- February 22, 2022
Vilnius Regional Administrative Court: the requirement for the leaders of educational institutions of Vilnius district to know the language used by minorities does not object the law
Vilnius Regional Administrative Court rejected a complaint of the representative of the Government in Vilnius and Alytus counties to the mayor of Vilnius District Municipality regarding the obligation to take action.
The applicant appealed to the Court with the complaint requesting for the mayor of Vilnius District Municipality to change job descriptions of the leaders of educational institutions and annul the special requirement to be fluent in the language of minorities (Polish, Russian) that is being taught at the institution because it is considered to be contrary to the Law of Education and Qualification requirements.
In 2020, the mayor of Vilnius District Municipality approved job descriptions of the leaders of educational institutions where the languages of minorities are taught. These descriptions have a special requirement to know the language of minorities (Polish, Russian) that is being taught very well.
According to the applicant, it is established in the description of Qualification requirements that it is mandatory for the leader of the educational institution to be fluent in Lithuanian and to be proficient in at least one of the three main languages used in the European Union (English, French or German). The language proficiency level must be B1 or higher. Thus, the mayor of Vilnius district expanded the exhaustive list of requirements by approving the job descriptions of the leaders of educational institutions.
After examining the inquired administrative case, the Court ruled that the stated requirements in the methodology of job descriptions of state and municipal institution employees are not exhaustive, as it is established that other special requirements related to the budgetary institution as well as special functions that are attributed to the specificity of employee’s position, may be created.
In the job descriptions of the above-mentioned leaders of educational institutions, the functions that ensure relations based on cooperation, providing information for the members of the educational community, maintaining relations with parents of the students, examining requests, statements and complaints of the members of the educational community, are established. That is why, according to the Court, the requirement to be fluent in the language of minorities that is being taught (Polish, Russian) is undoubtedly linked the budgetary institution as well as special functions that are attributed to the specificity of employee’s position.
The Court notes that in this case, by giving the leader of an educational institution a job, the mayor of Vilnius district municipality, has the right to indicate in the job position description not only the qualification requirement established in legal acts, but also the requirement to speak one foreign language (English, French or German), but to be fluent in the language of minorities (Polish, Russian) which the children are taught in the relevant educational institution, too.
This decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Lithuania within 30 days.
Translated by Monika Ivanavičiūtė within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.