Policies Survey notes:
- The Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland contracted Warsaw University to conduct a study on implementing open access to educational and scientific content. The report describes both international practice focusing on a governmental level and also European Union policy. It also illustrates the issue of open access in Poland; see www.nauka.gov.pl/fileadmin/user_upload/Nauka/Polityka_naukowa_panstwa/Analizy_raporty_statystyki/20120208_EKSPERTYZA__OA__ICM.pdf.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Education in Poland
- 3 Internet in Poland
- 4 Copyright law in Poland
- 5 OER Initiatives in Poland
- 6 References
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres (120,726 sq mi), making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. Poland has a population of over 38,000,000, which makes it the 34th most populous country in the world and the sixth most populous member of the European Union, being its most populous post-communist member. Its capital is Warsaw. Poland is a member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), European Economic Area, International Energy Agency, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International Atomic Energy Agency, G6, Council of the Baltic Sea States, Visegrád Group, Weimar Triangle and Schengen Agreement.
For further general information see Wikipedia:Poland.
Education in Poland
Education in Country Since September 2011, in relation to the planned lowering of school starting age, all five year olds are obliged to complete a year of preparation for primary education in kindergartens or other pre-school institutions.
At the end of 6th class of primary school when the students are 13, they take a compulsory exam that will determine to which lower secondary school (gimnazjum - Middle School/Junior High) they will be accepted. They will attend this school for three years for classes, 7, 8, and 9. They then take another compulsory exam to determine the upper secondary level school they will attend. There are several alternatives, the most common being the three years in a liceum or four years in a technikum. Both end with a maturity examination (matura, quite similar to French baccalauréat), and may be followed by several forms of upper education, leading to licencjat or inżynier (the Polish Bologna Process first cycle qualification), magister (the Polish Bologna Process second cycle qualification) and eventually doktor (the Polish Bologna Process third cycle qualification)
There are currently 18 fully accredited traditional universities in Poland, these are then further supplemented by 20 technical universities, nine independent medical universities and five universities for the study of economics. In addition to these institutions there are also nine agricultural academies, three pedagogical universities, a theological academy and three maritime service universities. Poland's long history of promoting the arts has led to the establishment of a number of higher educational institutes dedicated to the teaching of the arts. Amongst these are the seven higher state academies of music. All of these institutions are further supplemented by a large number of private educational institutions and the four national military academies (two for the army and one for each of the other branches of service), bringing the total number of organisations for the pursuit of higher education to well over 500, one of the largest numbers in Europe. The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks Poland's educational system as the 23rd best in the world, being neither significantly higher nor lower than the OECD average.
Adapted from Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Poland
Education population and language of instruction
In December 2010, the number of young people under 29 years of age was 14 317 080 and accounted for 37.5% of the population. The language of instruction is Polish.
Administrative control and extent of public-sector funded education
In 2009/10 almost all pupils attended public-sector schools (98%). Most of the funds on education came from the state budget. In line with the Education System Act of 1991, schools can be of two types: public (state) schools, which offer free education within the framework of the core curricula, and non-public schools. The latter can be civic (social), church or private schools. All these schools may have their own curricula. They are financed by fees received from parents. Funds can also come from private enterprises and foundations. Non-public schools with the rights of public schools are eligible for a grant calculated according to the number of pupils, which equals 100 % of the average cost of educating those pupils in a public school. Non-public schools in Poland have the right to issue school certificates that are recognised by all other schools and by the universities. They may be distinguished from the public schools by their individualised teaching programmes, by a wider range of curriculum choice.
As of 5th May 2006 there are two separate ministries in Poland: Ministry of National Education and Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The Ministry of National Education is responsible for nearly the whole system of education, with the exception of higher education which is under the supervision of the Minister of Science and Higher Education.
Vocational schools, which in the past were run by other ministries, are now the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education. At present only a few schools (artistic – only with respect to artistic subjects, as well as correctional institutions) are under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Justice, respectively.
The reform of the State administration system and the education reform assume that only the national educational policy will be developed and carried out centrally, while the administration of education and the running of schools, pre-school institutions and other educational establishments are decentralised. The responsibility for the administration of public kindergartens, primary schools and gymnasia has been delegated to local authorities (communes). It has become the statutory responsibility of powiaty (districts) to administer upper secondary schools, artistic and special schools. The provinces (voivodships) have the coordinating function, supervising the implementation of the policy of the Ministry and being responsible for pedagogical supervision.
The inspection of teaching standards in schools comes directly under the Ministry of Education and is represented by a regional administrative body (kuratorium).
