A 30 percent raise for teachers, slimming of the core curriculum, more freedom for teachers and school principals, no more homework, a hot meal for every child and a psychologist in every school. This is just the beginning of a long list of changes that may start in Polish schools as early as January.
Draft laws regarding changes in Polish education are ready in the drawers of the likely future ruling coalition and are just waiting to start the legislative process. – This is the most priority bill in my opinion, concerning the most priority issue, i.e. increasing teachers’ salaries – says Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, MP from the New Left. – These are raises for teachers in the form of a minimum of 30 percent. No less than PLN 1,500 – adds Kinga Gajewska, MP from the Civic Platform.
All democratic opposition parties agree to introduce pay raises for teachers from January 2024, but this is not the end. – Slimming the core curriculum and depoliticizing Polish schools. Reducing the core curriculum will also be a process, but it cannot be the case that students and young people have such a range of material to learn that it would be difficult for even a student to acquire such knowledge – says Kinga Gajewska.
The slogan “depoliticization of schools” means, above all, more competences for principals and teachers. They are more substantive than political curators. Some of these changes require acts of law, i.e. the president’s signature. Some, for example, of the new minister’s regulations. The projects also include an act on a hot and free meal for every student. – We have already introduced a 6 percent GDP law on education, which has not been adopted in this term of the Sejm. We also planned to establish a psychologist in every school – says Szymon Hołownia from Poland 2050. – In addition, there is an increase in salaries, of course, but we also want the psychologists who will be available in schools to be really qualified – explains Agnieszka Dziemianowicz -Tank.
Clean up after Czarnek
Leaders of all parties declare their agreement and readiness to repair the situation in schools immediately after Przemysław Czarnek leaves the Ministry of Education. It was he who, when asked about the principals who organized Rainbow Fridays for students in a hundred schools across Poland, called the situation a “scandal”. – We should also give them a sense of security. A safe space so that everyone can be themselves and not be afraid to be themselves. This is very, very important. Because a scared person cannot learn anything, says Małgorzata Gradolewska, a teacher at the 3rd Secondary School in Gdańsk. The campaign aims to create a space for LGBTQ+ students. This is a discussion about equality, tolerance and mental health.
After 8 years of PiS rule, school principals list the following issues as the most important: the need to employ more teachers, finance renovations, slim down the core curriculum, but also the need for breathing space and peace. – We need security and stability. Both teachers, principals, but above all, young people and children – emphasizes Ewelina Stasik, principal of the 9th Secondary School in Sosnowiec.
Main photo source: Fakty TVN