Lithuanian minister assures Polish counterpart about ethnic minority education

Audronė Pitrėnienė
DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

“Lithuania has not adopted any changes to legal acts that would worsen the conditions of education in the native language. Quite the opposite, we want students of ethnic minorities to learn their native language in schools that deliver education in the official language,” Pitrėnienė said in the letter to Poland‘s Education Minister Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska.

Pitrėnienė notified her counterpart about Lithuania’s plans to provide opportunities for ethnic minorities studying in Lithuanian-language schools to study the Polish, Russian and some other native languages – a total of two classes per week.

In the letter, the Lithuanian minister explained that the decrease in the school network was motivated by the decline in the number of children by 40 percent over the last 15 years.

In comment of the unified Lithuanian-language graduation examination, Pitrėnienė stated that the common understanding on the exam and the transitional period was reached between the Lithuanian and Polish education ministers in a joint communiqué signed in 2002.

Lithuania’s Education and Science Ministry received a letter from Kluzik-Rostkowska early in September, expressing concern over the situation of ethnic minority education in Lithuania. The letter was received shortly after some members of the ethnic minority communities held a protest action in Lithuania when school students went to a church service instead of school.

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