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Published: 23 july 2012 16:00

Poland's Lithuanian community still waiting for news on promised school funding boost

Lietuvos ir Lenkijos vėliavos
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Lietuvos ir Lenkijos vėliavos

The Lithuanian community in Poland says that the Polish administration has provided no specific information in connection to the promised increase in funding to Lithuanian-language schools.

Last fall, representatives of the Polish administration pledged to earmark more money to schools that teach in the language of national minorities or two languages starting 2013.

"There were a few meetings, I was personally present at a meeting of the Commission of National Minorities at the Polish Sejm. The number of promises has gone down (…), and the final decision is unclear," Petras Maksimavičius, vice-chairman of the Lithuanian Society in Poland, told BNS on Monday.

In his words, the Polish administration is now talking about a need to keep the conditions equal for all schools and is searching for a model that would be acceptable for all national minorities. "I see this as an attempt to postpone the decision, although the money would be microscopic in Poland's budget," Maksimavičius said.

Up until now, the student basket for national minorities in Poland was equal, regardless of whether the national minority language was the teaching language of all subjects or whether it was just taught as one of the subjects.

Last October, Lithuanians living in Poland said they had been promised an exception: the student basket would be raised by 80 percent in municipalities teaching in the language of national minorities.

Half of Lithuanian-language schools have been closed down in Poland over the past decade. Closure of two more Lithuanian schools in the Punsk region was considered due to shortage of funds.

In Maksimavičius' words, the Sejny municipality is always behind schedule in transferring money to the Lithuanian-language Žiburys school, which also receives assistance from Lithuania. He said the local administration delayed the transfer of student baskets received from Warsaw for a few months, adding that Lithuanian students in Poland were short of Lithuanian-language textbooks.

According to data provided by the Lithuanian Embassy to Poland, about 15,000 people of Lithuanian origin reside in Poland, mainly its northeastern part.

BNS
Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.

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