Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
School is an important topic worth the highest attention. After all, each of us remembers our school, teachers, educators and even school caretakers and other school workers. We have been reminiscing these people for years, like our relatives from our families. Therefore school is so important. In our CVs we mention schools we finished, on particular occasions we say about teachers who were close for us. School years remain in our memory and often awaken our gratitude feelings.
Today we are observing the situation of schools in Poland. We are worried because they are being treated unfairly. Hundreds of schools undergo liquidation. Once, school used to have a very important place in the countryside, a commune or a small town. It also used to be a social club, the education centre. It was a teacher who used to be asked by local people for advice or a talk. They hoped that this wise person would be their friend and give them important hints of action and further life. Therefore, we must look at school not only as an institution in which teachers pass on their knowledge, test information memorized by students. It is also an educational community – of a kind of – in a good sense – competition among students because everybody wants to have a better mark and wants to progress in this way.
School has always taught about social life. In a good school a good teacher used to be like a father – he used to direct young people. It was often the first teacher, in a rural school, who used to lead a young John or Margaret, so that as adults they would achieve the doctor degrees, professor’s census of universities, a state of a famous scholar in the country and the world. It also happened that when a family was not able to take care of a child’s development, a good school used to do it, and which was later finished by excellent people, responsible for homeland, family and their personal life.
It is important for the Polish school to have a good educational curriculum for a student. There must be a place for History and Polish in it. These subjects help to form the attitude of patriotism in a young Pole, his love of mother tongue and everything which is Poland. Certainly, also other subjects are important, like, for example, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology. They all contribute to a great work of educating the man, first in the phase of primary school, later gymnasium or secondary school, and, finally, on the level of university. Educating the man requires much time, space and also money. We must not save money at its cost. If we have excellent citizens who have much knowledge, as well as beautiful characters, we can say that the school fulfils its tasks and in this way cares about the future of the homeland and its citizens. If the school can give education, love of knowledge, culture, patrimony, it means that such a school fulfils its tasks. We are worried – as I mentioned – that the Polish school is often a neglected school, maybe even not loved. We are worried that so many schools liquidated, that the present government accuses the self-governments of it, which quite often do not have funds for a good functioning of schools and ordinary citizens are suffering because of that. If the school is not financed, the family is suffering because of that, too. Let’s recall the matter of school books and their quality, and first of all, a high price which is a high expense in the family budget. In addition it happens that books are quite often changed and younger children cannot use books after their brothers or sisters. They must buy new books for quite a lot of money. It is a pity, that we do not take an example of other countries, for example, in France, books are funded by the state, there are some regulations which make the family life easier and the family is not burdened with the purchase of new school books. Shouldn’t our government, decision-makers care about in a democratic way, considering poorer families and families with many children, so that they could live more freely and the beginning of the school year would not be so difficult for them.
When we are looking at the changes in the core curriculum, is seems to us that they are not favourable to what is ours, national and Christian. It is worth for our government to do the examination of its conscience in the beginning of the school year. Is Poland a country which is favourable to children and youth – school pupils, is it a country which loves its culture? This question should be often asked by decision-makers and a worrying tone sounds here, it is a moment not only to make an act of contrition, but it is also time for a change of one’s behaviour for the advantage of a young Pole. His school – education is a guarantee that Poland will be homeland for all of us and we will feel like at our own home.
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