Poland - Summary
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferencePoland - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education
Free Poland inherited from the era of Soviet domination an excellent public education system. In some ways that system has been made even better. Since 1989, Marxist-Leninist dogma has been removed, and, in addition, the curriculum has been made more practical and less encyclopedic. Today a wide selection of textbooks is in use. Polish schools now demand even more from teachers, who have been forced to develop their skills more fully. New pedagogical methods are in use, and parents now play a greater role in the education of their children. Poland has responded eagerly to the technological revolution of the 1990s, and stress on computers and the Internet is heavy. In addition, new facilities have been built. Poland's system for busing school children is quite efficient.
Not all change has been positive. In the pell-mell rush to embrace capitalism, Poland, like many nations of the former East Bloc, has badly neglected its public sector employees. In just a decade, low wages have produced a visible generation gap. University graduates are not attracted to teaching, but instead the most talented are lured into business. Below the college-teaching level, the profession has experienced a feminization found frequently in nations that support public education in an inadequate manner. Likewise, low investment in school equipment, such as teaching aids,plagues the system. Post-Communist creation of a new level of schools, the gymnasium, has caused school bureaucracies to expand, even as funds have not kept up with growth. The closing of small, rural schools in the name of efficiency has caused some children to be bused great distances to the chagrin of parents. Indeed, the very selection of which schools to shut has led to ugly rhetoric in parts of the Polish countryside.
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—Dorota Batog, Wlodzimierz Batog, and James G. Ryan