- April 2, 2014
The Local Government of the Vilnius district discriminates Lithuanian children
The Local Ggovernment of the Vilnius District, when creating groups for the preschoolers speaking Polish and Lithuanian, was discriminating children speaking Lithuanian, said the Equal opportunities ombudswoman Edita Žiobienė.
The author of the complaint stated that “there is a discrimination based on nationality taking place, as for children of Polish nationality, disproportionate and unique conditions of pre-school education have been created”. In the complaint, the author specified that the management board of the Local Government of the Vilnius District, while making a decision on forming the groups, did not take into account the national composition, and because of that Polish children could be placed in kindergartens without queues, whereas Lithuanian children had almost not been given an opportunity to do that.
The department of education of the Local Government of the Vilnius District administration informed the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office, that currently in the nursery in Avižieniai there are 52 children attending the group with Lithuanian as a teaching language, while to the group with Polish language – 40.
Out of 341 applications for admission to kindergarten, 265 parents indicated the group of Lithuanian as the language of education, and only 76 of them indicated the group with Polish language.
The Ombudsman’s Office reports that the formation of Polish and Lithuanian groups should take place proportionally to the number of applications, that is 3.5 to 1, therefore in the kindergarten, there should be 3 or 4 Lithuanian groups to one Polish group.
The LGKT issued appropriate recommendations for the administration of the Local Government of the Vilnius District, saying that children were treated in the same way during the formation of the groups for the preschoolers.
“The decision of the Local Government of the Vilnius District is more favourable for parents signing their children up to the groups with Polish language as a teaching language.” – concluded Žiobienė.
Tłumaczenie by Roksana Kasperek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Roksana Kasperek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.