- July 23, 2014
Two secondary schools in Jaszczuny acquired the gymnasium status
Two gymnasiums will be open in Jaszczuny in the Šalčininkai region since the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year. Michał Baliński Secondary School, at which Polish is the language of instruction, and the Lithuanian “Aušros” Secondary Schools in Jaszczuny.
In May a special Accreditation Committee set up by the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science began an accreditation process of the secondary education curricula in the before mentioned schools and decided that both meet the necessary requirements. The schools have acquired the gymnasium status. Final decisions has been taken during the meeting of the Šalčininkai District Municipality – the schools’ type were changed and the schools’ statutes were approved. The Michał Baliński Gymnasium and “Aušros” Gymnasium will be open in Jaszczuny since the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year.
“In order to accredit a secondary education curriculum necessary requirements must be met” – informed Regina Markiewicz, the Head of the Education Department of the local government of the Šalčininkai District Municipality – “the regulations on accreditation stipulate the conditions which must be fulfilled by schools. The most important one is a high level of teaching which translates into good exam results, high number of students participating in subject Olympiads, the number of obtained secondary school leaving certificates, a low number of school absences – if a school works well, the number of school absences must decrease within three years”.
As the Head of the Education Department says, the process of accreditation included all accomplishments and pursuits of the school: how was the teaching process organized at the school, what were the facilities in the school and how were they used, how was the learning environment created, were the teachers highly qualified, how did the cooperation of parents, teachers and students look like – that all characterized high quality, efficient and successful teaching.
The appropriate number of students in the school is also an important condition, that must be fulfilled in order to acquire the gymnasium status.
“In small towns, where there are two secondary schools – for example with Lithuanian and Polish as the languages of instructions (as in Dieveniškės, Turgeliai and Baltoji Vokė) – one 11th grade and one 12th grade must remain with minimum 10 students each” – said Regina Markiewicz – “A secondary school can have 10 students both in the 11th and the 12th grade, but e.g. in the 10th grade there must be at least 15 students. If there are fewer students, the funds allocated to the school will be insufficient for proper functioning”.
Other requirements must be met by a school which is the only one in town – “if in a town there is only one secondary school (as in Kalesninkai or in Butrimonys) in the 11th and the 12th grade there must be at least 15 students each, to ensure the continuity of classes” – explains Regina Markiewicz.
The accreditation means mainly that the school has the right to exist. A the Head of the Education Department is saying, according to the current Law, since 2015 secondary schools would be closed. There would be only gymnasiums which would have approved secondary education curriculum.
In the Šalčininkai region already exist five schools which acquired the gymnasium status. In 2005 the very first one was the Polish school in Šalčininkai, currently the Jan Śniadecki Gymnasium. In Šalčininkai there is also a Lithuanian Millenium Gymnasium, which works under the direct authority of the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science. The local government is responsible for gymnasiums in Eišiškės: the Eišiškės Gymnasium with Polish as the language of instruction and the S. Rapalionis Gymnasium with Lithuanian and Russian as languages of instruction. In 2013 the Polish A. Krepsztul Secondary School in Butrimonys acquired the gymnasium status.
In the coming 2014/2015 school year the Paweł Ksawery Brzostowski Secondary School with Polish as the language of instruction is going to apply for the gymnasium status.
Translated by Maciej Jóźwiak within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.