- April 16, 2013
The President visits the Polish education
President Dalia Grybauskaite has sharply criticized the order of the Minister of Education and Science Dainius Pavalkisa for relief at this year’s examination for the secondary-school certificate, examination in the Lithuanian language for minority students. Poles in Lithuania are outraged by the attitude of the head of state.
— During the submission of a national examination of the Lithuanian language, no one can be considered with a discount – President Dalia Grybauskaite said.
Advisor to the President Daiva Ulbinaitė submitted official position after Tuesday’s meeting with the Minister of Education and Science Dainius Pavalkisem: “The President points out the minister that the various conditions under which a test is unfavorable not only for Lithuanians, but also for the children of ethnic communities who have chosen science Lithuanian school. Lithuania has always been a multinational country, so it will be. All are citizens of Lithuania, so there can be no privileges. For all must be created the same conditions, as the Constitution provides – this is the principled stance president “.
– This is another example of double standards – something no president has criticized previous amendments, initiated by Gintaras Steponavičius – reaction Dali Grybauskaite says Mr Jaroslaw Narkiewicz of the parliamentary Education Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Seimas. – The president did not react in any way to 62,000 Poles protest against discriminatory act. It expresses a unilateral position, quite unfair. Unethical of her to speak in this way, now that the Supreme Administrative Court considered the case. I think it is an attempt to influence the judges. For the head of state does not become separated from a certain part of society or pamper a small little group at the expense of other citizens. And when it comes to children in Lithuanian Polish school – it was the choice of the parents.
As a reminder, in 2011 has been amended by the Act on Education, under which students from minority schools earlier this year graduated from the Lithuanian language are made according to the same requirements as their colleagues in Lithuanian families. Students from Polish, Russian schools and other ethnic minorities have over two years to make up the software and master the state language in the same way that young Lithuanian, regardless of the fact that this is in their language taught, not native.
According to the adviser, the president encouraged the Minister to pay special attention to the education of people from Lithuania and Eastern Europe. “Citizens of East Lithuania cannot be less educated than people from all over Lithuania. All citizens (…) must be equally literate, and the Lithuanian language cannot be subject to any agreement or political negotiations “- said Daiva Ulbinaitė.
Minister Dainius Pavalkis for its part, claimed that after receiving the results of this year’s examinations in the Lithuanian language, decisions regarding this exam in the next years are to reconside. As he says the ministry will be aimed to unify the exam. “I do not know how long this order (for relief in the submission of the exam – the note) would apply. I cannot promise that once the order we consider, change, stop, or will be similar. I say that we consider indicators of the exam, but overall examination of the Lithuanian language all citizens must be submitted on the same basis “- claimed Pavalkis.
Fierce reaction of the President of the teachers ‘ Union The Conference of eastern Lithuania proclamation interpreters and Educational Association “Rytas” with the signatures of 18 thousand. Citizens, who asked the President about the behavior of the Lithuanian language and on the different requirements of the examination of national and Lithuanian-speaking minority. The resumes are requested “not to violate the territorial unity of Lithuania and does not confer the status of official regional languages, thereby infringing the rights of other citizens; close the way to the creation of territorial autonomy, and street names written only in the state language, to comply with court orders removal of unlawful non-Lithuanian subtitles”.
– I do not know why all this fuss? – Lucy says lituanistka Mickiewicz-Ożarowska the Secondary School. M. Balinski in Jaszunach. – The concessions that were made at the examination for the secondary-school certificate,examination in the Lithuanian language, they are really very small and do not affect somehow drastically on the final results of the examination. About 100 words or less essay is really a very small concession. That there has been several authors to interpret? Students and so usually are based on their written reflection on some of the more famous writers. Another thing is that last year we had a much more difficult process of learning, because the lack of textbooks and we lost half of the year. We also had to make up the curriculum and within two years to meet 36 authors, thus neglecting grammar. But the students are learning – 7 lessons per week in 12 Lithuanian class a lot.
This is not the first protest against 100 words on the exam with the State language of Lithuania. 4 members of the parliamentary opposition, even in early March this year by order of the Minister of Pavalkisa challenged the order to Supreme Administrative Court, with justification, that the exceptions in submitting a general examination of the Lithuanian language to defy the law on education.
At the request of the court several Polish social organizations issued a list of the reasons for its position on the Lithuanian language exam. Also, the Association of Teachers of Polish Schools in Lithuania “Alma Mater” issued a rebuttal its grounds, inter alia, that the revised Law on Education denies parents the right to choose the language of instruction in schools. With regard to the examination of the Lithuanian language, in a letter to the Supreme Administrative Court, the figures are factual and arguments showing discrimination against students of Polish and Russian. Reference was also the opinion of the researchers.
The Supreme Administrative Court is planning to start the investigation of the case on June 10, after the start of the examination session. Examination of the case will last until mid-July.
Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Dąbrowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Dąbrowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.