27 February 2015

Information about education for foreigners in the Polish education system

Conditions for starting education by foreigners in Polish schools are specified in the provisions of Art. 94a of the Act of 7 September 1991 on the Education System (Dz. U. [Polish Journal of Laws] of 2004 No. 256, item 2572, as amended) and the Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 1 April 2010 on Enrolment of non-Polish Citizens to Public Nursery Schools, Schools, Teacher Training Centres and Facilities, as well as Organisation of Additional Polish Language and Remedial Classes, and Classes Focused on the Language and Culture of the Country of Origin (Dz. U. [Polish Journal of Laws] of 2010, No. 57, item 361).

Foreigners benefit from education and care in all types of public nursery schools and schools until they turn 18 or complete upper secondary education on the conditions applicable to Polish citizens.

Educational services provided by public schools for adults, public post-secondary schools, public art schools, public establishments, public teacher training facilities and public colleges for social services employees as well as continuing education in form of qualifying vocational courses may be used, according to the conditions applicable to Polish citizens, by:

1) citizens of EU member states, of member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Swiss Confederation, as well as their family members who have the right of residence or right of permanent residence;
2) persons of Polish origin as defined in the repatriation regulations;
3) persons who were granted in the territory of the Republic of Poland:
– permanent residence permit;
– supplementary protection, and their family members;
– tolerated residence permit;
– humanitarian residence permit, and their family members;
– temporary protection;
– residence permit for a long-term EU resident;
– temporary residence permit due to circumstances referred to in Art. 127, Art. 159 section 1, Art. 176 or Art. 186 section 1 point 3 or 4 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on Foreigners (Dz. U. [Polish Journal of Laws] item 1650);
4) persons who were granted the status of a refugee, and their family members;
5) family members of persons applying for the status of a refugee;
6) holders of a valid Card of the Pole;
7) persons in the case of which such entitlement results from international agreements;
8) holders of a residence card with the annotation “access to the labour market”, Schengen visa or national visa issued in order to perform work in the territory of the Republic of Poland;
9) scholarship holders receiving scholarships of the Minister of National Education, authority governing the school or the school headmaster.

According to the provision of the Art. 94a section 3 of the Act, all other foreign nationals may learn in public schools for adults, public post-secondary schools, public art schools, public establishments, public teacher training facilities and public colleges for social services employees as well as within continuing education in form of qualifying vocational courses against payment.

Since 1 May 2014, the amount of the fees and manner of payment, including expected education costs and the possibility of complete or partial exemption from this payment shall be specified by the authority governing the school.

Foreigners subject to schooling or education obligation who do not know the Polish language or whose knowledge of the Polish language is insufficient to obtain education have the right to additional free-of-charge Polish language lessons. Additional Polish language lessons are organised by the commune where the foreigner lives. The method of organisation of additional Polish language classes is specified in the Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 1 April 2010 on the Enrolment of non-Polish Citizens to Public Nursery Schools, Schools, Teacher Training Centres and Facilities as well as Organisation of Additional Polish Language and Remedial Classes and Classes Focused on the Language and Culture of the Country of Origin (Dz. U. [Polish Journal of Laws] 2010, No. 57, item 361).

Foreign nationals may also take part in remedial classes concerning a given subject for 12 months.

The total duration of additional Polish language and remedial classes may be maximum 5 hours a weeks.

Means needed to implement the above solutions are financed with the educational subsidy. In the case of additional Polish language classes, additional means have been planned in the subsidy thanks to higher weights referring to children of foreigners taking part in these classes. The base amount per one such student (used to calculate the amount of the subsidy for particular local governments) is higher by ca. 20-150%, depending on the total number of students participating in such classes in a given school (Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 18 December 2013 on the distribution of the education-related part of the general subsidy between local government units in 2014).

Foreign nationals subject to the schooling or education obligation who do not know the Polish language or whose knowledge of the Polish language is insufficient to obtain education have the right to assistance provided by a person who can speak the language of their country of origin, employed as teacher assistant by the school headmaster for a period of 12 months maximum.

