The Dean of the Faculty of Languages, dr hab. Urszula Patocka-Sigłowy, prof. UG, and dr Justyna Pomierska, specialising in the didactics of the Kashubian language, from the Department of Applied Polish Studies at the Institute of Polish Philology, UG, met in Warsaw on February 6, 2024, with the Minister of Education Barbara Nowacka and senators of the Republic of Poland of the 11th term, Anna Górska and Kazimierz Klein. They discussed the problems arising from a legal loophole in granting qualifications to teach Kashubian and regional education seen from a broader perspective.
The University of Gdańsk is the only university that educates specialists in the Kashubian language and its didactics. Due to a legal loophole, students of Kashubian ethno-philology from the years 2019-2023 who have chosen the teaching specialisation cannot obtain a teaching qualification. The problem was brought to the attention of the Kashubian Parliamentary Group, whose main objective is to represent the interests of the Kashubian and Pomeranian communities in Parliament.
Representing the KPG Senator Anna Górska and Senator Kazimierz Klein met last Tuesday with Minister Barbara Nowacka and prof. Urszula Patocka-Sigłowy and dr Justyna Pomierska from the Faculty of Languages UG. They discussed the problem of the legal gap and the chances of solving it by amending the ministerial regulation, as well as the future of Kashubian education and the extension of Kashubian language teaching in the context of regional and civic education.
‘Regional education and the impact of the provisions of the Minister of Education and Science Ordinance on the detailed qualifications required of teachers from September 14, 2023, on the professional situation of Kashubian ethno-philology graduates was the main topic,’ says the Dean of the Faculty of Languages prof. Urszula Patocka-Sigłowy. ‘The comments made were met with understanding by the Minister. It was agreed that the Faculty of Languages would draft a proposal for amendments to the Regulation, which would be subject to legal analysis and consultation. In addition, a catalogue of activities for the coming weeks was agreed upon with Senator Górska and Senator Kleina, which are to serve the development of Kashubian Ethno-philology - the only course of study of this kind in Poland which has been operating at the University (with minor interruptions) for ten years.’
Despite the positive outcome of the talks, the question of teaching qualifications for graduates of this unique course remains open and requires further efforts.
‘The issue is complex and is not only within the competence of the Minister of National Education. We still have a meeting with the Minister of Science and Higher Education, Dariusz Wieczorek, ahead of us,' says dr Justyna Pomierska.
However, all those who took part in the meeting are optimistic about further cooperation with the Ministry of Education:
‘It was a very good meeting. The Minister showed understanding for the problem, which I also reported in my senatorial statement, and we agreed on a concrete procedure, which is likely to end in a change to the regulation,' wrote Sen. Anna Gorska on social media. ‘We also already know this is not the last Kashubian topic we are taking on the joint agenda.’
Representatives of the University of Gdańsk invited Minister Barbara Nowacka to Tricity to continue the talks. The Minister accepted the invitation.