There are many changes this year, both for teachers and students. As always, not every parent is happy about it. The children will definitely need some time to readjust.
No compulsory school attendance for 6-year-olds
6-year-olds don’t have to attend school any more. It is up to their parents to decide whether they want to send their children to school at the age of 6 or one year later.
There is a newly formulated curriculum for 6-year-olds at kindergartens. They will start learning how to read and write.
No exam at the end of primary school
Starting this year, the students will not have to pass the 6th grade exam at the end of the school year. Organising the exam at every primary school in the entire country costed almost 10,000,000 zloty a year.
New food policy
It is once again allowed to sell sweet buns and coffee in schools. There are also some changes in school canteens menu. Children can eat 2 fried meals a week and they have to get fish for dinner at least once a week.
To read more about the new food policy at Polish schools, see our recent article about it.
Ethics and Religious Education
Students can choose whether they want to attend either of the subjects. They can also attend both and it will be counted into the grade point average.
Free course books
Students 1-5 grade in primary schools and 1-2 grade in middle schools have now access to free course books.
Changes in the education system structure
Since 1999, a child’s education path has been divided into: primary school (6 years), middle school (Polish gimnazjum; 3 years), secondary school (3 years, only technical secondary school – 4 years). The Ministry of Education plans to go back to the previous system, before 1999 – 8 years of primary school and 4 years of secondary school. 2016/2017 students may be the last who attend middle school.
Changes for the teachers
The teachers are no longer obliged to teach extracurricular classes. Candidates for teachers must have a masters degree in a given field, not only a bachelor degree. They also cannot have any criminal record.