• July 20, 2015
  • 293

Another aim of the liberals – “Jutrzenka” nursery?

The polish nursery-kindergarten “Jutrzenka” (“Aušrinė”) located at a frontier of Šeškinė and Justyniszek is the target of another “jump” making by the new Vilnius’ coalition with the Liberals ahead. After removal the kindergarten belonging to the Music School “Lyra” from its building, the management of the institution and the parents living in the neighbouring districts hoped that there will be more Polish groups, particularly at the nursery level because the lack of them is strongly felt. Unfortunately, the new authorities decided to introduce to the available half of the building … adjacent, existing literally behind the fence, kindergarten “Kodėlčiukas” which is Lithuanian, of course. Apparently, the queues are much larger there. The whole effort of AWPL councillors to broaden “Jutrzenka” for Polish children are going to waste …

The Polish-Russian nursery-kindergarten “Aušrinė” (“Jutrzenka”) located at Laisvės 57 street is the only one Polish preschool facility in the north-west of Vilnius, which has groups for children from 1.5 to 3 years old. Director Wanda Uczkuronis hoped for the fact that in the free wing of the building she will be able to develop new groups after renovation. Moreover, such intentions were declared by the city authorities last term. Imagine her surprise when she read in the Lithuanian media that the new local government authorities have also brand-new plans: “I have not received any official information about this case, but I read in the media that the city authorities are planning to give away half of the building to the neighbouring, Lithuanian nursery-kindergarten “Kodėlčiukas”. I took this painfully. What is more, no one bothered to tell me about these plans. The representatives of the government and the company that will carry on the renovation met us and we walked together along the nursery. I showed plans, I suggested what and where to do. Perhaps only when the City Council makes up its mind, all will be fait accompli” – Uczkuronis wonders in an interview with Wilnoteka.

The manager of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport in the self-government of Vilnius, Gintaras Alfonsas Petronis , confirmed that released by the School of Music “Lyra” part of the building at Laisvės street will be transferred to the Lithuanian kindergarten. “There are no queues to the “Aušrinė”, kindergarten so the building is not fully exploited. Hence, there is no sense to give additional 100 places to this school while in the neighbouring kindergarten” Kodėlčiukas ” there are waiting 200-300 children” – said Petronis. “Jutrzenka” has two wings having separate entrances, so, according to the head of the local government of the Department of Education, two kindergartens can easily work under one roof.

The director of “Jutrzenka”, Wanda Uczkuronis, claims something else: “This year I had to give up the reception class – although parents were against it, preparatory class has been moved to progimnazjum of John Paul II. Thus, I could accept two additional Polish groups in the kindergarten. For all applicants, however, there were not enough place: the queue to the nursery is still about 30 children. Next year, if we do not get additional rooms, I would not be able to accept new children neither to the kindergarten nor to the nursery school “- Wanda Uczkuronis does not hide that children from Polish families lack the places in kindergartens as well as those from Lithuania. A great proof of this case can also be another Polish nursery in the new part of Vilnius – “Kluczyk” (“Raktelis”) in Karolinki, which is bursting at the seams too. The groups for the youngest (two-year-olds) are what the capital lacks the most.

Let us recall that the priorities of Polish councillors, who cooperated in Vilnius the previous term, were Polish kindergartens and Polish groups in mixed schools. Due to the efforts of Poles, pupils from “Jutrzenka” ceased to sleep after dinner while listening to questionable “lullabies” played by the beginners from the school “Lyra”. However, this project was not developed well and the further projects of the new coalition in the self-government of Vilnius are confusingly similar to this one carried out by the Lithuanian authorities. A few years ago, there were introduced initial classes of the Lithuanian “Antakalnio” Progimnazjum into one of the wings of the Lelewel secondary school. This progimnazjum “grew” whereas the Polish school “decreased” and now has to pay – it must leave beautifully renovated and organised building for the newcomers. Is it going to look similar in few years time with the “Jutrzenka”? When the Lithuanian kindergarten develops already renovated wing and the appetite will whet?

Translated by Paulina Lipińska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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