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Poland

December 19, 2006

Homeschooling Progresses in Poland

The situation for homeschooling families in Poland is getting more difficult. Homeschooling is legal there, but highly regulated.

The Educational System Act enables parents to ask public school principals for permission to teach their children at home. Government authorities and school principals have the discretion to make any demand they want on parents before granting them the right to homeschool. Also, every home-taught student is required to pass non-standardized school exams at least once a year, even though no school student faces such a requirement.

Most homeschooling families comply with this law, but the number of public school principals refusing to grant permission to homeschool is growing.

This is one of the reasons why last summer the Stebnikis group of homeschooling parents met with the Minister of Education, who is in favor of homeschooling, in order to work towards a more parent-friendly law.

One of the proposals was to include private schools among those who can grant the right to homeschool, a proposal which was unofficially granted by the minister. Unfortunately, nothing has changed officially. Now several families who registered their children are facing problems with the authorities.

American, Polish-American and Polish-Canadian homeschooling families are facing another problem. A couple of years ago they were informed by the Ministry of Education that foreigners (from countries outside the EU) may homeschool their children without interference. This favorable interpretation of the law was granted even to the families where one parent is Polish, and was confirmed by the legal department of the Ministry. However, other educational officials are now claiming that no official document was issued to back it up.

The Poles have to fight with post-communist red tape and unfriendly school officials. They ask for your prayer as they are trying to meet again with the ministry by the end of January. They will try to meet with the other officials to show them how effective homeschooling is and they need not fear it. They need a mighty move from above to protect and broaden their rights to homeschool. Please, pray for the parents wanting to exercise their rights as parents to oversee the education of their child (even granted in the Polish constitution but ignored by the Educational Laws).

 Other Resources

A Polish-language homeschool website is www.edukacjadomowa.piasta.pl

A short history of the homeschool movement in Poland by newspaper correspondent Natalia Dueholm.

Anyone who wants to help support the homeschoolers in Poland can give a tax-deductible donation to the Homeschool Foundation. Simply designate the donation toward homeschooling in Poland.