- March 8, 2013
Further complaints about the simplified exam
The Forum of Parents in Lithuania turned to Controller’s Office for Equal Opportunities to consider the directive of the Minister of Education and Science concerning the concessions in the exam in Lithuanian language for pupils from national minorities’ schools. The representatives of the Forum suggest that this directive may discriminate against pupils on the basis of a language and nationality.
‘We want all our children to have identical conditions and opportunities when taking Matura exams and to avoid a situation when someone passes ‘a simplified exam for a fifth-grader’ and then gains discriminating advantage and priority over others’ – wrote in their motion the representatives of the Forum of Parents in Lithuania.
The ministerial directive was also assessed negatively by the President Dalia Grybauskaitė.
‘A glaring political mistake of the government is the introduction of facilitations in the exam in Lithuanian for the pupils from national minorities’ schools. Twenty nine Articles of the Constitution state that it is unlawful to grant privileges on the basis of sex, race, nationality and language to a national minority at the expense of another one; therefore, the government should not act this way – said the President in the interview for Delfi.lt.
Earlier, MPs of the Seimas opposition referred the directive of the Minister to a court. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania announced that it will examine the case; it did not, however, suspend the validity of the directive. Moreover, the Court asked pupils’ representatives, students, universities, teachers, national minorities and the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language to express their opinion on the question of privileges in the exam in Lithuanian.
AWPL (the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania) had negotiated the following concessions for the pupils from the national minorities’ schools: a shorter essay (400 words instead of 500-600 words), more mistakes permitted and the increased number of authors (7 instead of 3) to literary output of whom the graduates will have to relate in the essay.
The opponents of the privileges think that ‘such reduction in requirements generally discriminates against the pupils from schools with the Lithuanian language of teaching’.
Based on: BNS, inf.wł.
Tłumaczenie Barbara Rożek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Barbara Rożek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.