Statement regarding the strike
We, parents of children of Polish schools, state, that we announce general strike from the beginning of the new academic year. We are forced to take such radical actions due to the fact that our requests and demands have not been heard and implemented so far.
Despite numerous protests and against the will of 60 000 inhabitants, who submitted their signatures against the alteration of the Law on Education, the amendments entered into force on 17 March 2011. The amendments were adopted only because of political reasons and without the slightest preparation for its implementation from the state. None of the offers of parents, teachers or pupils were heard. Recent events in Vilnius greatly worsened the situation in the field of education. The liberal-conservative coalition applies blackmail and double standards in education.
The results of the matriculation examination of the state language indicate that the new system of teaching and the examination of the Lithuanian language is inadequate and forces our children to make up for more than 800 hours of arrear in two years. Still, there is no suitable textbooks and appropriate education programs for children from primary grades, who start their first grade and do not know the state language. Our children cannot become the hostages of politicians. We, parents, must protect the rights of our children. We have to take another actions after 25 years of utterly fruitless discussion.
The postulates of the general strike:
1. the immediate cancelation of the revised Law on Education from 17 March 2011 in the part regarding the education of national minorities discriminating Polish education;
2. the abolition of the unified examination of the Lithuanian language;
3. the restoration of mandatory status for the examination of the native language (Polish) on the list of mandatory school leaving examinations, provided that the points from this examination will be counted when starting higher education;
4. the discontinuation of the discriminatory practice which prioritizes a Lithuanian school by maintaining it at the expense of the schools of national minorities;
5. the increase of the so-called ‘student basket’ in the schools of national minorities by 50 percent.
We, parents, are concerned about the welfare of our children, but the rulers do not do anything to improve the situation in the field of education of national minorities. We do not agree on experiments to be carried out on our children. The rulers take away the childhood from our kids by taking away their free time, which the children must devote to catching up on the arrearages caused by the fault of the authorities after the enforcement of the amendment of the Law. Changes in education must take place after consultations with school communities, and this is something what our state still lacks. We reject the moral terror and cruelty to our children.
We invite everyone to attend the Holy Mass at the open window of the Chapel of Gate of Dawn at 11.00 on 2 September. It will be a common prayer for the defense and development of the Polish education in the Vilnius Region.
Strike Committees of the Polish Schools in Lithuania
Forum of the Parents of Polish Schools in Lithuania
Committees of the Defense of Schools