The advisory body for the higher education policy in Poland is General Council of Higher Education (Rada Główna Szkolnictwa Wyższego).
This educational level is regarded as the first level of the school system. It concerns children from 3 years of age. For children aged 3-4 pre-primary education is voluntary and is subject to parental decision.
Before 2011/12 six-year-old children were obliged to complete a year of preparation for primary education. Since September 2011, in relation to the planned lowering of school starting age, all five year olds are obliged to complete a year of preparation for primary education in kindergartens or other pre-school institutions.
Both private and public schools can be fee-paying, however in the latter case the conditions specified in the legislation apply. Local authorities are responsible for the provision of free of charge classes in public schools in the framework of core curriculum (up to 5 hours a day). Any classes exceeding the 5-hour daily limit and all extracurricular activities are paid for by the parents. Local authorities can organise support to financially disadvantaged families with young children in various forms, e.g.: full or partial kindergarten fee waivers, or financial and material support. In 2009/10 there were 17 444 pre-school institutions (both kindergartens and pre-school classes attached to primary schools), attended by approximately 983 600 children. The overall participation rate was 67.3 % for children aged 3-6 (in cities: 81.5 %, in the countryside 48.2 %)
(i) Phases Children must attend compulsory full-time education for ten years from the age of six. Compulsory part-time education in the school or out-of-school forms lasts from 16 until 18 years of age. Oddział przedszkolny (pre-school class) 6 years of age (5 years from 2011) Szkoła podstawowa (6-year primary school)
7-13 years of age (6 years from 2012) Stage 1 – early school education, 7-10 years of age Stage 2 – teaching based on separate subjects, 10-13 years of age Gimnazjum (3-year lower secondary school) 13-16 years of age Stage 3 – teaching based on separate subjects
(ii) Admissions criteria All pupils attend public school free of charge. The only admission criterion is the age limit (for preschool class – to have reached 6 years of age during the calendar year in which compulsory education starts, for primary school – to have reached 7 years of age). Parents are obliged to register their children in the school or in kindergartens nearest to their home. The admission criterion for gimnazjum is the certificate of primary school completion (to obtain this certificate a pupil needs to sit an external test at the end of primary school). In 2009/10 there were 13 968 primary schools and 7 224 lower secondary schools (gimnazja), attended by approximately 2 234 900 and 1 322 100 pupils respectively.
(iii) Length of the school day/week/year The school year is divided into two semesters. It comprises minimum 178 days (max. 38 weeks) between September and June. The compulsory subjects are in general spread over five days a week.
(iv) Class size/student grouping In 2009/10, the ratio of pupils to teachers in primary education was 13:1 and in lower secondary education – 17:1. The legislation does not define the standards for the number of students in a class except for the grades 1-3 of primary school where it is recommended that the number of students in a class does not exceed 26. The main criterion for class composition is age.
Only one teacher is responsible for all subjects at the first stage of instruction, with the exception of foreign language teaching (specialist teachers). From the fourth year on, each subject is taught by a specialist teacher.
(v) Curricular control and content Core curricula for compulsory teaching, created at the central level by groups of experts appointed by the Ministry of Education, are the same for all pupils. For the first stage of primary school the curricula for integrated teaching apply, for the second stage of primary school and gimnazjum there are curricula for separate subjects.
The schools (teachers) can choose the textbooks from a list approved by the Ministry of Education. They are free to decide the teaching and assessment methods, introduce innovative teaching methods and choose curricula which are approved by the school head. They can also develop their own curricula – based on core curricula – and submit them to their school head for approval.
Compulsory subjects: • Stage 1 (grades 1-3, primary school): early school education • Stage 2 (grades 4-6, primary school): Polish language, History and civics, modern foreign languages, Mathematics, Natural science, Music/ Art, Technology, Computer science, Physical education, lessons with class tutor • Stage 3 (grades 1-3 of the gimnazjum): Polish language, History, Civic education, Modern foreign language, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Art/Music, Technology, Computer studies, Physical education, lessons with class tutor
(vi) Assessment, progression and qualifications The assessment of the knowledge and skills of pupils throughout the school year is not standardised in Poland and remains totally at the discretion of teachers. Assessments are made on the basis of regular written and oral tests. The results obtained at the end of each semester must be approved by the teachers’ council of each school.
