Poland: Protest actions against Government’s education reform


On 10 October 2016, in response to the draft education reform which  Poland's ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) had proposed and which seemed to undermine  quality education, the teacher union Związek Nauczycielstwa Polskiego (ZNP), one of EI/ETUCE’s member organisations in Poland, organised teacher protests in 17 cities all over Poland, including in Warsaw.

Over 25,000 people, among them teachers, other education staff, parents, scientists, local government officials and representatives of non-governmental organisations, participated in the protest actions.

The demonstrating people and ZNP’s members gathered in front of the Voivodeship offices to protest against the reform which foresees radical changes in the current Polish education system. The draft reform envisages to abolish lower secondary (gymnasiums) and the extension of primary school education from six to eight years and upper secondary education (lyceums) from three to four years.

ZNP reported that the overall education time would be shortened by one year. As a matter of fact, this legislative proposal calls for a return to the old education system before the introduction of secondary schools in Poland. According to ZNP the adoption of the draft reform would lead to “chaos” in the Polish curricula and the education system would loose the most modern and best equipped schools in Poland. The introduction of eight years of primary school teaching would result in teachers’ having to work in two shifts. Pupils would have to decide on their career path one year earlier than at present,  at the age of 15.

As ZNP claims, the introduction of this education reform would also result in massive costs which would be allocated to administrative measures rather than to the modernisation of classrooms.

To learn more, please, visit ZNP’s web-site