On October 22nd 2011 during a free training entitled ‘Human Rights in Teaching Civic Studies’, which will take place in the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius and last from 9.30. to 18.30, the teachers will learn about progress of preparation of the new complementary Civic Studies course book written in Polish and designed for Polish schools in Lithuania.
Worth reminding is the fact that on June 29th this year, there was a meeting organized jointly by the European Foundation of Human Rights and Modern Poland Foundation which inaugurated the project Europeans, Poles, Citizens.
The project aims at preparing a course book for Civic Studies and is a response to a pressing need for such a subject in Polish schools in Lithuania. Considering the amendment to the Education Act, accepted by the Lithuanian Parliament, which says that students in Polish schools will have to learn Civic Studies in Lithuanian, the need for such a course book has become more acute.
The initial meeting of the project gave the authors of the course book and opportunity to identify the needs and requirements of the modern Polish school in Lithuania and exchange opinions with the Education System representatives, experts and experienced pedagogues. It was made possible thanks to the guests from Poland: Ms.Magdalena Biernat and Ms.Magdalena Szwarc from Modern Poland Foundation together with other experts, and the Lithuanian representatives: the President of the Association of Teachers of Polish Schools in Lithuania ‘Alma Mater’, Professor Józef Kwiatkowski, who was accompanied by the Vice-president of the same association, Ms.Krystyna Dzierżyńska, the dean of Białystok University branch in Vilnius, Professor Jarosław Wołkonowski, the main expert of the Education and Sports Department of the Šalčininkai region Municipality, Ms.Halina Smykowska, Vice-headmaster of Jan Śniadecki Middle school in Šalčininkai, Ms.Leokadia Palewicz, and teachers from schools in Vilnius, and cities and districts of Trakai, Zujūnų, Kalvelių, Nemenčinė. There were also representatives of the Studnica community.
Many different topics concerning the form and the content of the course book were touched upon. From among 30 offered modules, the participants had to choose 15. The modules concerning human rights, the nation and minorities, the contemporary Lithuanian society, election, patriotism and the question of power in Lithuania were the ones of especial consideration. The idea of the course book crystalized and the process of its creation went into overdrive thanks to valuable suggestions and joint effort of all the participants.
The next step was the meeting of an international group of coordinators, editors and authors of the course book from Poland and Lithuania on June 30th in Vilnius, where the lexical range of educational material was decided on. Under the watchful eye of experts from Modern Poland Foundation, and competent authors, the subject range of the modules was precisely determined. Modules devised in this way will form the content of the Civic Studies course book.
They included such topics as knowledge, social initiative, self-government, human rights, the nation, the media, and many other vital topics that will enable students to shape basic citizen competence, understand the mechanisms of legal and judicial systems, and also learn about the minorities rights and duties, which extend from the fact of Lithuania’s membership in the EU structures.
Both Foundations would like to extend special thanks to all participants for their keen interest in the project and active engagement in both meetings.
The project is carried out within the framework of the tasks commissioned in 2011 by the Chancellery of State concerning the care extended over Polonia and the Poles abroad.
The organizers would also like to thank the management of Runnis Hotel for the help in the organisation of the meeting.
European Foundation of Human Rights
Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Różańska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Różańska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.