Pupils who obtain unsatisfactory results are required to repeat a year if the teachers’ council decides so. The external evaluation system in compulsory education consists of the following external standardised tests and examinations:
At the end of the 6-year primary school (age 13) – general, obligatory test with no selection function; the entry for the test enables pupils to start education in the gimnazjum; it provides pupils, parents as well as both schools, i.e. the primary school and the gimnazjum, with information about the level of achievements of the pupils. The skills required in core curricula are examined. The test was conducted for the first time in 2002.
At the end of the 3-year lower secondary school, gimnazjum (age 16) – general, obligatory examination, the results of which are indicated on the gimnazjum leaving certificate. This examination checks abilities, skills and knowledge in the field of humanities and science (and a foreign language as of 2008/09). It was conducted for the first time in 2002. The results of the test together with the final assessment of the pupils’ performance determine the admission to uppersecondary schools.
All external tests and examinations are organised by agencies – 8 Regional Examination Boards supported and supervised by the Central Examination Board.
Post-compulsory education/upper secondary and postsecondary level
(i) Types of education Compulsory part-time education in the school or out-of-school forms lasts from 16 until 18 years of age (in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland). Liceum ogólnokształcące (general upper secondary school) 16-19 years of age Liceum profilowane (specialised upper secondary school) 16-19 years of age Technikum (technical upper secondary school) 16-20 years of age Zasadnicza szkoła zawodowa (basic vocational school) 16-18/19 years of age Uzupełniające liceum ogólnokształcące (supplementary general upper secondary school) 18/19-20/21 years of age Technikum uzupełniające (supplementary technical upper secondary school) 18/19-21/22 years of age Szkoła policealna (post-secondary non-tertiary school) 19-21 years of age (very rarely 20)
In 2009/10 there were 2 446 general upper secondary schools with approximately 658 100 pupils, 2 932 technical and specialised upper secondary schools with around 614 900 pupils and 1 411 basic vocational schools with 220 700 pupils. In the same school year there were 3 210 postsecondary schools attended by approximately 284 800 students.
(ii) Admissions criteria The number of points indicated on the gimnazjum leaving certificate (based on the results achieved in specific subjects and other achievements) including the points received at the gimnazjum examination decides about the pupils' admission to an upper secondary school.
The detailed admission rules are defined by each post-gimnazjum school which opens admissions to new pupils.
(iii) Curricular control and content At the level of upper secondary education there are curricula for separate subjects and crosscurricular themes. The Ministry of Education defines core curricula for general education for each subject and cross-curricular theme in all types of school. Teachers can choose the textbooks from a list approved by the ministry. They are free to decide the teaching and assessment methods, introduce innovative teaching methods and choose curricula which are approved by the school head. They can also develop their own curricula – based on core curricula – and submit them to their school head for approval.
Core subjects (included in outline timetables): General upper secondary school: Polish language, 2 foreign languages, History, Civic education, Culture studies, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Introduction to entrepreneurship, Information technology, Physical Education, Defence Training, lessons for class tutor, lessons for additional subject teaching envisaged in the curriculum.
Specialised upper secondary school: Polish language, 2 foreign languages, History, Civic Education, Culture studies, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, Geography,Introduction to entrepreneurship, Information technology, Physical education, Defence training, lessons for class tutor, lessons for specialisation related teaching.
Technikum: Polish language, 2 modern foreign languages, History, Civic education, Cultural studies, Mathematics, Physics and astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Introduction to entrepreneurship, Information technology, Physical education, Defence training, lessons for class tutor, lessons for vocational training according to vocational curriculum for a given profession.
Basic vocational school: Polish language, modern foreign languages, History and civic education, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, Geography with environmental protection, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, IT, Physical Education, Defence training, lessons for class tutor, vocational training according to relevant curriculum.
(iv) Assessment, progression and qualifications Assessment at this level of education is similar to the arrangements in compulsory education.
A pupil is promoted to a higher grade if he/she has received “acceptable” marks or above for all compulsory subjects at the end of the school year. In the case of one "unsatisfactory" mark the pupil can take an exam in this subject. A pupil who is not promoted and has not passed the exam has to repeat the same grade. (There is also a possibility of a conditional promotion only once during the educational cycle upon the consent of the teachers’ council)
At the end of the course, all schools (except for the zasadnicze szkoły zawodowe) organise final/matriculation examinations (egzamin maturalny). The liceum ogólnokształcące, the lyceum profilowane, the liceum uzupełniające and the technikum may issue świadectwo maturalne (a certificate for those who sat for and successfully completed the final examination, which is required for admission to higher education).
The matura examination (egzamin maturalny), entitling pupils for admission to higher education is made up of two parts: external written (prepared and assessed by Regional Examination Commissions) and internal oral (assessed by school teachers).
