Good Friday

April 18, 2014
Day of Contemplation

Day of Contemplation

Good Friday is a day of deep mourning for Christians. Good Friday and Easter Saturday are unique as they are the only two days in the year when mass is not celebrated. Father Bogdan Bartold of Warsaw Cathedral, draws attention to the wonderful prayer recited on these two days for the salvation of the world and the unity of Christians, Jews and nonbelievers. This is followed by the adoration of the cross and then assisting the Holy Sacrament to the tabernacle. Father Bartold stresses that Easter Saturday is a day of silence, contemplation and anticipation. “We celebrate the resurrection on Saturday after sunset and on Sunday we announce to the world that Christ has risen and is the Lord of Life,” explains Father Bogdan Bartold.
niezalezna.pl

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Spaghetti Won’t Fly in Poland

April 16, 2014
He Boils in Poland

He Boils in Poland

According to Grupa IQS, an independent research company, less than 20% of Poles think that the Polish courts should allow the Polish Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to be registered. “The lack of support for registration is evident; 59% of Poles are against its registration and around 25% are undecided. There is a certain pattern among people who believe in the registration of the Spaghetti Church. For example, the majority of them have at graduated from high school,” says Marta Rybicka, from Grupa IQS. The results of the poll are satisfactory for the followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (called Pastafarians). “We did not expect as much as 17% support,” commented Andrzej Kuliński, spokesperson for the church, who is especially satisfied with 10% support in rural areas. “This means that people from rural areas are increasingly more aware of human needs and their world view is not affected by factors that may depreciate other faiths”. He also discusses the group of people who are undecided: “This group is rather large in both the countryside as well as in the city. What is more, this group does not seem to be in opposed to the church’s registration. As a faithful Pastafarian, I am sure that the number of people who support our case will rise as well as the number of followers of our wonderful religion.” The whole community is controversial because many people consider them anti-religious. Recently, the Regional Administrative Court overruled a decision of the Ministry of Administration and Digitization not to register the Church in the Register of Churches and Religious Unions. This decision has made future registration still possible.
polska.newsweek.pl

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Polish Education Problem?

April 12, 2014
Bricks in a Wall?

Bricks in a Wall?

There are 36,000 foreign students in Poland from 149 countries, which is approximately 23% more than in the previous year. The largest group, more than 15,000, are Ukrainians, according to the ‘Perspektywy’ Educational Foundation. Students from Ukraine already make up 42% of the total number of foreign students in Poland, and are followed by students from Belarus (3,743), Norway (1,580), Spain (1,361) and Sweden (1,251). According to Perspektywy data and the Central Statistical Office (GUS) precisely 35,983 foreign students were studying in the 2013/14 academic year. This equates to a 23% increase in the number of students from outside Poland. “Such a sharp increase has not yet experienced in Polish universities,” reads a Perspektywy report. At the same time, the iPerspektywy’ Educational Foundation also claims that the internationalisation of higher education in Poland stems not only from an increase in the number of foreigners, but also an unprecedented decline in the total number of students. There are currently 1,549,877 students in Poland (2013/14) which is actually less than 125,000 compared to last year.
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Downsizing Polish TV

April 12, 2014
Not Cultured

Not Cultured

On Wednesday, 9 March, Leasing Team won a tender for taking up to 550 employees from the Polish Television (TVP) payroll. The employment agency offered the highest bid. Allegedly, the changes will be implemented in June. According to the plan, coordinating editors will still be employed by TVP, however, employees whose duties do not require an employment contract, e.g. make-up stylists and graphic designers, editing staff and journalists, will be employed by the agency. Staff enrolled by the employment agency will be guaranteed a two-year contract, with no changes to the contract guaranteed only for the first year. The transfer of staff to the outsourcing company is the first stage of restructuring at TVP. The plan involves changing employment contracts to task-based contracts thus encouraging some staff to become self-employed. Naturally, trade unions strongly oppose the changes. On 7 February, the Wizja trade union declared a one-hour warning strike. The organisers also sent a letter to the Prime Minister informing him about the restructuring plans of the TVP management board. TVP wishes to cut costs and the Ministry of Treasury expects progress in the restructuring programme. Rafał Baniak, deputy minister at the Ministry of Treasury, has praised the methods employed by the management board. “The net income of TVP for 2013, although negative, will improve by PLN 200 million compared to last year. Such an improvement in the financial state of the company is a result of the efficient restructuring programme. We expect TVP to continue restructuring whilst assuring high-quality programming and improving financial performance,” declared the minister.
Wyborcza.biz

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Macierewicz Investigates

April 11, 2014
Questioning Smolensk

Questioning Smolensk

“I am certainly not mistaken; what we are dealing with here is a crime,” said PiS MP and Jarosław Kaczyński confidante Antoni Macierewicz, discussing the Smolensk plane crash. “Those people died because the plane exploded in the air. I believe that it involved the actions of third parties,” stressed the deputy leader of Law and Justice (PiS). At the same time, he did not indicate the persons who in his opinion are responsible. “At this stage of the proceedings of the parliamentary team, we cannot indicate those responsible. However, everything implies that culpability lies on the Russian side.” Antoni Macierewicz emphasises that the details of the catastrophe are still unknown, which can be blamed on “the prosecutor’s office and the governing bodies of the state.” “Unfortunately they are only blocking this investigation. Hence, there is a necessity to introduce a special Smolensk Act,” notes the deputy PiS head.
wiadomosci.onet.pl

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Polish Education Disaster

April 10, 2014
Typical Student?

Typical Student?

Polish students scored below average on the PISA problem-solving test. “It is easier for Polish teenagers to solve a maths problem than to buy a cheap train ticket. The latest PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) 2012 results show that Polish teenagers cannot cope with real-life problems,” according to Gazeta Wyborcza. “Creative problem-solving and tackling real-life problems is an additional part of PISA, which aims to measure the abilities of teenagers. Last year, in December, when PISA published the reading, maths and science results, it turned out that Polish teenagers were the cream of the crop in European countries with regards to maths putting the average Polish 15-year-old on a par with Finland, which is the leader,” we read in Gazeta Wyborcza. However, this time around, the PISA results in creative problem-solving have been published. And there is nothing to brag about. “15-year-olds in Poland scored below the OECD average. In thirty minutes they had to cope with tasks that were connected with the use of modern technology. The tasks included how to use a ticket machine to purchase the cheapest train ticket available, setting up an MP3 player according to specified guidelines or changing air conditioner settings without having any instructions,” describes Gazeta Wyborcza. The results were disastrous for Polish schools. Polish students scored an average of 481 points. The average for all countries was 500.
rmf24.pl

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Euro Election Spending

April 9, 2014
Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money

According to Gazeta Wyborcza, during the first month of the campaign for the elections to the European parliament, Law and Justice (PiS) spent PLN 1.2m, Civic Platform (PO) spent PLN 0.5m and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) spent PLN 250,000 on their respective campaigns. Political parties which may have representation in all districts is allowed to spend a maximum of PLN 18m. Both PO and PiS wish to spend around PLN 10m. PO will give PLN 8m to local authorities which will be divided between candidates for individual campaigns. PiS candidates will receive much less: between PLN 2m and PLN 2.5 m. The euro-elections have not yet aroused the emotions of Polish people. The PiS YouTube video only garnered 19,000 views, whereas the PO video got 19,400.
wiadomosci.wp.pl

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