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Rally for the defence of the national minority schools

Rally against the discrimination of national minority schools in the Vilnius Region will take place on 1st June at 4 pm on Vinco Kudirkos Square near the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The rally is organised by the Forum of Parents of Polish Schools and parents of Russian schools students.

The reform being implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science may cause many schools’ liquidation or reorganization. Even fourteen schools providing education in minority languages are especially threatened with changes, i.e.

1.Vilnius Vladislovo Sirokomlės Secondary School (lectures in Polish);
2.Vilnius Simono Konarskio Secondary School (lectures in Polish);
3.Vilnius Joachimo Lelevelio Secondary School (lectures in Polish and Russian);
4.Vilnius Lazdynų Secondary School (lectures in Polish and Russian);
5.Vilnius Aleksandro Puškino Secondary School (lectures in Russian);
6.Vilnius Levo Korsavino Secondary School (lectures in Russian);
7.Vilnius Ateities Secondary School (lectures in Russian);
8.Vilnius Centro Secondary School (lectures in Russian);
9.Vilnius district Zujūnai Secondary School (lectures in Polish);
10.Vilnius district Egliškės Šv. Jono Bosko Secondary School (lectures in Polish);
11.Vilnius district Medininkai Šv. Kazimiero Secondary School (lectures in Polish);
12.Šalčininkai district Dieveniškės Adomo Mickevičiaus Secondary School (lectures in Polish);
13.Šalčininkai district Baltosios Vokės Elizos Ožeškovos Secondary School (lectures in Polish);
14.Trakai district Paluknio Secondary School (lectures in Polish).

The Ministry of Education and Science does not issue permits for accreditation for the schools, although often without even mentionind the reason why. Sometimes it is claimed that supposedly the number of students in schools with hundreds of pupils is too small. While for example in Poland in Sejny town, in schools with Lithuanian teaching language there are only 67 students in 1-12 grades. Meanwhile Lithuanian minority schools, with a far greater number of students, found themselves in a situation of risk of liquidation or reorganization to a lower level.

We would like to remind you that a month ago in front of the Ministry of Education in Vilnius a rally organized by Vladislav Sirokomlės Secondary School students’ parents took place. V. Sirokomlės Secondary School, attended by about 900 students, performing general education program based on Christian values is seeking gymnasium status. The school was supported by the previous term of Vilnius City Council members, who accepted relevant documents, but the Education and Science Ministry still delays the adoption of the decision. Decisions regarding other schools are also being delayed. This way deep traditions are being ruined and foundations for preserving are destroyed unreasonably.

The term of the reorganization of secondary schools to gymnasiums, pro-gymnasiums and primary schools ends on 1st September. Vilnius City municipality made all the decisions relating to general education schools future on time, and already in December 2014 sent a statement drawn up on the basis of the Vilnius City Council solutions accepted on 8th October 2014 and 10th December 2014 to the Education and Science Ministry. Statement contained a list of Vilnius general education schools, which on the Council’s decision were allowed to implement already existed, approved by Minister programs or their elements, as well as the programs prepared by schools community. So now everything depends only on the decision of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

While organizing the rally national minority schools’ parents are sure that after this protest action there will be no delay and the schools will get the accreditation. Otherwise, the fight for their rights will require more radical ways.