Students of Polish schools joined the Olympics of knowledge about human rights in the modern world. Already in the questions, instead of the Constitutional Tribunal, they wrote about “TK J. Przyłębska”, and the students were told to indicate which institutions “are controlled by PiS” and whether the government has weakened the independence of the prosecutor’s office. – These questions do not meet the requirements of the methodology of running the Olympics – Deputy Minister of Education Tomasz Rzymkowski says in an interview with tvp.info and emphasizes that this is why changes in the law are needed. – Students should demonstrate both knowledge and assessment skills – the competition organizers respond.
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Pictures of the question-sheets circulated on the internet on Wednesday morning. It was about the school stage of the 9th National Olympiad of knowledge about human rights in the modern world. Its organizer is the Center for Subject-Thematic-Interdisciplinary Organization of Social and Historical Olympics in Białystok.
The organizer’s website states that last year’s sponsors of the COPTIOSH Olympics awards were, inter alia, PO politician Tadeusz Truskolaski (President of Białystok), Borys Budka (PO MP), Franciszek Sterczewski (PO MP), Danuta Huebner (PO MEP), Radosław Sikorski (PO MEP) or MEPs of the European Coalition Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz and Leszek Miller.
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The tvp.info portal reached the content of the questions received by the students. One of them was: “The prosecutor’s office in the Republic of Poland during the PiS rule: a). its structure has not changed, b). its independence has not changed, c). her independence has weakened, d). her independence has grown stronger.
In the spreadsheet, the term “Constitutional Tribunal” appeared instead “TK J. Przyłębska”, and instead of “media law” a password “Lex TVN”. Another time, the youth were asked: “PiS controls the National Broadcasting Council, the National Court Register, the Supreme Audit Office, or the Ombudsman?”
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Deputy Minister: The whole thing is biased
In an interview with tvp.info, the deputy head of the ministry of education, Tomasz Rzymkowski, emphasized that the competition organized by COPTIOSH does not have the patronage of the ministry.
– They are known to us because they once even contacted us, but it is precisely because of the non-substantive nature of the competition that we have never established any closer cooperation. They can organize these Olympics because this is our current legal status. Whereas today in the Sejm there will be the second reading of the probation act, which just assumes that such situations cannot take place – says Rzymkowski.
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– The point is that without informing the probation officer and consent of the parents, such NGOs entering the content could not do what they wanted. After all, in this case we see the entrance to the school with purely political content relating to the current political dispute. This is what we are supposed to avoid – he assessed.
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Mr. Minister @CzarnekPHave you seen these questions of the national Olympics for high school students? https: //t.co/FgZl8uhC8F pic.twitter.com/krEfDMl2NO
– Maciej Stańczyk (@stanczykmaciej) January 12, 2022
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The politician believes that a question like “PiS controls …?” it is “non-substantive”. He emphasizes that there are representatives of political parties (in power and in opposition) in various institutions, and this is straightforward from the constitution.
– These questions do not meet the requirements of the methodology of running the competition, and the whole thing is biased. If we ask about the Battle of Grunwald, we know that the correct date is 1410. However, here we are dealing rather with questions about the political sympathies of people who prepared the questions for this competition – said Tomasz Rzymkowski.
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In an interview with the tvp.info portal, he assessed that all the confusion was “a perfect example of violations of the school’s apolitical nature by some environments”. At this point, he also referred to the fact that the sponsors of the COPTIOSH competitions awards are representatives of the Civic Platform. – This is a camouflaged attempt by these politicians to enter the Polish school – he said.
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The firm response of the COPTIOSH coordinator
The tvp.info portal also asked Krzysztof Maleszewski, the main COPTIOSH coordinator, for a comment.
In an interview with us, the organizer of the Olympics emphasized that the idea of the Olympics organized by COPTIOSH is that students should demonstrate both knowledge and skills, including the ability to analyze and make assessments. – Thus, some questions in the Olympic tests require knowledge alone, and others – evaluation, drawing conclusions and interpreting – says.
Maleszewski emphasizes that in his opinion, for example, the phrase “TK J. Przyłębska” is “absolutely accurate”.
– This is a terminology often found not only in the independent media, but also used by lawyers and constitutionalists who emphasize that under the presidency of Julia Przyłębska, the Tribunal lost its independence. Just like the “independence of the prosecutor’s office” – in the opinion of many lawyers – has weakened – he emphasizes.
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The COPTIOSH chief coordinator also addresses other controversies.
– Representatives of the coalition parties say that the prosecutor’s office is independent, but it is a literal quotation of the constitution, as it should be, and unfortunately it is not. The current state of affairs denies this, especially after the prosecutor’s office is subordinated to the minister of justice, who is the head of the co-ruling party and can manually “steer” the prosecutor’s office, being able to order any prosecutor to initiate proceedings or forbid it, he emphasizes.
Krzysztof Maleszewski admits that from the very beginning the organization of the Olympics was supported by deputies and MEPs.
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– The Law and Justice Ministry of Education does not consider the subject of human rights, the European Union or the Third Republic of Poland to be important and important, so it does not subsidize the Olympics organized by us or with one zloty – says.
– On the other hand, we are very much supported by parliamentarians and MEPs, who allocate various valuable material prizes and fund study trips to Brussels – he adds.
The tvp.info portal
#lympic of knowledge