• November 4, 2015
  • 284

Polish school in Vilnius doesn`t give up

We have already written that two weeks ago, on the 20th October 2015, the District Administrative Court in Vilnius announced a judicial decision unfavourable for the Polish Konarski Secondary School in Vilnius.

The judges rejected the request of the school community, who asked for overruling the Vilnius municipal council resolutions of 29th June 2015, which called for reorganization of the secondary school into a primary school.

On Tuesday, 3rd November, the school appealed the court`s decision to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania.

“The court`s decision violates the law and is unjustified; therefore, it should be repealed” – wrote appellants, the Konarski Secondary School, graduation class student, Paweł Nowicki, the students` president, Joanna Markowska, and parents.

The appellants mentioned in the complaint that the court didn`t take into consideration the fact that the decisions made by the municipal council are very selective in that they are always unfavourable for the school and its students. “It proves that the resolutions are being passed in a hurry and against the good of the school.” – pointed out the appellants.

11 and 12 grades in Konarski Secondary School were to have classes in Adam Mickiewicz Gymnasium in Vilnius and 5 grades of the gymnasium were to be moved to the Konarski School. Currently, the Adam Mickiewicz Gymnasium instruct 11 and 12 grades of  the Konarski School in the building of the latter (the former Konarski School students are now the students of Adam Mickiewicz Gymnasium, the former teaching stuff of the Konarski School works for the gymnasium). However, the 5-grade students of the gymnasium were not transferred to the Konarski School.

“The court mentions that the mother tongue teacher (the Polish language teacher) of current 12-grade students, who was instructing the grades over the 5th grade, in an unjustified way does not get a permission of the municipal council and the administration of the Vilnius City Council to take up an additional job in the gymnasium (delay in the decision-making); however, the court does not take this fact into consideration and in an unjust way does not state that it is obviously contradictory with the students` business and their ability to prepare in a proper way to the final examination in the Polish language, which they have learnt for so many years according to a certain syllabus.” – mentioned the appellants.

In the appellation the representatives of the school community brought up the point that the court did not take into consideration the fact that the municipal council can put off the reorganization. They added that in fact the municipal council does use this right but only in the cases of chosen schools. “Even though it is highly disadvantageous for students (changing teachers, the necessity of visiting other school in order to get access to a social pedagogue or psychologist), the reorganization of the Konarski School has not been delayed. The delay in the reorganization would give the students an opportunity of finishing school without unnecessary obstacles. Nevertheless, the court does not explain this kind of discrimination against the school.” – wrote the appellants.

The appellants petitioned for repealing the court`s decision of 20th October 2015 in the first instance and for overruling the Vilnius municipal council resolutions on the part concerning the reorganization of the school.

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

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