- December 4, 2014
Polish schools in the ranking of the best schools in Lithuania
“Reitingai” magazine announced the ranking of the best schools and junior high schools in Lithuania in 2014. For the first time, the authors of the ranking chose the schools which students are best prepared to the matura exam from subjects such as Lithuanian, English, German, French, Russian, history, informatics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, geography and physics. Almost in every category Polish schools or schools with Polish graduate grades took top places in the ranking.
According to the weekly “Veidas”, ranking of junior high schools and high schools has always arose a lot of emotions in school circles. It has been said that it is unreliable, that the evaluation criteria are unfair and that schools requiring admission tests and those which has to take every student are put at the same list. In “Veidas” ranking the main criteria was the number of students who, at a given year, got entry for Lithuanian universities i.e. for the faculty which they applied for as the first on their list. Additionally, points were given for the matura exam results from basic subjects such as Lithuanian, foreign languages, mathematics and history.
For the first time, “Reitingai” magazine evaluated schools in terms of their teaching standards. Among 50 schools which are the best in teaching Lithuanian and chemistry, there are no Polish schools. Among 50 schools which are the best in teaching English are two Polish schools: A. Mickiewicz Junior High School in Vilnius and J. Słowacki High School in Bezdany, which took respectively 48th and 49th place.
Among 50 schools which, in this year matura exam, had the best results in Russian there are 8 Polish schools: High School in Grzegorzowo (8th place), Wł. Syrokomola High School in Vilnius (24th place), High School in Mickuny (30th place), A. Mickiewicz Junior High School in Vilnius (31st place), E. Orzeszkowa High School in Biała Waca (33rd place), John Paul II Junior High School in Vilnius (38th place), St. Casimir High School in Miedniki (39th place), High School in Ławaryszki (45th place).
Among 50 schools with the best result in history exam there are 7 Polish schools: High Shchool in Ciechanowiszki (11th place), High School in Ławaryszki (14th place), K. Parczewski Junior High School in Niemenczyn (26th place), High School in Rukojnie (29th place), St. Jan Bosko High School in Jałówka (33rd place)A. Mickiewicz Junior High School in Vilnius (48th place), Junior High School in Awiżenie (49th place). Among 50 schools with the best results in mathematics exam there are 5 Polish schools: J. I. Kraszewski Junior High School in Vilnius (15th place), J. Lelewel High School in Vilnius (21st place), John Paul II Junior High School in Vilnius (32nd place), M. Baliński Junior High School in Jaszuny (34th place), A. Mickiewicz Junior High School in Vilnius (50th place).
Among the schools with the best results in informatics exam are: John Paul II Junior High School in Vilnius (27th place), Wł. Syrokomola High School in Vilnius (33rd place), Junior High School in Pagiry (46th place). Wł. Syrokomola High School in Vilnius is at the 30th place when it comes to biology exam best results. K. Parczeswki Junior High School in Niemenczyn took 24th place when it comes to geography exam results. J. I. Kraszewski Junior High School in Vilnius is at the 29th place when it comes to physics exam results, while Wł. Syrokomola High School in Vilnius took 29th place and H. Sienkiewicz High School in Landwarów took 46th place.
In the latest issue of “Reitingai” magazine we can also find the ranking of elementary schools and primary level high schools. The ranking was based on the results of national-level school contest. Exceptional success of the students from Wł. Syrokomola High School in Vilnius gave this Polish school second place (!) in the country. At the list of the best schools there are also: High School in Bujwidze (4-5th place), Elementary School in Szumsko (24th place), St. R. Kalinowski Junior High School in Niemież (36th palce), J. Obrembski Junior High School in Meiszagol (47th place).
Given that in Lithuania there are around 500 high schools and junior high schools, Polish schools have performed really well this year. However, Czesław Dawidowicz, the head of A. Mickiewicz Junior High School in Vilnius, thinks that any ranking can truly reflect the real situation and teaching standards in a particular school.
Czesław Dawidowicz says that every award brings an undeniable joy, but he approaches every kind of rankings with some distance. Very often they are out of context. “Reintingai” magazine’s ranking is far better than “Veidas” one. It is an attempt to show the results of the work of schools. Nevertheless, I think that the indexes of Polish schools ranking, which are taken into account by the Association of Polish Schools Teachers in Lithuania “School Motherland”, are more specific. (“School Motherland” takes into account the number of students taking matura exam, those taking national-level exams, the number of passed national-level exams and their results – ed. note) The kind of rankings published in “Reitingai” magazine can be made by anyone. The information about matura exam results are publicly available and any computer programme can classify them in one day”.
“Among the schools with the best results in Lithuanian there is no Polish school. However, the authors of the ranking did not take into account that, for example, in, Vilniaus Licejus, one of the schools considered as the best in the country, only a small number of students took Lithuanian at national level and most of the students took it at school level. Therefore the average result was higher there. In our school national level Lithuanian exam was taken by 80% of the students. They passed it well but the average result was lower. I am glad that we took higher place when it comes to English and other subjects. It is a great achievement but it does not mean that we are successful only in those fields” – says Cz. Dawidowicz.
The fact is that some schools have great mathematicians and the other have great linguists or chemists, for which reason every year they have good results in matura exams from these subjects. Czesław Dawidowicz admits that a lot depends on teacher’s personality, skills and talent. Moreover, matura exam’s results one year can be exceptional because the students are exceptional – hard-working, ambitious, motivated – while another year they may do poorer. Czesław Dawidowicz underlines that no ranking is a reflection of teaching standards, it does not express the atmosphere of a school. Certainly it is not, as they imply in the ranking, a parents’ “guide” how to choose a good school for their children. Anyway, I have never experienced a situation in which parents who come to sign their child up for school say that they have chosen our school because of the place it takes in a ranking. They take into consideration the opinion of someone who graduated from our school or someone whose children were attending our school.
Translated by Aneta Gębska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.