The opinion of the Association 'Polish Community' on the strike in Polish schools in Lithuania
Longin Komołowski, the chairman of the Association 'Polish Community'
The school strike in Lithuania is a result of a serious, real anxiety among students and their parents about the future of Polish education in Lithuania, the future of Polish language in the Lithuanian education system, and, finally, the future of the Polish minority in this country. Systematic diminishing the rank of teaching Polish language and reducing the number of Polish schools proves that this anxiety is not unfounded. Hitherto existing experience teaches us that the policy of the Lithuanian authorities is consistently reluctant to the Polish minority and despite assurances and repeated promises, it leads to reducing the rights acquired earlier by Poles in Lithuania.
The Association 'Polish Community' maintaining the opinion that it is unacceptable to intervene into internal affairs of another country, also assumes that, according to accepted rules by EU countries, it is improper of the authorities to make the situation of the Polish minority worse; it undoubtedly concerns favouring Lithuanian speaking schools at the cost of minority schools.
The 'Polish Community' in cooperation with the Parliament of the Polish Republic has been supporting the Polish education in Lithuania for years, it renews and builds schools, develops computerization and implements many programs directed to students and teachers. In our opinion the present situation in Lithuania requires more help from the non-governmental organizations. Only such action can balance moves of the Lithuanian authorities intended for diminishing the social rank of teaching in Polish Language. Regardless of what concept of help will be accepted, we shouldn't allow for a situation in which Poles will feel neglected by Poland in Lithuania.