Polish education

Last week I talked to a woman from Poland. I got to know her as a very polite, intelligent, apparently peace-loving person who would frown when faced with any kind of violence. Somehow we came to talk about school and she told the during the last two years of school there is a subject in which a mix of first aid, desaster control and military skills are taught. About every school has a shooting range and they were trained marksmanship and throwing hand granates, the granates with a thing are that ones that are not real. And then there was a shy smile and she siad, well it was a lot of fun! I had to laugh 😀

To be honest, I was a bit shocked that this country whose queen is – as I learned – the Holy Mother herself (yeah, big discussion in Lamba) gives military educaiton to all its kids and thinking of Lamba and Le Puits there are some people I can hardly imaging having fun throwing hand granates. If anyone wants to leave a comment about it, feel free…


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2 responses to “Polish education

  1. Maciej

    How old was the lady? It’s true, in Poland there were classes of “Przysposobienie obronne” (my dictionary says: defence training). As far as I remember I was in the last year of this programme. Now it’s changed with all the war-related parts removed. Anyway, when I had it, the only single rifle in school was not functioning for a couple of years already and gradates (if existed) were at best made of plastic. The only tests in that course were on first-aid.
    As for the shooting ranges — it’s well, not quite correct. Frankly, none of the schools had them.
    You have to remember that still a little bit over 20 years ago The Wall stood firm. Europe was dived in two. Even though the threat of war wasn’t realistic at that time, it was still good for the government to indoctrinate people with hatred for The West. You know, you love your defenders when they graciously protect you from the evil that’s coming from outside, right?
    Now I’ll make a fast forward to school, brushing over a lot of complexities and details, that would take much more time and space to explain. Feel free to ask for them, though.
    So, that’s the very basic reason we had to be taught to defend ourselves, regardless whether we wanted it or not. Why did it stay over to the nineties then? Well, I believe because changes take time, and as long you can pull down monuments of whoever your villain was (be in Lenin, Stalin, Hitler or Saddam Hussain) the next day, changing people’s mentality is not instant. Structures slowly evolve, processes change. School programmes were adapted rather quickly, but questionable subjects remained. Of course younger and/or more open-minded teachers treated them with the appropriate dose of humour. That way no one cared to fix that rifle since it got broken the last time and no one ever did by the time it was not needed any more.

  2. Thanks for your comment Maciej! I think the lady is around thirty-ish, that’s why I was very surprised – would have been to uncommon back in the seventies and eighties. But luckily, things seems to change 🙂
    Btw – heading for Poznan? Finally, the meeting arrived in Poland, must be quite an event over there!

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