- February 12, 2016
Kwiatkowski will lead a working group on Polish education
We want national minorities to trust our institution – said Vida Montvydaitė, head of the Department of National Minorities, during a meeting with the representatives of national minorities on Friday.
“We all live in this country and I believe that all of us here are interested in creating qualitative and progressive Lithuania. Certainly not everything is as it should and that is why we gathered here today. I believe it is a good opportunity to have a meaningful and peaceful conversation. I would like you to trust our institution and treat us as a singular communication bridge” – said the head in her introduction.
The discussion has been dedicated to the educational issues of schools for national minorities. The representatives of School Matrix, the Forum of Parents from the Polish Schools in Lithuania, and the Ministry of Education and Foreign Affairs all took part in the discussion.
The meeting was of a purely informative nature. The parties stated their opinions on the issues. “I would like to underline that the initiative of the Department of National Minorities is very important. This kind of meeting is needed as we need a platform for discussion about contemporary educational issues and other problems regarding national minorities” – Wladyslaw Wojnicz from the Council for National Minorities told the “Znad Willi” Radio.
“It is valuable that the Department plays its role and starts to look for some communication bridges which would offer us a chance to solve these problems. I treat today’s meeting as an informative one. During the session, different parties expressed their opinions” – he added.
The meeting has also been assessed positively by Adam Blaszkiewicz, headmaster of the Jan Pawel II lower secondary school. “It would be great if the whole matter moved on. Traditionally, we discussed education. (…) We raised the issue of the Lithuanian language exam. Currently, there are 7 hours a week in the first grades in Lithuanian schools and 3 hours a week in the Polish ones. If a new program was introduced, we would have to equalize the hours. This raises the question, at what cost? No one said that at the expense of Polish language but that goes without saying” – Blaszkiewicz told the zw.lt.
During the meeting, the issue of the Joachim Lelewel and Syrokomla schools accreditation was raised.
“During the meeting, we decided to form a working group which would deal with the issues related to Polish education in Lithuania. The leader of the group will be Jozef Kwiatkowski, chairman of the School Matrix. Besides, attention has been paid to the importance of the discussion on the validity of the Polish language exam. The meeting participants highlighted that 98% of the students of Polish schools sit the Polish language exam but it does not bring them any benefits. For that reason, the decision to turn to academic institutions to take the Polish language exam into consideration has been made” – informed Vaiva Vėželytė-Pokladova, head of the Department of National Minorities Analysis and Information, after the meeting.
Translated by Diana Dymel within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.