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Expat kids in schools in Poland


Intermarium 11 | 64
25 Jan 2019 #1
Would anyone here from Western Europe or the US be willing to share their experience with the school system in Poland?

As I wrote in a different post, I'm considering relocating to a nice area of Szczecin and sending my kids to school there. Of course they'll speak sufficient Polish by the time we move.

Any helpful information and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,264
25 Jan 2019 #2
Delph will be along shortly. Try to avoid the schools (such as I attended 100 years ago), where the desks are in rows facing the blackboard. Constant teacher led classes are so old hat and lame in methodology - but nobody thought to tell the Polish education ministry.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64
25 Jan 2019 #3
Thanks. Is Szczecin the type of place that would be more accepting of a German kid starting school there?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
25 Jan 2019 #4
Of course they'll speak sufficient Polish by the time we move.

I wouldn't bet on it. There's a cliche in Polish education that children don't speak Polish properly until the age of 7 or so due to the grammatical complexity, but what should concern you is that they (as in Germany, I believe?) hit the ground running - they'll be expected to be able to read fairly complicated books by the time they reach 9 years old. So, even if your kids start at 7, they'll have a mountain to climb before they start.

Of course, it depends on their age - if they start a Polish language nursery at 2/3, they'll be fluent in Polish by the time they start school.

What should concern you most of all is that very little assistance is available for foreign kids that don't speak Polish. Polish classes are provided (2x lessons a week, only in the first year), but that's it. If you've got a kid that's 10 when he/she starts school, it's going to be an impossible mountain to climb, as there's no way they'll get enough from learning Polish as a foreigner abroad.

What are their ages? I can give you more specific and tailored advice if you tell me how old they'll be when you move there.

Is Szczecin the type of place that would be more accepting of a German kid starting school there?

It's likely to be the same level of acceptance throughout the country. Every class will have some kids where the parents listen to non-stop anti-German propaganda on public TV, and so there will be some issues.

You might want to consider something like this - gm20szczecin.edupage.org/ - where they will be much more accepting of other Europeans because of the name.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64
25 Jan 2019 #5
I appreciate the help. The kids are 3 and 1 right now. The move would likely be in two years. I'm not against private school if it would be too difficult on them in a Polish public school.

I just wonder whether an international private school in Poland would be teaching the transgender/anti-white curriculum that's taking hold in Germany.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
25 Jan 2019 #6
Generally speaking, international schools focus almost exclusively on academics. They don't touch political ideology or religious influence because of so many different cultures and beliefs that attend such schools.

The kids are 3 and 1 right now.

They'll be fine if they attend Polish kindergartens, then, as they'll have 2 / 4 years to learn. By the time they start school, it's unlikely that anything (except their names) will betray them as non-Polish.
Miloslaw 6 | 2,572
25 Jan 2019 #7
he kids are 3 and 1 right now. The move would likely be in two years.

So they will be 5 and 3 when you move.
They will have no problems at all.
The older child will catch up with The Polish kids in less than a year and then help to teach the younger one.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64
25 Jan 2019 #8
@delphiandomine
Are you pretty sure of this or is it an assumption about the international schools focusing on academics?

International schools in German also push an openly political ideology just like the public schools. There's a huge anti-racism campaign and the children are taught that the AFD is a racist political party.
cms neuf - | 1,022
25 Jan 2019 #9
I hope some absurdist film maker will follow your adventure - you want to escape from immigrants who don't speak German by becoming an immigrant who does not speak Polish. In doing so you face the same difficult decisions and insecurities that your average Mehmet would when he turns up in Frankfurt.

My take on school is like this - my kids have Polish names and spoke native Polish but with some mistakes when they started school (Polish state school - I could not spend all day driving across town to international school). There has never been bullying but there has been the odd incident and a few tears. Your kids will probably only attract attention at times when they compare the how things are in Germany with what they are like in Poland. I do not think it will be easy unless they get to a good standard in Polish first - which means Polish at home and Polish on the TV. In my younger kid's school there are a handful of kids from Ukraine and also a mixed race kid born in UK - I don't know if they get bullied but nothing has been mentioned and they all seem to speak Polish well.

The curriculum is not static and so don't assume that it will be set in aspic for the 12 years your kids will be at school. At the moment it is quite heavy on some aspects of modern Polish history that fit in with PiS ideology. But you know most of the time they are doing math. science, languages etc.