Foreign diplomatic agencies or consulates or cultural and educational associations of a given nationality can organise in a school, in agreement with the school headmaster and upon consent of the governing authority, courses in the language and culture of the country of origin for foreign nationals subject to the schooling obligation.

Facilitations for non-Polish students who take external examinations in the school year 2014/2015.

Lower secondary school leaving examination – Announcement of the Head of the Central Examination Board of 29 August 2014.

Credited students (non-credited students) who receive psychological and educational assistance at school in the school year 2014/2015 due to adaptation difficulties related to previous education abroad, problems in linguistic communication or crisis or traumatic situation may take the lower secondary school leaving examination in conditions adjusted to their personal educational needs and psychological and physical capacities, based on a positive opinion of the teachers board issued in compliance with the manner specified in § 37 section 5 of the Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 30 April 2007 on the Conditions and Methods for Evaluating, Classifying and Promoting Credited Students and Non-Credited Students as well as Test and Examination Procedures in Public Schools (Dz. U. [Polish Journal of Laws No. 83, item 562, as amended).

Matriculation examination – Announcement of the Head of the Central Examination Board of 29 August 2014.

Graduates who received psychological and educational assistance at school in the school year 2014/2015 due to adaptation difficulties related to previous education abroad, problems in linguistic communication or crisis or traumatic situation may take the examination in conditions adjusted to their personal educational needs and psychological and physical capacities, based on a positive opinion of the teachers board issued in compliance with the manner specified in § 59 sections 4 and 5 of the Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 30 April 2007 on the Conditions and Methods for Evaluating, Classifying and Promoting Credited Students and Non-Credited Students as well as Test and Examination Procedures in Public Schools (Dz. U. [Polish Journal of Laws No. 83, item 562, as amended).

Useful materials

Teachers conducting additional Polish language classes can use the following materials which are available in the Internet:

1. Regulation of the Minister of National Education on 18 February 2011 on the framework of the Polish language courses programme for foreigners (Dz. U. [Polish Journal of Laws] No. 61, item 306)

2. Ku wielokulturowej szkole w Polsce. Pakiet edukacyjny z programem nauczania języka polskiego jako drugiego dla I, II i III etapu edukacyjnego (w szkołach m. st. Warszawy)

3. Internet textbook “Włącz Polskę!” – educational resources created for textbooks for students of Polish schools worldwide. Internet website www.wlaczpolske.pl where the textbook is available is a tool which enables creating individualised sets of materials adjusted to age of the students and level of the their Polish language knowledge. Available materials cover early school education, the Polish language, knowledge about Poland, history and geography of Poland

School headmasters, teachers, students and parents can find useful information related to enrolment of foreigners to schools and their education, among others, on the following websites:

Welcome pack for pupils and parents (developed by the Education Department of the City of Warsaw in cooperation with the Primary School No. 211 in Warsaw and the Lower Secondary School No. 14 in Warsaw) – available in the following language versions: Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Chechen, English, Vietnamese

Poradnik szkolny dla uczniów cudzoziemskich i ich rodziców (guide for foreign students and their parents developed within the project “Poznajmy się – Lesznowola gminą wielu kultur”) – available in Vietnamese and Chinese language versions

Dziecko migranckie w naszej klasie. Rekomendacje nauczycieli dla nauczycieli (publication “Migrant child in our class. Teachers’ recommendations for teachers” developed within the project “The Intercultural School in a Multicultural Society” implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in cooperation with the Municipal Office of Warsaw and the Education Office in Warsaw)

Education in the context of migration challenges

Materials about education in the context of migration challenges

Autobiography of intercultural encounters

Inny w polskiej szkole. Poradnik dla nauczycieli pracujących z uczniami cudzoziemskimi (Stranger in Polish school. Guide for teachers working with foreign students)

Praca z uczniem cudzoziemskim – Przewodnik dobrych praktyk (Work with a foreign student – Good practices guide)

PAH Website “Refugees go to school!” 

I’m going back to school – guide, primary school, part 1

I’m going back to school – guide, primary school, part 2

Kultura w sieci dla dzieci – website of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

Polskie Dzieje – historical website of the Polish Press Agency

Materials of the Polonia Teachers’ Centre in Lublin

Idź do góry