The Ministry of Education is responsible for arts education at primary and secondary levels. The programme is insufficient, although in 2008 a positive trend was initiated when the Minister of Education introduced new guidelines increasing the number of music and art lessons at schools. The basic school programme is supported by cultural centres and activities of other institutions, which provide their own arts education programmes.
The reform of the education system from 2017 introduced two levels of education: primary school (lasting eight years) and secondary school (lasting four years), instead of the previous three-level system (six-year primary school, three-year lower secondary school, three-year upper secondary school). Two basic art courses are taught at both levels: music and fine arts. On a primary level, both subjects are compulsory for grades four to seven and account for one hour a week each. On a secondary level, a headmaster of a school can choose between philosophy, music and fine arts as the subject to teach in the first year for one hour a week.
Additionally, secondary schools might expend their curricula to include art history, music history, Latin and ancient culture, or philosophy (eight hours a week), in order to provide students with specialised and advanced knowledge of these topics, if they choose to continue studying arts at a tertiary level. The Polish education system allows students to pass the secondary school-leaving examination in those subjects.
In addition to the aforementioned system, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s cultural education programme supports extracurricular cultural activities developed by cultural institutions. The main goal of the programme is to support cultural education activities as an important element of the development of the social capital. The beneficiaries of the programme are chosen on the basis of a call for proposals.