Classes of 40 people, lessons for three shifts in rooms borrowed from primary schools will be the norm. Tight like 20 years ago
Photo: Daniel Dmitriev / Forum
When will schools be back to normal? the parents ask. Unfortunately – we do not have good news for them and their teenage children. From September, secondary schools will be extremely cramped. In Wrocław, high schools will “borrow” classrooms in primary schools, in Kraków a new high school will be built in the kindergarten building. Local governments are buying benches and chairs to seat nearly two million high school students in literally every nook and cranny of schools.
We heard about school “corridor jams” for the first time in September 2019. It was then that the students of the capital’s LXXXIII Liceum im. Emilian Konopczyński in the first days of September sent to Kontakt 24 photos from crowded corridors in their school and that’s what they called what was happening in them.
And there was a lot going on. The squeeze was above average, because the school had to open as many as 12 first grades that autumn – six for the last students of a three-year high school and another six for the first students of a four-year high school. The latter was then created as a result of the liquidation of junior high schools and Anna Zalewska’s reform.
More students and their parents – mainly from provincial capitals – wrote to us about classrooms bursting at the seams, lessons until evening hours, missing teachers.
It was the first so-called accumulation of vintages. And unfortunately not the last.
Because since the time of “corridor traffic jams” the problems of secondary schools are only increasing. It is true that in May 2022 the last graduates of three-year high schools finished their education, but in September schools were still cramped, because another accumulation of years marched to the first classes – this time resulting from another educational reform, i.e. lowering the school age to six in 2014 year. Over 510,000 students graduated from the eighth grade in the summer of 2022. teenagers instead of the standard in previous years, about 350,000.
When will schools be back to normal? – parents ask more and more often.
We don’t have good news.
In September 2023, the second part of the six-year accumulation will go to secondary schools. The second one, because when the school age was lowered, the year 2008 was divided in half, and therefore there are currently 1.5 teenagers in the eighth grade.
Result: in the 2023/2024 school year, a record 1.78 million teenagers will study in secondary schools. The last time was about 20 years ago.
And more bad news: secondary schools will not be “unloaded” for a few more years.
From September, as many as five years of teenagers will be studying in schools that used to be three years old. This situation will last for several years, as you can see in the attached table:
MEiN is aware of this, because these are data from replies to parliamentary interpellations. Are following: in the school year 2027/2028, secondary schools will still be crowded – there will be 1.5 million teenagers in them then.
Their parents, remembering the baby boomers from their youth, know similar school realities. But they are also the ones who say today: – It was supposed to be better for our children!
And demographics – and more precisely, smaller and smaller age groups – was actually supposed to translate into fewer schools and classes. In the 2016/2017 school year, i.e. just before the start of Anna Zalewska’s reform, there were about 1.15 million students in secondary schools. And over the years, their number was to gradually decrease.
However, before we run into the more distant future, let’s focus on how this year’s recruitment will proceed and what problems the local governments that manage schools expect.
The stakes are high, because it is not only about the good of students, but also about the upcoming parliamentary elections, and a little later – local government elections.
– What happens in schools will certainly be used in the campaign. After all, Minister Czarnek loves to blame these bad local government officials from the Platform – I heard from one of the vice-presidents of provincial cities (PIS does not rule any of the 16 such cities).
– We will have to explain to people that the complicated situation in schools is primarily the fault of the central reforms of the PiS government, which have been hiccuping us for several years. But I understand that parents don’t have to care – comments the vice president.
The hardest year
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