During the May 2 Polonia Day Celebration, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda signed his first legislative initiative which supports the education of Polish children residing outside of Poland.
The Bill proposes “an amendment to existing regulations which will give students a discount fare on public transportation and other regulations.” It is the first bill with respect to Polonia submitted to the Polish Parliament (Sejm) by the President.
Discounts will be given to Polish youth attending schools abroad similar to student discounts for public rail and bus transportation, entrance fees to museums and national parks currently granted to children attending schools in Poland. The current document which gives student discounts in Poland is a student ID card issued by schools operating in Poland or by schools associated with Polish diplomatic missions. When students attending schools abroad come to Poland they are not eligible for any discounts.
The proposed Bill calls for issuance of Polish school ID cards to students of schools conducted by the Polonia educational organizations, parent associations, Polish parishes and Polish sections of international schools registered with the Center for the Development of Polish Education Abroad, therefore granting them discounts to fares on public transportation and admissions to museums and national parks in Poland. Discounted fares on public transportation will also apply to teachers of these schools.
The aim of the proposed amendment is to reward students who make an effort to acquire knowledge about the homeland of their ancestors. Making Polish children abroad eligible for student ID cards and granting them student discounts in Poland serves as a tangible sign confirming their educational and patriotic bonds with Poland.