secondary education

  • Education in Polish and a Level of Higher Education of Polish Minority in Lithuania

    For centuries there has been Polish-language education in Lithuania which results from the centuries-long presence and tradition of the Polish national minority in this country. Polish education in Lithuania has its successes, but also problems that arise from the political and cultural specificity of the issue. On the one hand, it should be noted that in no other country (except Poland) there are as many state-run schools with Polish language of instruction as in Lithuania, on the other – it must be said that currently Polish-language education in Lithuania has become the source of many tensions in Poland and Lithuania inter-state relations. Polish education in Lithuania was a problem for the communist authorities of Soviet Lithuania, and now – for the authorities of independent Lithuania, which undertake both assimilation and integration activities concerning several thousand students and teachers of these schools. The first part of the article presents the situation of Polish-language education in the period of Soviet Lithuania between 1945 and 1990, marking the desperate struggle of parents and teachers to maintain the Polish language of teaching in these schools. The second chapter analyses the issue during the years of independent Lithuania – between 1990 and 2017, emphasizing the revival of Polish education in 1990–2000 and the persistent pursuit of the Polish minority society in Lithuania of ensuring education in Polish and maintain the existing state. The third chapter examines the indicator of higher education of the Polish minority in Lithuania against a national background, signifying that it was twice lower than the national average throughout the whole period. Moreover, it presents the funding of universities by ‘student basket’ model and proportion of school graduates with Polish language of instruction in this model and assesses the prospect of solving the problem.

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