- September 1, 2015
Butkevičius accuses EAPL of instigating schools to strike
“Some EAPL politicians urge students and teachers to strike”, said today the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevičius. He added that the students from the Polish ethnic minority schools know Lithuanian better than the students from Lithuanian schools.
“I think that those strikes are being instigated by some of the EAPL politicians. I doubt that someone is going to deny it. I want to very clearly say that this is politicking”, said the PM in an interview for a public radio station. He does not agree with the demands of the strikers.
According to Butkevičius, the results from Lithuanian language exams clearly show that the state language is known better by the students attending Polish ethnic minority schools than Lithuanian ones. He underlined that in schools in which Polish is the teaching language only the 2,7% of students did not pass the Lithuanian language exam, compared to 5,3% in Lithuanian schools.
“Demanding an introduction of a Polish language exam for the Polish minority students would be a violation. They would have to write another exam. In our opinion it is discriminating”, stated the Prime Minister.
He also touched upon the matter of financing Polish schools, which, according to him, are in a better shape. “In 2014 the amount of money spent on a single student in Šalčininkai District Municipality was 2,224 euro while the state’s average was 1,604 euro”, explained Butkevičius.
In addition, Dalia Grybauskaitė’s advisor, Rūta Kačkutė, stated for an interview for Žinių radijas that the education of ethnic minorities in Lithuania is one of the best in the world. “Poles, Russian or Belarussians can learn in their mother tongue from kindergarten to university”, she said.
“We would not want for school communities to become hostages of political games”, she underlined.
Tomorrow, a general strike is to be announced in the schools in the Vilnius Region. A mass will be held at 11:00 at the Gate of Dawn.
Translated by Marcin Wus within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.