Education Revolution?

Yet Another Change

Yet Another Change

“Prime Minister Beata Szydło and I are the same age and we both have pleasant memories of our childhood,” said former Minister of National Education Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska. Indeed, back then Polish children started their education at the age of 7 and primary school lasted 8 years, however, much has changed. “Today, in 134 countries of the world children begin education at the age of 6 at most,” Kluzik-Rostkowska continued. According to Poland’s new Prime Minister, one of the most important projects of the new government will be to bring back the old educational system. Kluzik-Rostkowska mentioned that 10 years ago, when Law and Justice was in power, the government was preparing an act lowering the age at which children would go to school to 6. The issue was not whether it was the right move or not, but it was a matter how soon Law and Justice could implement this change. “Today, children have so many developmental incentives that it is right to send them to school as soon as possible,” said Kluzik-Rostkowska. Moreover, the former Minister of National Education noted that children who had started their education at the age of 6 had better test results than those who had gone to school a year later. At the same time, Kluzik-Rostkowska fears that bringing back the old educational system will put teacher jobs at risk and raise costs for parents as 6-year old children will have to stay one year longer in kindergarten.
gazetaprawna.pl

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Safety for Tourists

Helping Tourists

Helping Tourists

If in doubt about who is responsible for organising a trip, there are four possible ways to check. Details about tourist operators are collected in the Provincial Governor’s Office, the Central Register of Tour Operators and Intermediaries and in the Inspectorate of Education. It is also possible to check if an operator is an associate of the Chamber of Tourism. This is not mandatory, but such membership gives credibility to the operator. Both a natural person and a company can become operators and organise trips. The Chamber of Tourism complains that Polish law allows non-authorised persons to organise trips. Travelling with such an operator might be risky. People with criminal records or even paedophiles can easily organise such trips. The Polish Chamber of Tourism is constantly struggling to allow only authorised people to become operators, people who run businesses and have experience organising trips for children and young people.
biznes.gazetaprawna.pl

Money for Babies

Time to Make Babies

Time to Make Babies

A new ‘baby bonus’ legislative project will be introduced in 2016. It will allow young parents to be financially supported to a much greater extent than ever before. At one time, Polish parents were given a one-time ‘baby bonus’ of PLN 1,000. However, the new bonus will see every new mother receiving PLN 1,000 every month giving a total of PLN 12,000 a year. Parents will receive new family benefits, regardless of their social insurance status (as is the case now). This means that all parents will qualify for the parental payout.
newsweek.pl

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Child Glitz

Appropriate?

Appropriate?

“I know you want it, be a good girl and just smile. No whining, go on,” says the mother of a child beauty pageant contestant, who does not want to compete. Beauty pageants, castings and shows for children have recently become popular in Poland owing to internet beauty pageants and shows like TVN’s new ‘Mali Giganci’ (Little Giants). To be accepted parents have to send in videos of their kids dancing or singing. Dorota Zawadzka, Poland’s ‘supernanny’, expresses her scepticism about parents enticing their kids into performing age-inappropriate dance routines from the videos of Rihanna or Donatan&Cleo. The short films with promiscuously dressed children tend to go viral on YouTube and receive flattering comments. Zawadzka is astonished that such videos are being published, however, she is less surprised about their popularity. “People like people and animals that are disproportionate, have a big head and small torso: panda bears, Winnie the Pooh or babies. Besides, comparing is our favourite pastime. Parents complain about their child not being as smart, talented or beautiful as someone else’s,” says Zawadzka. Edyta Dwornik, ex-pageant contestant and owner of a model agency, admits that it is hard to keep pace with the times. Nowadays, everyone’s ambition is to become a celebrity and be recognisable. Fortunately, agencies send back parents whose common sense is beclouded by their ambition. However, there are still agencies that cooperate with such parents.
polska.newsweek.pl

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No Polish Pocket Money

Not in Poland

Not in Poland

Only 25% of children in Poland receive pocket money. Experts believe that every parent should give their children pocket money. This is because children should start learning to control their spending and to develop financial planning skills from an early age. Research shows that 80% of parents who give pocket money to their children have noticed that the ability of these youngsters to manage their own finances has improved. It is a good idea to start by giving children a small amount of money and to increase it as they get older. In each case being systematic is the key to the success. According to psychologists, children should start receiving pocket money no earlier than at the age 6-8, because only at that age do they start to be able to plan their actions. Most children like to spend pocket money on sweets or small toys. Experts suggest that parents should let children make a few mistakes and let them feel independent by making their own choices, as this is the only way for them to learn how to manage money wisely. It is also a good opportunity to teach them that they can save to buy more valuable items. It will be difficult to save the whole amount, but parents can let the child save some money and then help to pay for the item by giving them the remaining amount. For those parents who prefer not to give their children cash a good idea is to open a children’s bank account into which they can regularly deposit pocket money. This type of account is offered by modern banks in Poland and they even issue personal debit cards for youngsters.
finanse.wp.pl

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Boy Suffocates in Car

Caution!

Caution!

In Pstrągowa, in the province of Podkarpacie, a 2-year-old boy suffocated after being left unattended in a car for less than four minutes. The child probably opened a window on his own and put his head outside. As he moved, his neck got stuck in the narrowest part of the opening. He was unable to free himself and suffocated in front of his 4-year-old sister, who told their parents that “something was not right” with her baby brother. The tragedy took place late on Thursday afternoon, just after the family came back from church. The children wanted to play in the car a little longer as the adults went inside, leaving little Paweł with his sister for a few minutes. Both parents were sober at the time and are still too traumatised to be interviewed by police. According to prosecutors, all evidence points to it being a tragic accident. The autopsy, conducted on Friday, confirmed that the boy died of suffocation. Prosecutor Zbigniew Wieszczek said that in light of the autopsy results, as well as an examination of the car and the preliminary interviews that have been conducted, no criminal proceedings are likely to be initiated against the parents.
tvn24.pl

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Family Tragedy

Part of Warta River

Part of Warta River

Four of her children are dead. They drowned in August 2013 in the River Warta. “Only my daughter keeps me alive,” said 37-year-old Beata B. in court. She is accused of involuntary manslaughter of her two sons and two daughters. A welfare worker stands accused of the same crime; she was assisting the family because of their financial problems. The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison. “I tried to save them but almost drowned myself. It was an accident,” explained Beata B. in an interview for the media. She added that being forced to relive the tragic incident was what she was most apprehensive about; the verdict itself did not worry her as much because “she already paid the highest price possible in losing her children.” According to the prosecutor, Beata B. and the welfare worker allowed the group of children, larger than they could manage, to play in the water without knowing the area sufficiently well and despite the fact that the children could not swim. The women pleaded their innocence and refused to give any further explanations. The tragedy took place last summer when Beata B., her five children, and the social worker rested at a wild beach by the River Warta. The strong current carried four of the children away. Hania (7), Kasia (11), Mieczysław (14), and Andrzej (15) were dead by the time help arrived.
tvn24.pl

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