There has been plenty of news in the press recently concerning the state of education in Poland. Four articles, all painting a negative picture of Polish education, come to mind. The first article describes the new educational bill which has been passed giving parents the possibility to send their six-year-olds to school. What is frightening is the huge number of parents (and politicians, including the President) against the bill. This all came to a head when President Kaczyński rejected the bill refusing to sign it forcing parliament to successfully reject the Presidential veto.
Teachers, Leave Them Kids Alone
Why are so many politicians scared of sending Poland’s six-year-olds to school? One possible reason is the fact that many educationalists believe the syllabus for six-year-olds and curriculum for young learners has not yet been put together. The second article discusses the fact that this new reform will mean six-year-olds will actually be given the same material as seven-year-olds meaning that the latter will spend a whole year repeating the material they already completed a year before. If this is the case, Poland can expect not a wave of more intelligent children but a slew of bored kids coming home every day from school.
Don’t Take a Slice of my Pie
This is all compounded by the fact that the government is approaching the ‘problem’ of education in a completely irresponsible way. In the current economic climate, local authorities need all the help they can get. Now is not the time for educational decentralisation which forces local authorities to bear the brunt of the costs of teaching. Now is the time to pump money into a system which will help see out the crisis. Surely, the more educated people we have in the country, the better chance we have of coming out of this crisis and moving forward. The third article paints a sad picture in which local authorities will not be able to pay teachers this year.
Waiting for Someone to Show You the Way
The need for coherent educational policy is perhaps the single most important priority of any government, especially of a country which spent fifty years in the grip of communism, that was wracked by war and before that partitioned into nothingness for 123 years. The fourth article highlights the problems in Poland and the fact that very few young people in Poland read books nowadays. Poland’s educational system needs direction, Polish school children need focus and Polish teachers need vision. Investment is one thing but without direction, focus and vision we might as well say goodbye to a bright new, post-credit crunch, future.