PM to ask president to assume patronage over educational round table

The round table came in the wake of a nationwide teachers' strike that started on April 8. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

PM Mateusz Morawiecki declared after an education round table at the National Stadium in Warsaw on Friday that he will ask President Andrzej Duda to assume patronage over the round table talks.

"Round table talks in the formula of the Social Dialogue Council under the auspices of the president are a proposal, which is worth consideration. I will ask President Andrzej Duda to assume patronage over our debates," Morawiecki said.

"I treat these debates very seriously," the PM declared. "I heard during a break that one of the unions, which did not attend today, would be ready to join us if the debates are also attended by employers and held in the Social Dialogue Council formula," he added.

"Let me say that we have still been waiting for these few people, who were not present today," he underlined.

The education round table organised at the suggestion of PM Mateusz Morawiecki focused on students, teachers, the quality of education and modern schooling.

At a press conference after the talks with Deputy PM Beata Szydło, Morawiecki said the meeting gave incentive for separate talks on parents' worries. In this context he reminded everyone that some parents held that the school programme was overloaded, while others criticised it for not teaching "soft" skills. Morawiecki also announced that he planned to discuss education spending on the local government level.

Szydło described the round table meeting as "good and concrete," and said that the proposals forwarded at the talks will serve as guidelines for future education reforms.

Earlier on Friday, addressing the education round table, PM Morawiecki said that "the suspension of the teachers' strike does not suspend the government's efforts for better schools and better prospects for students and teachers."

"The discussion about Polish schools is one of the most important discussions that we, Poles, must have between ourselves," the prime minister said.

PM Morawiecki thanked teachers and teachers' unions for their recent decision to suspend their strike that started on April 8 over wages and work conditions. "It is a good decision which puts the students' interests first, particularly those students taking the matura (secondary school final exams - PAP)."

"We share the concern for Polish education to meet the world's highest standards, it should be the goal for all of us," the PM said, adding that the "best way to reach good solutions is through discussion and compromise, which will be the foundation for future education solutions."

The round table came in the wake of a nationwide teachers' strike that started on April 8. The Polish Teachers' Union (ZNP), the leading force in the protest, said on Thursday it was going to suspend the strike from the coming Saturday.

A few protesting unions, including ZNP, did not take part in the round table talks. ZNP head Sławomir Broniarz said his organisation would like to carry out dialogue under the auspices of President Andrzej Duda.