The idea of the history and present subject itself is not that bad, but the core curriculum needs to be changed – said Marcin Józefaciuk, elected as an MP from the Civic Coalition, a teacher by profession, in the “#BezKitu Campaign” on TVN24. Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, an MP from the Left Club, added that “in this form, i.e. as a form of right-wing propaganda of one party, there is absolutely no reason to exist, but this does not mean that we should eliminate any subject as a lesson.” She was also asked if she was interested in becoming the Minister of Education and Science.
The program guests talked about the education system and teachers’ working conditions.
They were asked, among other things, whether they believed that the subject history and present (HiT), which was introduced in schools during the government, should be abolished. PiS.
– In this form, i.e. as a form of right-wing propaganda of one party, there is absolutely no reason to exist, but it does not mean that we should eliminate any subject as a lesson – said Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, an MP from the Left Club.
She stated that “history and the present have somehow eaten up a very necessary subject and very necessary teaching content related to social studies.” – Broadly understood civic education is needed at school. The students themselves also talk about it, she added.
– Because social knowledge, but real knowledge, is needed. What content, what core curriculum for this subject – we should talk about this with teachers and, above all, with the students themselves, because it is high time to also give them a say in what they need, what knowledge they lack, what to learn they want, said the MP.
Józefaciuk: the idea of HiT itself is not bad, but the core curriculum needs to be changed
Marcin Józefaciuk, elected as an MP from the Civic Coalition, a teacher by profession, said that “the idea of HiT itself is not that bad, it is not that wrong and it can stay, but with a changed core curriculum.” – It is not possible to immediately remove this subject and the core curriculum, it takes some time. Unfortunately, this subject must go through the entire educational stage, because the rules of the game do not change during the game, but we can fix the core curriculum – he explained.
– So we can leave the subject itself, the name, but the core curriculum, which does not fit the realities and which indoctrinates, should be changed as soon as possible, with the full acceptance of experts – he added.
Will Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk replace Przemysław Czarnek?
Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk was also asked whether she could be the new Minister of Education in the future government. – We don’t talk about personalities, positions or functions at all. There is a clear declaration by all groups of the current democratic opposition, soon the democratic majority, that we will and want to build a coalition, and that we want to cooperate. We talk about the program and what should be done first, she replied.
At the same time, she assured that “The Left has dealt with issues related to education and will certainly continue to deal with these issues.”
When asked by the host Radomir Wit whether she was interested in such a function, she replied that “she is interested in all tools that will help, firstly, to repair education after Przemysław Czarnek, but secondly, and more importantly – together with teachers, students, local governments and parents, develop her further.” – I am absolutely interested in any work to improve the quality of Polish education – she declared.
She added that “it will really be time to talk about the function, because regardless of who becomes minister or minister, there will be no shortage of work.” – I am interested in any work that will help improve and repair the Polish education system – she emphasized.
What about raises for teachers? “Five thousand zlotys gross to start is the absolute minimum”
The program guests also discussed the need to increase teachers’ salaries.
Marcin Józefaciuk said that “thanks to the pay raises, the prestige of the teaching profession will increase.” – Teachers will start to be appreciated, teachers will actually start to feel the wings again, that they don’t have to continue earning extra money by tutoring – he added. He also pointed out that “the entire teacher remuneration system should be redesigned, including incentives and other benefits that a teacher can gain for good work.”
Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk emphasized that “step pay raises for teachers are a necessary condition, but of course they are not a sufficient condition.” She added that “it cannot be like today, where a beginner teacher earns PLN 90 more than the minimum wage.” – In our opinion, according to the Left, PLN 5,000 gross for a start is the absolute minimum. We will be happy to grant larger increases if possible, but as I said, this is not all. Because, in addition to these jumpy pay raises at the beginning, we also need stability, certainty, prediction, and the ability to plan our pedagogical career path in this profession, the MP pointed out.
– That’s why we agree Polish Teachers’ Union, who submitted civic projects. One concerns linking teachers’ salaries with average wages in the economy, so that there is a systemic valorization of these benefits along with the development of the country. And the second one, which is important primarily for local governments, is that the money for teachers’ salaries should go directly from the state budget and not be included in the educational part of the general subsidy. Because it shouldn’t be the case that the mayor or the local government faces a dilemma whether to patch the hole in the road or pay teachers’ salaries – continued Dziemianowicz-Bąk.
Then the guests were asked questions by representatives of the young generation: Mateusz Trzaska from the GrowSpace Foundation, Natalia Hajewska from Młodych Razem, Łucja Prygan from Nowa Generacja and Mateusz Adamek from the Young People’s Forum. Among other things, the question was asked about how to conduct reliable anti-discrimination education.
Rynowiecka: the number of people who come to me with various types of fears is terrifying
Later in the program, the guest was Agnieszka Rynowiecka, a psychologist and psychotherapist from the Open Space Institute Foundation. – I work with young people, I work with adults who are LGBTQ+. And the number of people who come to me with suicidal thoughts, after suicide attempts, and with various types of fears is terrifying. I could not leave the office and just work with people all the time, she said.
She said that politicians’ words attacking LGBTQ+ people “create an atmosphere of hatred and prejudice, which then translates into everything that happens at home, what happens at school, and translates into what young people have in their psyche.”
If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here you will find a list of organizations offering professional help. In a situation of immediate threat to life, call 112.
Main photo source: TVN24