- June 3, 2015
The Minister of Education gives „Syrokomlówka” hope
Audronė Pitrėnienė, The Minister of Education and Science of Lithuania, who took office on 2nd of June, visited unexpectedly W. Syrokomla High School in Vilnius. At the time of the visit, the school was empty. The community of “Syrokomlówka”, who fights for a status of gymnasium, all together took part in the token strike. The head of the Ministry of Education wanted to explain what is the school’s problem. She was accompanied by the Ministry’s officials responsible for school’s accreditation.
The visit in the Polish School was initiated by the Minister of Education and Science Audronė Pitrėnienė, who mentioned that from the first day she became the Minister she thought about visiting “Syrokomlówka”, the school fighting for status of a “long gymnasium”. It is one of the biggest Polish schools in Vilnius, and in contrast to the other schools where the number of students is too small, W. Syrokomla High School satisfies the conditions.
W. Syrokomla High Schools applies for status of gymnasium with a curriculum based on Christian values. As the Ministry explains, all schools in Lithuania are secular. In order to become an institution of a catholic programme, the school should have, apart from the council, a second founder. It could be a diocesian curia or other assembly. The representatives of the school’s council claim, that it is not necessary by law and that the Ministry is stalling for time.
Audronė Pitrėnienė ensured that soon they will send the Accreditation Committee who will investigate the school’s preparation for accreditation. She gave hope for a solution of the problem. However, she added that the capital council decides if the school will be a “long gymnasium”.
Vice-president of Sejmas Jarosław Narkiewicz and a representative of Forum of Polish Schools Parents Renata Cytacka participated in the meeting. During the converation with the Minister they also talked about other schools’ problems, who apply for the status of gymnasium. There are 14 schools in Vilnius who count on the acreditation, these are J. Lelewel High School, Sz. Konarski High School, Lazdyna High School. Each of them chose a diferent way to apply for a status of gymnasium. Sz. Konarski High School and Lazdana High School chose the artistic profile, Lelewel High School wants to introduce specialized engineering curriculum. The schools in Vilnius District Municipality who want to be gymnasiums are: St. J. Bosko High School in Jałówka, St. Kazimerz High School in Miedniki and High School in Połukań (Trakai District Municipality).
The Minister did not say what will happen with the schools and she did not promise nor declare anything. In her opinion, reorganization is hard in each case, no matter if it is a Lithuanian school, national minority’s school, school in Vilnius or in Kretinga.
One way or another, the reform has to be completed before 1st of September 2015. What is more, the Minister stated that she does not see this as discrimination of national minorities’ schools – the law is equal for everyone.
Soon after the Minister left the building of Wł Syrokomla High School, the mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius announced his visit to the school.
On the basis of: Inf.wł.
Fot.: Jan Wierbiel
Edit: Edwin Wasiukiewicz
Translated by Julita Filant within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.