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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Polish school education

I'm not denying there are problems in the Polish school system -
(i)the elaborate system of mutual and self-deception among children, teachers and parents,
(ii) the dumbing down and drift in educational policy of recent years, and(iii) the lack of music and sport provision,

but it's still better than the state system in England, which sucks! "Successful" teachers looking for the next bandwagon to jump on, the statistics which 'accidentally' lend themselves to manipulation (use of GNVQ 'vocational' training is the all-time classic case), and successive govts since the mid-80s who don't know and don't care ... I could go on.

The Daily Mail had a 'funny' story about a Polish boy going back to Poland to get an education.


Much of the problem in Poland lies with the tertiary sector churning out worthless master's degrees. Not that that hasn't afflicted the UK in recent years either.

Re: Polish school education

This boy lived in Newcastle. That says it all!

The story.

Top of the class in England - but Polish boy goes home for better education.

When Aleksander Kucharski arrived in Britain from Poland, he expected he would get a first-class education.

He was accepted at a Roman Catholic state school which boasts one of the best academic records in the country and is recognised by Ofsted as outstanding.

But after two years he is so disillusioned that he has gone home to his old school, saying his British classmates were interested only in shopping and partying.

Although he received glowing praise from his Tyneside teachers, Aleksander claims he was being held back by other pupils, whom he accused of having no interest in learning new things.

He said: "Here in Lodz I go to debates, I talk about films and I try to persuade people not to use plastic bags. During the elections here we posted flyers for my neighbour who was out campaigning.

"But in Newcastle no one cared about globalisation, the greenhouse effect, the EU, war or politics.

"Maybe it's because they get everything on a plate, because there was no communism there and there's no real poverty, they don't need to worry about their future.

"In Poland parents tell their children about financial problems. But in Britain I think they don't have them or they tried to hide them, to buy their children everything."

Aleksander said that before he left Poland he was an average student.

"In Poland, I only ever got average marks in maths, yet in the UK teachers said I was a genius," he claimed yesterday. "After a year I was top of the class in everything, and that includes English."

The excellent facilities at St Thomas More failed to improve educational standards there, he said.

"They would give me a list of terms and definitions. The teacher told us to put them into pairs and colour them the right colour - like at primary school."

Last night, the deputy head of his school in Lodz, Agata Jagielska, said: "We know that Polish pupils are better at acquiring facts and knowledge.

"Perhaps because we are poorer and we don't have such great facilities in Poland, pupils are more motivated to seek out possibilities for themselves."

St Thomas More is one of the best performing schools in the country. A total of 1,700 students aged between 11 and 18 attend the school which was established in 1988 following amalgamation and has won several national awards for excellence.

A spokesman for North Tyneside Council said: "Every child and parent has the right to choose the education they wish.
"I was treading water within the British education system," said 16-year-old Aleksander.

"The boys were childish, they didn't read papers and weren't interested in anything.

"And the girls only talked about shopping and what they were going to do on Friday night.

"In Poland you have to know the names of all countries, even the rivers. But in England hardly anyone could place Kenya or Poland on the map. The teachers didn't test knowledge, only effort."

Aleksander started at St Thomas More High School in North Shields, North Tyneside, after his parents, who are both doctors, came to England.

In June he informed his mother Anja, a psychiatrist, and father Robert, a medical consultant, that he was returning home to continue his schooling.

While they remained here, Aleksander went back to Lodz in Poland, where he has moved in with his grandmother and enrolled at III Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace, a state school.

"We are disappointed that this pupil has decided to move away.

"Only weeks ago St Thomas More was recognised by Ofsted as being an outstanding school with 82 per cent of students achieving five or more A*-C grades. Among those, 16 came out with nine or more A*-A grades."

Re: Polish school education

The UK geography teaching mafia doesn't go in for teaching names and places - in fact it doesn't go in for much at all, from what I can remember from 1990s cover lessons and looking at their text books.
Brits under 40 never knew anything about geography - and those over 40 are too old to remember!

French GCSE (taken at 16) was formulated to enable the lowest ability to pass it, but then the edyukashun mafia decided to make it seem difficult by adopting obscure teaching methods. I now see these methods affecting English teaching in Polish schools!

But perhaps what the boy in the story didn't know is that A levels can be quite demanding, depending on the subject.

Re: Polish school education

"Anja" ??! That's a new one.

I remember having to memorise all south american countries in Geography, also vaguely remember the map of australian provinces. However, I don't recall being taught anything at all about Asian countries or America for that matter. Luckily I had an atlas on my bookshelf at home! I remember spending an inordinately long time on the geology of the Fens and Tollund man. Not my favourite lesson....Mind you when I was a child (despite 70s fad of sitting in little grouped desks), it seems that maths and english were still taught in such a way that kids could read and write reasonably well. Hours of lessons on comprehension. Chanting of times tables out loud etc.

Of course I learned all about Polish geography and history from my Polish saturday school, where we were taught not only all about the provinces in Poland but the names of rivers etc. Plus time for history, literature (learning poems by rote), dance and RE. All in three hours a week.

Re: Polish school education

Ania, the real disaster happened in the mid-80s with Thatcher. She, together with Keith Joseph, decided to ensure that O-levels were abolished and new dumbo GCSE exams would be introduced where an old-fashioned A grade would be around the level of of a CSE grade 2/3.
That way, you ensure the propaganda of success while guaranteeing that state school children face an even greater struggle post-16.
End results: working-class flushed with apparent success, average middle-class either struggle to pay private school fees or underperform and the truly affluent become increasingly smug.

Re: Polish school education

Having taught in both Jnr and secondary schools in Poland for a few years, the level and results are 'doctored' to make the teacher look good. Cheating 'as mentioned here many times' is normal. as the boy said we were not 'tested'. my guess his mum was a teacher and couldn't get here head around the modern teaching methods. I left Poland because it was time for my daughter to start school, my Polish friend here whose children attended a well known private school in sopot are amazed how fantastic the schools in the UK are. I suppose if you want to learn only facts study in Poland if you want to learn how to use the facts study here or go to school in Poland then Uni in the UK 'Ania'

Re: Polish school education

I don't understand what you mean Dajwid. People in the UK used to just study facts.

Over time, I've met people who are probably now in their fifties or older and even those who maybe didn't even do that well at school have a strong grasp of maths and english. There's a lack of striving for excellence in the system these days and that gold standard used to exist. It's a pity. Kids need to be inspired to learn and most importantly to learn to apply themselves. There are some very good teachers around, so I can only assume that there are severe faults in the syllabus.

I don't know anything about schools in Poland.