8.3.3 Intercultural education
The official Polish educational system does not cover issues related to intercultural dialogue and multiculturalism. However, many smaller-scale initiatives are undertaken in this field (usually by NGOs and independent institutions). In 2002, the group Wielokulturowo.pl, which is a part of the KONTEKST society, carried out a cycle of meetings and workshops to sensitise students of particular schools in Warsaw to the issue of intercultural dialogue.
In many respects Poland seems to be a culturally homogenous country. However, the subject of interculturalism has been seriously neglected in national education. Still, being a part of the larger multicultural European community should encourage educational authorities to incorporate such topics in school curricula. Some elements of intercultural education have been introduced into teaching programmes in the regions which have a significant number of students with origins other than Polish. These programmes are mainly based on national and ethnic identity (as defined by law – see chapter 4.2.4) and do not address or draw attention to other aspects such as dialogue with new immigrant groups, actions aimed at combating xenophobia, racism and lack of tolerance, etc.
The question of interculturalism in arts and cultural education is pointedly connected with the issue of mobility. Schools and universities which participate in European programmes like Socrates etc., have made a notable contribution to the process of modernisation of Polish education. Activities concerning multilingualism, tolerance etc., as well as creative actions related to such issues become more and more popular among students from all types of educational institutions. The growing popularity of intercultural activities facilitates and increases the possibilities of gaining financial, technical and content related support from various institutions.
One can observe an increase of interest in intercultural issues among students and teachers.
For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.
Chapter published: 20-08-2015