From September 1, the Polish state will only fund one hour of German per week as part of a national minority language education. Some local governments in Opolsky Oblast will pay an additional amount for at least one additional hour from their own budgets.
In this year’s state budget, spending on subsidies for local government units to teach German was reduced by 39.8 million PLN.
In February, the Minister of Education, Przemyslav Czarnik, changed the law regarding the teaching of German as a language of a national minority. On its basis, since September, the German minority is entitled to one hour, not three, of language lessons per week.
This will have a significant impact on education, especially in the Opolsky Oblast. Until now, in 54 municipalities of the Opole region, German was taught as the language of national minorities. Some local governments have decided that despite the lack of support, they will pay extra for the long working hours. The German minority is also compelling.
– I have recently had several meetings with local government officials and it seems that about 30 municipalities have already announced that they will add at least one hour – says Rafai Partek, president of the Social and Cultural Association of Germans in Opole Silesia. – That might change. The situation is dynamic, because local government officials believe that the minister will wake up and it will be these three hours. Municipalities will actually decide what to do with them by the end of August. Local government officials know very well that learning a language for just one hour a week does not make sense.
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