• December 4, 2013
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“Our present and our future” The Forum of Polish Kindergartens of Vilnius

© Małgorzata Kozicz

“Will Polish kindergartens and Polish groups exist in 10 years time? Is Polish education in Vilnius still valid? The continuum of traditions in Polish kindergartens depends on parents and all of us. Today’s event is the first and necessary step to make it real” – said, Danuta Narbut, the director deputy of Local Government Administration of Vilnius, one of the initiators of the First Forum of Polish Kindergartens in Vilnius.

The forum is organized by the Local Government Administration in Vilnius and the Association of Polish Schools’ Teachers in Lithuania “Macierz Szkolna” (“School Matrix”). It is organized within the confines of the festival “Bajeczki z przedszkolnej półeczki” (“The Fairytales from a kindergarten’s shelf”).

“We, the School Matrix and Józef Kwiatkowski, as a head of the event, decided that it is important to address to parents who choose institutions where a mother tongue is not taught. We want to encourage them to choose those places where lessons are taught in their mother tongue. It is the reason why the First Forum of Polish Kindergartens in Vilnius is addressed to parents. We invite them to learn about the offer of kindergartens and kindergartens itself” Danuta Narbut said.

Parents and guests who came to the forum have a chance to learn more about Polish kindergartens in Vilnius, watch presentations and stalls of particular kindergartens, contact with directors and workers, as well as have consultations with specialists.

Leokadia Skarżyńska, a worker of school-kindergarten “Zielone Wzgórze” (“Green Gables”) noticed that the attendance was low on the first forum. However, she believes that such events are important and parents consider it to be useful.

“Parents have numerous questions, for instance they often ask what a kindergarten can offer to their children. And I don’t mean the food and work time, I mean what children can learn in a kindergarten. It sometimes happens that parents ask “What did my children learn?” after the first day of a children stay in a kindergarten. Parents’ demands are getting higher and higher. We have to adjust to such a situation or otherwise we lose our jobs” L. Skarżyńska emphasized.

According to Olga Bielasz, the director of crèche-kindergarten “Uśmiech” (“Smile”), such an event is also important to kindergartens.

“The forum gives a chance to make kindergartens closer, to know each other. However, it is the most important to let parents know that it is worth enrolling their children in our kindergartens. I suppose that the information about the forum will get through to a receiver. – said, the director of “Uśmiech” (“Smile”).

“The Polish Kindergarten maintain the Polish culture. It cares about a language and traditions. It also lets learn about Lithuanian traditions. Such possibilities are rarely provided in Lithuanian kindergartens. I think it is worth remembering about our origins and traditions of our country, as well as not forgetting about the country in which we live, its traditions and advantages. Thanks to this we can be enlarged with the knowledge on other cultures” said, Olga Bielasz.

“If Polish culture is at home, one should foster it. Now, we see that families in which parents are of different nationalities enrol their children in Lithuanian groups. I think it is not a good choice and we would like to change it” said, Ewelina Giedrytė, the director deputy in kindergarten „Spragtukas”.

Danuta Narbut claims that one of the reasons why parents enrol their children in Lithuanian kindergartens is the fact that they want their children to learn Lithuanian language well.

‘I have to say that every Polish kindergarten is well prepared for teaching children Lithuanian. Later, we continue it at schools. That argument should not be a reason for enrolling children in Lithuanian kindergartens. On the contrary, Polish kindergartens are our traditions, our history, our future and our present” D. Nabrut said.

Pure knowledge of Polish is a big problem of Polish kindergartens. Among other things, it is the reason why workshops of Polish language for nursery school teachers were conducted by PhD Kinga Geben, from Vilnius University, at the forum.

“In Vilnius, almost each of us is either from families in which parents are of different nationalities or graduated from Russian school. Speaking correctly is a problem for most of us. It is visible at kindergartens. Parents often say that they cannot enrol their children in Polish kindergartens, as a teacher cannot speak correctly. We take note of it and we try to change it. We hope that such workshops will be conducted every month” Danuta Narbut said.

As she also said that the first forum is an attempt to observe parents’ needs for information.

“We are going to analyse and see what is our succeed and what is worth changing. We’ll draw conclusions and get back to it in the future” – Danuta Narbut summarized.

Source: http://zw.lt/wilno-wilenszczyzna/nasza-terazniejszosc-przyszlosc-forum-polskich-przedszkoli-wilna/

Tłumaczenie by Anna Kwiatkowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Anna Kwiatkowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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