THE PRIME MINISTER – A GREAT PUBLISHER
In the Eastern neighbouring countries there is nearly the martial law – somebody will say – I am hardly dealing with this matter, as, for example, a free elementary textbook for the first grade pupils, promised for every 6-year-old child by the prime minister Donald Tusk. In fact I should put the above promise where there are tens similar ones to them, that is, unfulfilled. I will remind that 3 years ago the prime minister from the Civic Platform promised every pupil a laptop at school, an access to Internet and e-books. The chief of the Prime Minister’s chancellery Tomasz Arabski was responsible for the above promises. Every year the government was to assign 500 million zlotys for this purpose. Unfortunately, the minister Arabski went into ‘ambassador’s work’ to Spain, and the noble program turned out to be an ordinary ‘electoral sausage’.
However, this time, the promise of the prime minister worries me, what is more, I think that it can be the first one to be met. And a reason? If the National Education Ministry informed that a textbook for pupils of the first grade would consist of four parts: education of Polish literacy, mathematics, science and social education, what an occasion that instead of colouring books, stickers books, places for writing and solving tasks, the experiment of gender ideology is to be started against parents’ will and children’s good.
A few arguments lead me to the above conclusion. The first one – is connected with power with which the government has forcibly pushed 6-year-olds into schools, not considering the protest of a million of parents. The second argument – the government, allegedly being against unimaginably high prices of textbooks, their excessive variety, ordered a new elementary textbook in the Centre of Education Development, the central educational institution directly subordinated to the National Education Ministry (it is this Centre which realizes, among the others, EU strategies, is responsible for constant reforms of education, curriculum changes in schools, ‘impressment’ of the six-year-olds and also a recent attempt of removing religious education from the core curriculum). So, if the mentioned Centre is to elaborate the mentioned textbook during a few months, I am afraid that it will become an excellent tool of manipulation in the educational and subject sphere (in September 2015 the free textbook is to be given to pupils of the second grade of the primary school, and in three years, that is, in 2007, such textbooks are to be used by pupils of not only primary schools but also of junior high schools).
Other doubts about the planned textbook – which were expressed by parliamentarians of the opposition in the Sejm – concern too short time for its elaboration (for this reason the ministry abolished reviews – authors are to check one another); whereas, opinions will be collected, but who and when will evaluate them? Another issue is financing the curriculum. The National Education Ministry estimates that the cost of the whole reform connected with it will be over 300 million zlotys, and money will come from the governmental program ‘school layette’, which has not been spent yet. There is a question: if the Main Statistics Office informed that a few hundred thousand families did not have money to buy schoolbooks, so where the unspent means of the ‘layette’ come from?
There is also another issue. Ministerial decision-makers – apart from relieving parents from the cost of textbooks purchase – they are also worried by their variety. One textbook for everybody is allegedly to help ‘equalize educational chances’. Certainly, it will be helpful but in equalizing downwards. Therefore, in my and not only my opinion, as for the new textbook, the government means something completely different. Its concern is raised by bigger and bigger groups of patriotic youth which is interested in history, is looking for its identity, goes to concerts on the occasion of national feasts, takes part in independence marches…..It was seen during the celebration of Day of Memory for Accursed Soldiers on the first of March (by communists because called the Steadfast by Polish patriots). For example, on this day a hall of the Philharmonics in Cracow was full of mostly young people; hardly was there space on the stage for 200 people of the symphonic orchestra and joined academic choirs at the age of 20-25 years. And in the repertoire there was a patriotic message: the song ‘God’s Mother’ performed in a modern way, music from ‘Time of honour’, in the finale ‘Victoria’ by Wojciech Kilar. The atmosphere was raised by the constant standing ovation!
The conclusion less comforting for the government: the ‘mythical’ Charity Orchestra with its motto: ‘do whatever you want’ is going bankrupt, and the idea of the cosmopolitan ‘Europeanism’ was not successful, ‘ministry colleagues’ were unmasked in the mainstream media, so there is hope to cause commotion at schools, start with the youngest. And, this is the whole philosophy of the prime minister as a Great Editor.
But, as much as I know life, also this ideologically dangerous project will be botched by the authority. Therefore – I wish I was right – is the free textbook is to appear only after the elections for the Euro-parliament, it means that speaking about it was to give points to the governing party, and later – as we should forget about the majority of promises of the Civic Platform. Let it happen so, because ‘Republic countries are the same as their youths are brought up’.