- August 18, 2015
Another victory of the minorities’ schools
After a long-lasting battle for education provided to national minorities in Lithuania, after strikes, mass meetings, Masses for schools subsistence, after court trials, the Lithuanian parliament accepted amendments to the Law on Education and postponed for 2 years the necessity to obtain the accreditation by high schools
The schools of national minorities achieve first success on the legal way of assertion laws to continue the educational activity. As we mentioned, the middle school of Adam Mickiewicz in Vilnius has won in the court with the council of Vilnius this summer: the Lithuanian court has adjourned the controversial act of not-completing, since the new school year, classes ‘5’ in this Polish school.
Currently, Lithuanian courts decide in the cases about the possibility to continue the educational missions by 6 minorities’ schools in Vilnius, which is the education in the classes from 1-12. Except the high school of Szymon Konarski in Vilnius, in the battle there are: The high school of Lew Karsawin in Vilnius, the high school in Lazdynai, the high school “Centro” in Vilnius, the high school of Aleksander Puszkin in Vilnius. Then, the society of the high school of Joachim Lelew fight in the court battle for maintaining the building in Antokole.
Last week, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court made judgment favourable to the Polish high school of Szymon Konarski in Vilnis, and today, petitioners got the official opinion of the Court. The school and parents complained about the act of the Vilnius council from the 15th July this year and the act from the 29th July, under which it was decided to downgrade the school to the status of a primary school, which is to eliminate classes 11-12.
The Parents of high school of Szymon Konarski in Vilnius’s students emphasized in the complain, that if the council acts are not adjourn, the classes from 11 to 12 will not exist, so their children will not be able to study in the final classes, which will negatively influence on their preparation for Matura exams. Moreover, as the parents highlighted, the children would have to change the school in a hurry, especially in the situation, when there will be less than a month left till the new school year.
The Court considered the parent’s arguments and adjourned the council act, therefore, the high school of Szymon Konarski in Vilnius will maintain 12-years status for, at least, 2 years.
In the near future the next decisions on similar cases will be made. Trials are continued by the request of the educational society – parents, senior pupils, teachers – the schools of national minorities in Vilnius, which are endangered to be downgraded from a high school to a primary school. Due to the similar situation in every school at risk and the court’s judgments which has to be equal and consistent, there are huge chances for the next opinions, which will be made on the possibility to maintain the high school status, to be favourable for another schools and their society.
Translated by Paulina Lipińska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.