School reading list to include John Paul II's heritage: Education Minister

"There are areas where I see a vast emptiness, such as the legacy of the great philosophical and social thought of John Paul II," said the Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek on Radio Gdańsk. He explained that there would be gradual changes made to the school reading list.

The Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek was a guest of Radio Gdańsk on Friday, where he spoke, among other things, about remote learning and help for teachers during the pandemic.

"I am very grateful to all teachers, school principals and the entire teaching community for all their efforts and enormous contribution to remote learning. We are fully aware that this work is more difficult than in the stationary system," explained the Minister.

Mr Czarnek added that he was aware that these are challenging conditions and that even the most effective remote learning could never replace the regular mode of teaching.

"The government has allocated PLN 1 bln in just a few months this year for the computerisation of schools and educational institutions. Within this PLN 1 bln there is PLN 300 mln that we are just donating to the local governments for the reimbursement of IT costs incurred by teachers working in remote learning mode," explained Minister Czarnek.

The Minister added that these are financial resources for the development of remote learning. "We want teachers to make further purchases to make remote learning more effective. This work is so specific, important for students and requires additional expenses and reimbursement. (...) The money can go on headphones, tripods, better software, faster Internet - everything that teachers need for such work," said Mr Czarnek on Radio Gdańsk.

When asked about changes to the curriculum, the Minister said that the Ministry must make the adjustments gradually.

"We will consult with the teaching community on everything. We will work on this from next spring," said the Minister.

Minister Czarnek also translated issues concerning the science of patriotism and history in Radio Gdańsk. He also commented on the change to the reading list.

"You have to demand, of course, a fair evaluation system. It is natural in school. The fact that it will be easier to read is not the right direction," said the Minister.

He added that there would be evolutionary changes in the school reading list, taking into account the opinions of the teaching community.

"There are areas where I see a vast emptiness, for example, the legacy of the great philosophical and social thought of John Paul II, one of the most or even the most eminent Pole. The awareness of the impact of his philosophical, social and Catholic thought is at a very low level. The writings of John Paul II should be introduced to the reading list," said Mr Czarnek.