• August 17, 2015
  • 134

Polish language lessons in Lithuanian-speaking schools?

Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania announced that from September 2016 non-Lithuanian students attending Lithuanian-speaking schools will have the possibility of learning their own language, for example Polish or Russian. Teaching programmes for those subjects will be prepared in the course of the upcoming school year.

“We want to give parents the possibility of choosing a school for their children in which they can learn language and culture of their nation” – said vice minister Genoveita Krasauskienė.

The Ministry announced that teaching programmes for Polish, Russian and languages of other minorities living in Lithuania are to be prepared during this year. 2nd to 10th class students will have two lessons per week dedicated to learning their native language. Those subjects will not be obligatory.

Such an idea is not new. More than 10 years ago, the Ministry of Education and Science even prepared special regulations concerning teaching languages of the minorities in Lithuanian-speaking schools. According to this document, school authorities were obliged to put additional lessons dedicated to teaching native languages in the schedule, if the parents wished so. Ultimately, this undertaking was not carried out. The Ministry’s press service explained that back then “there was no significant interest in the idea and there were no teachers prepared for teaching those languages.” Economic crisis also turned out to be an obstacle – funds for the realization of this project were not given. As a result, Polish, Russian, Belarussian lessons were not carried out in any of the Lithuanian-speaking schools until this day.

Source: smm.lt, BNS

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

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