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Poland/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.5 Language issues and policies

The official national language is Polish. The national interest in protecting the Polish language was expressed through the adoption of The Polish Language Act in 1999 (see also chapter 5.1.9).

The Polish education system guarantees the right to learn minority languages as mother tongues, since a Decree of the Ministry of National Education and Sport on 3 December 2002. Learning a minority language or being taught through a minority language is available at all levels of education and is organised by school directors at the request of parents or legal guardians of a pupil (for older youth - at the request of the student). A minimum of seven pupils is required at primary level to hold a class in a minority language, and 14 students at secondary level. Minority language teaching is financed from the state budget. National and ethnic minorities and the Kashubian community benefit from increased educational subsidies in accordance with a Decree of the Minister of National Education and Sport from 21 December 2006, on the allocation of the overall education subsidy to local governments in 2007.

On 12 February 2009, Poland ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The Convention entered into force on 1st June 2009.

There is currently no debate on minority languages in Poland. Particular projects focused on sustaining minority traditions and languages are financially supported by the Ministry of Culture, for example the publication of periodicals. However, it is worth noticing that a growing minority in Poland are the Vietnamese, which are still not legally recognised as a minority.

Chapter published: 20-08-2015

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