- April 14, 2017
Sokołowska: If we care about the students to speak in polish, polonists should not be the only role-model
‘If we take care of the students from polish schools to speak in polish, then we expect all teachers to be role-model, not only polonists, says Henryka Sokołowska – head of Polish Language, Culture Study and Didactics Centre in Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius.
‘Tendencies are not the best, because teenagers observing modern world, see themselves in the fields in which can make the most of their career and make big money. Humanities were never attractive or generating revenue. I think it is right teachers and other people have expectations towards the country, which should take care not only for market relations, but also for humanities’ – says Henryka Sokołowska.
In her opinion, combining polish studies with other pedagogical specialization would increase the attractiveness of the studies and would help with solving problem with lack of teachers in polish schools.
‘For many years until 1992 Polish studies always had second specialization. These were various subjects, except of mathematics, because there were separate groups with polish language of teaching. We had some groups with a specialization of early years learning. We have the experience and we could go back to it’ – says the head of polish studies in Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius.
‘Every biologist or any other specialist at school is experienced in humanity studies. It is needed. If we care about the students in polish schools to talk in polish, then let all of the teachers be a role-model, not only polonists’.
‘There are Lithuanian groups of early years learning at the faculty of education. There are few graduate students of polish schools. Few months ago I had a meeting with women studying in those groups, but are planning on working in polish schools. They were terrified – How are we going to be teaching polish? Are there going to be any lessons. Unfortunately, there are no any lessons on polish language nor on polish culture in the structure of lithuanian groups. This niche should be filled, because kids come to schools, they have to be taught and there will soon be nobody to conduct classes.
When talking about planned combining of the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas and University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius, Henryka Sokołowska highlights, that there are discussions being carried, but decisions are made at the other point.
At the moment it is known that University of Educational Sciences will be combined with Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, but it will preserve its’ distinctiveness – it will be an educational academy. University will be working as earlier, but the authorities will change. But authorities have been changed so many times…We should do our own thing. If we believe in what we do, then it does not matter in what structure we exist – says Sokołowska.
‘It is important for us to exist and be needed. There is still need to educate young humanistic people in Vilnius, In Vilnius Region, in Lithuania’ – adds the chairman of Polish Language, Culture Study and Didactics Centre.
Translated by Agnieszka Piontek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.