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    Polish Minority Protests Education Reforms in Lithuania

    Over a thousand students, parents, and teachers marched through the streets of Vilnius, Lithuania, protesting proposed education reforms. Led by Waldemar Tomaszewski, head of the Polish Association in Lithuania, demonstrators voiced opposition to changes affecting minority schools, particularly those teaching in Polish.

    Challenges to Minority Education

    Recent proposals by Lithuanian authorities include introducing Lithuanian-language classes in minority schools and opening Lithuanian classes despite the presence of Lithuanian schools in areas with Polish schools. Such measures are seen as undermining education in the native language.

    Legal and Diplomatic Concerns

    Organizers argue that these proposals violate minority rights under international agreements and strain Polish-Lithuanian relations, as guaranteed by treaties. They stress that limiting native-language education contradicts acquired minority rights.

    Educational Quality vs. Integration

    While authorities justify reforms to enhance Lithuanian language teaching, critics like Krystyna Dzierżyńska emphasize the need for quality teaching materials and staff without compromising cultural identity. They advocate for integration without assimilation.

    Protest and Resolution

    Ahead of the demonstration, organizers sent a resolution condemning the government’s actions to national leaders. They adamantly oppose the erosion of native-language education and assimilation attempts.

    Government Response

    In response, the Education Minister dismissed the protests as political manipulation, accusing politicians of sowing discord for personal gain.

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