You also need to understand that Poland and especially a big town like Szczecin is not some kind of right wing wonderland with 1950s values - yes most Poles are kind of conservative but the support for PiS is somewhere between 30 and 40 percent and most of that comes from old people and the countryside. They have attracted a lot of young family voters too but it is about their 500+ program and free medicine etc rather than caring about Gays or Transgender issues. The number of working age employed people who share your views in Poland is maybe 10% and n Szczecin maybe more like 5%. Those tend to be quite into the church too so assuming you are Catholic that might be the best place to make contacts with like minded people.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
25 Jan 2019 #10
Are you pretty sure of this or is it an assumption about the international schools focusing on academics?

Trust me. I work as a teacher and a counsellor in an international school, and it is a huge no-no to get involved with anything that might upset parents. You have to step very carefully, and the easiest way to do that is to stay away from anything controversial.

A good example - I teach a "modern affairs" class. We stay well away from anything to do with China, because it's a guarantee that it will upset Chinese parents unless we present a very simple minded CHINA IS GREAT narrative.

The curriculum is not static and so don't assume that it will be set in aspic for the 12 years your kids will be at school.

That's a very valid point. Poland already changed dramatically since I started my career, and it will keep changing quickly.

If he sends his kids to a traditional school, they certainly won't pay attention if the kids are bullied for being German.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64
25 Jan 2019 #11
@cms neuf
Thanks for the thorough explanation. The bullying of German kids by immigrants in German schools is becoming a big issue nowadays, especially in Berlin. My cowoker is having problems with his daughters' school because refugee students keep bringing in knives and other shanks. The situation in Germany is only going to get worse, and although you have every right to think my plan is absurd, I need to look out for my family's safety. The murders, rapes, and attacks on Germans by immigrants are a daily occurrence, and the mainstream media is no longer able to fully conceal it. I don't want to be stuck here once things reach a boiling point.
Miloslaw 6 | 2,572
25 Jan 2019 #12
Then you are making the riight move.
Get out while you can. Posts not about schools in Poland will be removed.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64
26 Jan 2019 #13
I appreciate everyone's insight and advice here. I have a much better idea now.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,560
26 Jan 2019 #14
The bullying of German kids by immigrants in German

If I had kids now they would be in a proper Polish state school now, I would not trust foreign expat schools in Poland , the values they teach have created the mess you see, in Germany, France and England.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
26 Jan 2019 #15
That's not true in the slightest. They actually steer well clear of anything remotely controversial, because the bulk of their money comes from Asian (including Indian) families. Europeans make up a minority in such schools, but because they're home to a mix of religions, about the only value they broadly teach is religious tolerance.

State schools are home to far more propaganda than private ones in Poland.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,560
26 Jan 2019 #16
That's not true in the slightest.

Then explain why NGO's with a mission to promote "Alternative lifestyle" have been operating in Polish expat schools for the last 20 years, in fact as a teacher you have admitted to being part of it.

I have no problems with gays or transgender but I do not feel that it should be promoted to young children in such a targeted way, hence why I would steer clear of this type of school and go with state school.

polanda.com/off-topic/random-chat-74400/427/#msg1533997
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
26 Jan 2019 #17
In fact, I said no such thing. I'll make a transfer of 1000zł to any foundation of your choosing if you can find any evidence of me saying that such a thing operated in Polish schools.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,560
26 Jan 2019 #18
It's plain to see that you said it in the link I posted above to polanda.com (PF Archive) 19 Feb 2016 #12,808
Are you saying that you did not make that post?, It has your username on it.
Is there any other way to interpret your posting, If so, I apologise for my error in interpretation
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
26 Jan 2019 #19
It's plain to see that you said it in the link I posted above to polanda.com (PF Archive) 19 Feb 2016 #12,808

It's not plain to see at all. Where do you see any mention of "schools" in that post? I don't see it, do you?

As I said, if you show that I said such a thing, I'll happily donate 1000zł to any foundation of your choosing.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64
26 Jan 2019 #20
What propaganda specifically would you expect at Polish state schools?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
26 Jan 2019 #21
Depends on the school director and the council. Some schools will be very left leaning, others will be very right learning, and others still will be as apolitical as possible.

