- March 26, 2013
Lithuanian schools in Vilnius region – no change
Lithuanian Minister of Education and Science Dainius Pavalkis announced to the journalists that he doesn’t plan on making local authorities responsible for schools from Vilnius region where classes are taught in Lithuanian. This announcement was supposed to calm down people who worry that Lithuanian schools will be managed by ‘Polish’ authorities. For years, Polish politicians have wanted local authorities to be responsible for all schools – Lithuanian, Russian as well as Polish ones. Some Lithuanian schools in Vilnius region were formed and managed by Vilnius County Administration. Later these schools were taken over directly by Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science.
„There were no discussion, either in the government or in the respective political groups, about Lithuanian schools being subject to local authorities instead of Ministry of Education. There are registered proposals to change legislation but I think Ministry will be against it and will insist that the government make the same choice.” told the journalists Minister D. Pavalkis after the meeting with the conservative opposition.
„I haven’t seen any official proposal. We are not planning anything, and the change is not in our plans until we make a decision together with the Polish party about what to do about Puńsk and Sejny. We are going to sustain the network of schools managed by the Ministry in Lithuania.” explained Dainius Pavalkis.
„Lithuanian schools are subject to the Ministry. The Ministry forms them, the Ministry, not local authorities, supports the schools, pays for the heating, renovations. This is specific to Vilnius region. I lived in Kaunas before, and I did know there is such a problem here.” said D. Pavalkis.
Educational institutions in Lithuania are subject to local authorities, but in the regions where national minorities constitute majority (for instance, in Vilnius or Salcininkai Districts) some schools and kindergartens are left up to the Ministry of Education and Science.
Tłumaczenie Justyna Kaczmarek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Justyna Kaczmarek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.