• July 27, 2018
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Paluckas criticises conservatives: Patriotism does not depend on the teaching Lithuanian language

“It is a very strange matter and with no prospect” – these are the words the leader of social democrats Gintautas Paluckas used to comment on conservatives’ idea concerning changes in education of national minorities in Lithuania.

Agnė Bilotaitė, Laurynas Kasčiūnas and Audronius Ažubalis from Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats presented amendments to education act in Parliament a few days ago, whereby teaching not less than 60% of school subjects in national minorities’ schools would take place in Lithuanian.

“Fluency in official language is the key to successful social and professional life. This is why we propose teaching not less than 60% of school subjects in the official language and the remaining 40% in mother tongue. As we understand that this sort of changes need preparations, we suggest that they come into force in the year 2023” – justified a Member of Parliament Agnė Bilotaitė.

“We believe that in the long term means we propose would enhance the structure of society, understanding between citizens and it would make it harder for others to divide us” – added Audronius Ažubalis.

The idea has been criticised by the chairman of social democrats on his video-blog on Facebook.
“Children who graduated from Polish and Russian schools in Vilnius or in the Vilnius District Municipality know and speak Lithuanian. All you have to do is talk to them to see it. Secondly, it (national minorities’ school – editorial note) does not prevent to establish itself on the labour market. Because it depends on academic performance and health habits” – stated Paluckas.

“Patriotism and citizenship do not depend on teaching in particular language” – added politician.
In his opinion conservatives create an artificial division in society. “I don’t understand why conservatives do that. They are still polarising society. They divide people into patriots and traitors. It is a very strange matter and with no prospect”.

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

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