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Discussion with the leadership of the Senate about the problems of Polish education in Lithuania

An official meeting of the Senate Leadership and the representatives of Polish organisations in Lithuania, Association of Poles in Lithuania (APL) and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL) took place at the invitation of the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland last Tuesday in Warsaw. The discussion led during the meeting concerned the most important issues and problems of the Polish community in the Vilnius Region.
The meeting was organised with the leadership of the Senate headed by the Senate Marshal Stanisław Karczewski, Deputy Senate Marshal Maria Koc and Senator Janina Sagatowska, Chairwoman of the Emigration Affairs and Contacts with Poles Abroad Committee. The delegation from Lithuania consisted of the EAPL Chairman Valdemar Tomaševski, Chairwoman of the EAPL faction in the Lithuanian Seimas Rita Tamošiūnienė, and members of the APL Council – Member of the Seimas Leonard Talmont and Mayor of the Vilnius District Marija Rekst. Moreover, the Councillor of the Vilnius City, head of the Audit Committee of the Vilnius City Council Jaroslav Kaminski was also present at the meeting. Presenting the delegation, Mr Tomaševski gave compliments to the Marshal and the entire Senate from the APL President and the Member of the Seimas Michal Mackevič, who had to resign from the trip due to an illness.

Lots of topics important for Poles in Lithuania were covered during the meeting but the most attention was paid to the subject of education. The discussion focused on the biggest threats to the functioning of the Polish education in Lithuania, which due to increasing problems created by the representatives of the Vilnius City authorities and some other politicians of the Lithuanian government, is still waiting for positive outcomes. The participants of the meeting spoke about the famous schools of Vilnius Vladislovo Sirokomlės, Vilnius Simono Konarskio and Vilnius Joachimo Lelevelio. The latter one was graduated by even two Nobel Prize winners: poet Czesław Miłosz and medical scientist Andrew Shally. The discussion was an important exposure of the education topic in the Senate, as this issue has not been discussed in the upper house of the Polish parliament yet.

Last year it was the Sejm of the Republic of Poland which was dealing with the issue of the Polish education in Lithuania. Last September the Sejm has unanimously adopted a special resolution urging the authorities of the Republic of Lithuania to take actions to ensure Polish minority the conditions suitable for the proper development of education in Polish, in line with generally accepted European standards. It was an act of the highest rank, which in this case could be taken by the Parliament, hence its great importance and diplomatic significance. It is a very good sign that after this enormous amount of work made by the Sejm, the Senate stands in defense of Polish education in Lithuania in the current term.

The meeting was indeed fruitful and was held in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The Marshal Karczewski stressed, that the issues of Poles from the Vilnius region are and always will be an important part of the interest of the Senate, whose major task is to protect Poles scattered all over the world, especially the Poles in Lithuania. As the Marshal Karczewski said, Poles of the Vilnius Region can always count on him personally and are supported by the Chamber led by him.

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