- January 24, 2018
EFHR: Parents can apply for a refund for incorrectly translated workbooks
The Education Act of the Republic of Lithuania (RL) stipulates that education is an activity aimed at providing a person with the foundations of independent living and helping them to constantly improve their skills. Each parent hopes that their child will acquire the necessary knowledge at school, and that learning will be drawn from reliable and qualitative scientific sources.
In order to provide children with the necessary knowledge, teachers in schools use different teaching methods and a variety of sources. One of the most popular is a workbook which is a very useful tool for both children and teachers, because children do not have to carry photocopies, can perform tasks at home and enjoy their variety. However, the ordinance of the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the approval of the basic and general education program for the years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 no. V-442 provides that a workbook is not a compulsory source of education in schools. Hence, teachers decide whether to use workbooks during their lessons or not. They are also responsible for choosing specific workbooks, while parents are obligated to pay for them.
In national minorities’ schools teachers use workbooks as an educational tool so that children can learn their mother tongue better. While doing this, they spotted many translation errors in Polish workbooks that distort the purpose of tasks and make them unclear for children. What can parents do after purchasing an incorrectly translated educational tool?
A lawyer working for the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) commented on the situation.
The Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights of the Republic of Lithuania (LR VET) provides that a consumer has the right to purchase the appropriate quality of goods or services. In Lithuania, the Office for the Protection of Consumer Rights of the Ministry of Justice is the body responsible for introducing to the market non-food products that meet the criteria of safety, quality, labeling requirements, etc. A consumer who believes that a seller or a service provider has violated their rights has the right to complain to the seller or the service provider, use alternative dispute resolution methods or turn to the court. Primarily, the consumer must contact them in writing and specify their requirements. The consumer must contact the seller or the service provider no later than three months from the date on which the consumer became aware of the infringement of his rights or should have known about it. The seller or the service provider must consider a written complaint. If they do not agree with the consumer’s requirements, they must provide the consumer with a detailed and substantiated written response no later than 14 days from receipt of the complaint. Copies of these documents must be attached to the response of the seller or the service provider to the consumer. Consumer complaints are considered free of charge. If the seller or the service provider does not meet the consumer’s requirements or partially fulfills them, a complaint procedure must be shown in the seller’s or the service provider’s reply. In this case, the consumer may turn to the Office for the Protection of Consumer Rights or to the court.
Pursuant to Article 6.363 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania (LR CK), a consumer who has been sold a faulty product has the right to demand from a seller a free removal of a defect (repair of goods), request a free change of quality of a merchandise, demand a lower price for a product, unilaterally terminate the contract and request a refund of the payment.
Parents who have purchased incorrectly translated workbooks have the right to contact the seller with a request for a free exchange for a correct workbook or request a refund. According to the EFHR data, the average price of workbooks ranged from 3 to 10 euros. Parents who have purchased incorrect workbooks also have the right to reimburse losses incurred in the sale of low-quality goods. Costs of removing defects of goods are considered as losses if they have not been removed by the seller. The Education Supply Center at the Ministry of Education and Science informed that publishing houses dealing with releasing of workbooks are responsible for their quality.
The EFHR offers free consultation to refund money for workbooks. All interested please contact us by phone (+370 691 50 822) or email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translated by Katarzyna Kądziołka within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.