The vocational examination, called egzamin zawodowy (in basic vocational schools, technical upper-secondary schools and post-secondary schools) consists of two parts: written, which examines the knowledge and abilities connected with a specific job and running a business activity, and a practical one, which examines the skills necessary to perform the job.
The zasadnicze szkoły zawodowe issue świadectwo ukończenia zasadniczej szkoły zawodowej (a leaving certificate that gives students access to the job market). Post-secondary schools prepare their students for professional life.
All tests and examinations are organised by agencies – 8 Regional Examination Boards supported and supervised by the Central Examination Board.
(i) Types of institution The following types of state higher education institutions can be found: uniwersytet (university), uniwersytet techniczny (technical university), uniwersytet uzupełniony innym przymiotnikiem (university with another adjective), politechnika (polytechnic), academia (academy). All the following types of HEIs may have the status of university or non-university institutions depending on whether at least one of their organisational units has the right to confer PhD degree.
The following types of study are distinguished by the Act of 27 July 2005 'Law on Higher Education': full-time and part-time studies. The full-time studies are defined as the basic type of studies, unless the school's statutes decide otherwise. Full-time studies at state Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are free of charge, with the exception of repeating classes required in the case of courses failed by a student.
In the academic year 2009/10, there were 461 HEIs in Poland (both public and non-public) and 1 900 000 higher education students.
(ii) Access The final examination certificate (świadectwo maturalne) is required by all institutions for admission to higher education. Admission is based on the results of egzamin maturalny examination. Additional admission requirements depend on the type of institution or faculty (e.g. predisposition tests in the field of arts and sports).
(iii) Qualifications The first cycle studies (Bachelor) – according to the Act of 27 July 2005 'Law on Higher Education' – last from 3 to 4 years and finish with the vocational qualification diploma and the title of licencjat or inżynier which gives access to the job market or to the second cycle studies and obtaining the title of magister or equivalent. Only full-time daytime studies at state HEIs are free of charge. Uniform (long cycle) master degree studies (offered only in 11 fields of study including e.g.: medicine, law, psychology, directing) at universities and other university-type institutions last from 4.5 to 6 years.
Second cycle studies and long cycle studies (Master) finish with the dyplom ukończenia studio wyższych (the university higher education diploma). Students are awarded the title of magister, magister sztuki, magister inżynier, magister inżynier architekt, magister inżynier architect krajobrazu, magister inżynier pożarnictwa or lekarz, lekarz dentysta, lekarz weterynarii, magister pielęgniarstwa, magister położnictwa, magister farmacji depending on the field of study they followed. Master degree holders can apply to do a doctorate (the third cycle studies).
Special education is an integral part of the Polish education system. This is reflected in the legislation, which is common to both mainstream and special education.
Children can be qualified for suitable forms of special education on the basis of the opinion issued after the psychological, pedagogical and medical examination, carried out by specialists from psychological and educational services centres or external experts.
Most children with special educational needs are taught in separate schools or special classes in mainstream schools (1.69 % of all pupils in compulsory education). Integration is subject to the favourable recommendation given by the competent authority and/or the parents.
Teachers must have a higher education qualification. The type of training required depends on the stage of education.
1. Primary education stage: the teacher is required to graduate from the first or second cycle studies (they last 3 or 5 years, teachers are awarded the titles of licencjat or magister) – ISCED 5A (B.A. or M.A.), or from teacher training colleges (they last 3 years and finish with a diploma) – ISCED 5B.
2. Lower secondary education stage: a degree of licencjat or magister is required (ISCED 5A Bachelor or Master).
3. Upper secondary education stage: a magister degree is required (ISCED 5A Master only). The completion of a professional training is also required at all the levels of education. The concurrent model prevails, though the consecutive model is also available for all 3 levels of primary and secondary education.
According to teacher training standards, teachers should undergo continuous professional development, they should be competent to teach two subjects, they should be computer literate and have a good command of a foreign language (at least at the B2, B2+ level of the Common European Framework of References for Languages).
The amended Teachers’ Charter, adopted on the 18th of February 2000, has introduced four categories in the teaching career: trainee teacher; contract teacher; appointed teacher and chartered teacher. Chartered teachers with an outstanding record may also be awarded the title of honorary school education professor. Trainee and contract teachers have the status of contractual employees (on the basis of the Teachers’ Charter); appointed and chartered teachers enjoy the status of career civil servants (also on the basis of the Teachers’ Charter).
