A year of protest and war. “Education as a tool for formatting an obedient citizen”
Photo: Darek Delmanowicz / PAP
This school year is a series of misfortunes: pandemic, war, mental crises of students and teachers, the latter leaving the profession. – High quality of education is no longer a priority. The most important thing now is to shape patriotic-Catholic-national attitudes – assesses Anna Schmidt-Fic from the Free School campaign.
I spent the last few days of the school year meeting with young people. Someone wants to conduct journalism workshops with them, we talk somewhere about developing passion. And although I never asked my students to summarize or evaluate this school year, they did it all the time. Unanswered. As if they had an overwhelming need to issue a certificate to their schools, which for several weeks have been talking mainly about grades for young people. If they had come home with such a testimony themselves, their parents might have become seriously concerned. Their description of the situation is a long list of disappointments.
– The pandemic is over, and we still have benches so spaced that we cannot sit together. This distance is exhausting me – I heard from a seventh grader from Wielkopolska. – And the best thing about the remote – telephones – is now banned again. And that’s even more than two years ago. We cannot take out the cells even during the break – adds her friend. – Earlier, we shot videos on the remote phone, did quizzes, and now there is almost nothing left of it. The lady dictates the note and we copy it from the blackboard.
I hear from a high school student from Warsaw: – We have a girl from Ukraine in our class, with whom it is hard to get along. Our math lady is yelling at her all the time, she told us recently that this girl isn’t trying at all. And maybe it is. But did they do anything to make her want to try and make her feel again that life makes sense? Only now do I see how helpless our teachers are. But honestly? I don’t feel sorry for them. They can always change jobs and they didn’t escape the war, sorry.
I bite my tongue, not to say that in a moment there will be no one to teach Polish or Ukrainian teenagers. But more on that in a moment. I understand his anger. As I understand the rage sparked in teachers by Deputy Minister Tomasz Rzymkowski, who said the day before the end of the year that knows teachers who – like him – earn 11 thousand. PLN net. And pressed by the Radio Zet journalist that the teaching situation was not that good, he concluded: – They knew what they were taking.
The eighth grade student from Poznań waits for summer days with hope: – This year we had lessons until 1pm one day, and another until 4.30pm and a lot of tasks, I often do them until 11pm, and then again the next day at 8. I am already very tired of it and I am happy that in the summer during these few weeks I will be able to decide what my day looks like and finally I will sleep.
A few years ago she returned to Poland with her parents. In a British school, she did not have homework and every day she had lessons from 9 to 15. She does not understand why this cannot be the case in Poland.
– Maybe it will be better in high school? – I ask a bit naively. – Well, I don’t know, we are the whole accumulation of years, it will probably be difficult for us to make reasonable lesson plans. During the open days in one of the high schools, I heard that the lessons will be until 6pm. This is even a bigger hit than that of minister Czarnek – he replies sarcastically.
“Do you think that someday we will be able to give teachers grades?” – a teenager from Włocławek writes to me on Instagram. I doubt it with sadness and that is why I am starting a summary of this year for you with these few quotes.
And this is how we go on this boat
Before we talk about how adults rate this year, let’s re-live it, though I guess many may not want to. It wasn’t light.
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