition”, said Tomaszewski in an interview with “Znad Wilii” Radio.
This statement was confirmed by Jarosław Narkiewicz. “If our partners are not willing to carry out our proposals, leaving the coalition will become the main topic”, said the vice-leader of the parliament.
However, during an interview for LNK Television Algirdas Sysas, a vice-leader of the Seimas and a member of the social democrats, said that his party was “not afraid of threats”.
“We have not discussed this issue within our faction or with the council of the party. We are not afraid of any ultimatum, there is no need for threatening. It’s worth stressing that our policy includes the necessity of certain changes. We are going to deal with them. However, Tomaszewski wants to strengthen his position”, said A. Sysas.
Based on: Inf.wł.
Tłumaczenie Karolina Rolka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Rolka the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.