The problem for you is that a conservative school will also believe in the anti-German agenda being pushed by the government. It won't matter how much your kids tell the bullies that their dad is against Germany too, they'll just see a German kid as a potential victim.
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Jan 2019 #22
Very Roman Catholic too, and not always in the best way. A friend (herself a devout Catholic) was appalled when the priest who comes into her childrens' school to teach religion told the kids not to play with a particular little girl because her parents were Protestant. This was just outside Warsaw too. Out in the boondocks the situation is unlikely to be much better.
mafketis 21 | 7,473
26 Jan 2019 #23
you face the same difficult decisions and insecurities that your average Mehmet would when he turns up in Frankfurt

Nyah, Mehmet will be confronting a society with profoundly different ideas about issues such as the appropriate behavior and interaction of men and women, family relations, relations between religion and politics, relations between religious groups etc. In addition Mehmet will be confronting a lot of tempting and dangerous substances (alcohol, drugs, contact with unrelated women) that are liable to leave him profoundly adrift (and without the social structures that could protect him from his worst impulses).

Going from Germany to Poland is somewhat of an adjustment but mainstream Polish and mainstream German culture are fundamentally similar. There are differences but these are like variations on a theme rather than a completely different system.

Poland is also very profoundly a place where people hate the forest but are happy to make exceptions and admit that a lot of the individual trees are okay. Generalized negative attitudes toward Germans are unlikely to hold up in face to face contact.

His kids are liable to face some initial harassment but ethnic German children in non-German majority schools have it much worse (that's been going on for about 10 years at least).
dolnoslask 5 | 2,560
26 Jan 2019 #24
Germany too, they'll just see a German kid as a potential victim.

This is crazy I live in the " boondocks" as Jon puts it , there are Polish kids in German schools in Gorlitz and German kids in Polish schools in Zgorzelec, there is no trouble , got to the schools there and ask the kids.

As for the don't play with the protestant kids comment it's rubbish many of my neighbours don't go to church some of them hate it, some of them say the village priest has kids of his own, their kids are not bullied at school or anywhere in that fact.
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Jan 2019 #25
Zgorzelec

That's Gorlitz/Zgorzelec, a very special case.

As for the don't play with the protestant kids comment it's rubbish

It was one little girl, and certainly not 'rubbish'.

Mehmet......alcohol, drugs, contact with unrelated women

If 'Mehmet' is from Turkey, none of those things will be remotely new to him. Even if Mohamed is from Saudi, he's probably smoked more hash than you will ever see (the place floats on it) and will certainly have driven across the bridge to Manama for a pints of beer and some mixed company.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,560
26 Jan 2019 #26
That's Gorlitz/Zgorzelec, a very special case.

I can assure you it is not, many Polish / German couples are returning to live in Poland, their kids speak fluent German and have been in the German school system, same goes for returnees from Britain,teachers here (and I know many) are well versed in integrating these kids into the Polish school system.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
26 Jan 2019 #27
That's Gorlitz/Zgorzelec, a very special case.

It's probably the most successful case of Polish/German integration. The other border towns, such as Guben/Gubin and Frankfurt (Oder)/Słubice haven't succeeded to the same extent. Even then, a friend of mine comes from Zgorzelec and she grew up without any contact with German kids. They wouldn't go to Gorlitz unless it was to get drunk, because you can buy beer at 16 from the shops there and drink legally on the streets. Even then, there was no contact between German and Polish teenagers, except those that were taking part in international projects or if their parents preferred them to go to school on 'the other side'.

I found it hard to believe that they were so closed, but that's the life of typical teenagers in those towns.
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Jan 2019 #28
many Polish / German couples are returning to live in Polan

Dolno, Gorlitz/zgorzelec is a border town. Go 'inland' to a small farming village with few outsiders and you'll find that not 'many' are from outside that village and it's environs.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,771
26 Jan 2019 #29
Even some of the border towns are incredibly inbred like that. Dolno, have you ever been to Zawidów? I went to some pub there on the Czech side, and the owner told me that very few Poles went there, even though there's no pub on the Polish side and that Czech beer is obviously superior.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,560
26 Jan 2019 #30
Go 'inland' a bit to a village and you'll find that not 'many' are from outside that village and it's environs.

Guess what I live in a village 60km inland from Zgorzelec. next excuse


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