- February 6, 2018
Kwiatkowski met the minister regarding textbooks
“I met Minister Jurgita Petrauskienė regarding textbooks today (February 6)” – informed zw.lt Chairman of the Association of Polish Schools Teachers in Lithuania ‘Macierz Szkolna’.
Józef Kwiatkowski in an interview with zw.lt said that the meeting with Minister of Education and Science Jurgita Petrauskienė concerned Polish textbooks. “The minister admitted that the textbooks are in fact outdated and in a really poor condition” – said Chairman of ‘Macierz Szkolna’.
During the meeting, a decision was made to set up an expert group composed of Polish teachers and representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science. Specialists after thorough analysis will decide whether to use textbooks imported from Poland in schools with Polish language of instruction in Lithuania.
“The minister agrees to import textbooks from 1st to 12th grade. Polonists will now take care of their selection, then an expert committee will be established and decide whether the textbooks should be used”- said Chairman of ‘Macierz Szkolna’.
Currently, only foreign textbooks can be imported from abroad. As Kwiatkowski says, the change of the regulations in this matter is rather impossible, because it is connected with demands of other minorities living in Lithuania.
“We took the first step. If the committee decides that the textbooks cannot be used, then the answer is clear – the textbooks will have to be written in Lithuania” – added Kwiatkowski.
Last week, the Polish Discussion Club presented to the Ministry of Education and Science a civic amended version of the Regulation No. V-2310 of 30 November 2011, enabling importing foreign textbooks to learn the native language of national minorities from abroad.
The issue of Polish textbooks was previously discussed in the article entitled “Polish children in Lithuania learn from textbooks full of errors”, where teachers and principals of Polish schools in Vilnius brought it to the attention of the zw.lt editorial team. Polish textbooks are over a dozen years old and their circulation has been exhausted. “The Magic Letters” is a first book that has been so far used by first graders and it was written by Marzena Grydz and released in 2004.
The Polish Discussion Club organized a conference on the subject entitled “Discussion about textbooks in PDC: no compromises”. The speakers of the meeting were, among others, Henryka Sokołowska – Head of the Center for Polish Language, Culture and Didactics at the Lithuanian University of Education, Danuta Szejnicka from the Center for Education Development, Kaja Kojder – editor at the Warsaw University Publishing House, and Józef Kwiatkowski – Chairman of ‘Macierz Szkolna’. Teachers from Polish schools in Lithuania were also present and they took the floor in the discussion. Everyone agreed that the problem exists and taking immediate action is necessary.
Translated by Katarzyna Kądziołka within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.