Schools of (unreasonable) thought on educational reform
A legacy of clashes between Poland and Lithuania is clouding sensible discussion about languages in schools.
Appeared in print on 31.03.2011
It seems inexplicable. Poland, the economic, military and political heavyweight of the ex-communist region, makes a polite request to Lithuania, which badly needs support from Warsaw on everything from road-building to military planning. The issue is the Polish-language education system in Lithuania: a planned reform threatens to erode it. Polish politicians, already smarting from a refusal by Lithuania to accept the use of ‘Polish letters’ (such as ‘w’) in the spelling of surnames in official documents, would like Lithuania not to do anything to aggravate the position of the Polish minority.