In the school year 2009/10 there were approximately 494 900 full-time teachers in Poland, of whom around 22 600 were trainee teachers (4.6 %), 95 800 contract teachers (19.3 %), 153 000 appointed teachers (30.9 %) and 214 900 chartered teachers (43.4 %).
Source: Eurydice, National System Overview on Education systems in Europe 2011 http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/eurybase/national_summary_sheets/047_PL_
For a comprehensive description of education in Poland, see Eurydice, National System Overview on Education Systems in Europe 2011 .
E-learning in Poland
E-learning in Poland is becoming increasingly popular. In order to meet the demand, a growing number of universities, both public and private have adopted various e-learning models to support their education processes. However, there is a considerable diversity of approach and complexity of ICT used, ranging from online repositories of education resources to dedicated systems supporting education process at each level.
Recently, a useful database of e-learning activity in all higher educational institutions was created. This should provide evidence for the state of e-learning in Poland and could be a valuable addition to research in the field.
Individual learning and the personalisation of education through e-learning is a current focus for research in Poland. It is felt that recognising individual styles of user learning and offering appropriate activities and strategies of teaching are the first steps to building learning environments adaptive to user's needs.
In addition, OER is a current focus for researchers and specialists in informatics; determining how their repositories could assist in making the creation of e-courses more effective.
In 2007, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education issued guidance that distance teaching and learning is permitted at a university if:
- academic teachers are prepared to use distance education methods,
- there is at the university hardware and software that makes synchronic and asynchronic communication between teachers and students possible,
- didactic materials in electronic (digital) form were created,
- it is possible to control activity of teachers.
Guidelines also state that the total number of didactic hours in the form of distance education cannot exceed 70% of teaching hours for a course.
Universities must guarantee rigorous assessment of students achievement, including exams in traditional form. They must guarantee that students are properly prepared for using distance education methods (special courses). For schools at pre-academic level, distance learning methods are permitted only as complementary method of work - teachers are responsible for children during their presence at school, so it is considered unfeasible to replace traditional lessons with online lessons.
Teachers can prepare e-learning materials and use them as additional way of work with pupils.
Selected Examples of Good Practice
Many universities are developing e-learning. Often however, activity originates through individual academics rather than through institutional priorities.
The main higher education institutions that provide a focus on e-learning include:
- the Distance Learning Centre at Warsaw University of Technology
- Open and Multimedia Education Centre at Warsaw University
- Distance Education Study Centre at AGH - University of Science and Technology
- Polish Virtual University (PUW) - joint project of Maria Curie- Sklodowska University in Lublin and Academy of Humanities and Economics in Lodz
E-learning is also becoming popular with Polish managers. In early 2007, almost two thirds of them declared that this form of learning would be the most common form of raising qualifications in Polish companies. The main reasons for choosing e-Learning are the lower total cost, shorter course duration and savings associated with the elimination of travel costs.
Adapted from Source: E-Learning in Poland, Anna Rybak, University of Bialystok, Poland, 2010
Related document: Fe-ConE, National Report Poland, 2006
Very comprehensive source material can be found at Eurydice, Organisation of the Education System in Poland 2009-10
Internet in Poland
Poland has widely adopted the Internet, with 2/3 of the county over the age of 14 having access to this technology and 3/4 of those using broadband. As in most other nations with widespread adoption, use is anchored primarily in the household, and through a personal computer. However, Professor William Dutton of Oxford University’s Internet Institute asserts, ‘it appears that the public as a whole and Internet users have a healthy scepticism towards the Internet. Many have yet to make up their minds on whether or not the Internet will improve their lives. They do not demonstrate a blind trust in the Internet, or an overly optimistic perspective on its promise. Nevertheless, most people in Poland have integrated it into their life and work and are adopting new technologies that will enhance the role of the Internet in their lives’.
It seems that Poland still needs to address many of the same issues as other European nations, including concerns over digital divides. A third of the population does not have access to the Internet and those without access are disproportionately concentrated among less well to do and the older and retired public. A quarter of users still do not have access to broadband Internet services. There is also an urban-rural divide in Poland that is less pronounced than in other nations, such as the UK.
Dutton concludes that, ‘I sense between the numbers and statistics that Poland is on the verge of crossing a tipping point at which the public will begin to value the Internet more, and integrate this technology more fully in their lives. Internet users in Poland have a good deal of experience online, but it will take longer for the nation to have a greater store of Polish language content, and applications focused on their particular needs and interests. Already, however, younger users in Poland are more engaged in living an Internet-style of life, with more positive attitudes toward the Internet. Three-quarters of users visit social networking sites, a proportion higher than Britain and many other nations. And it is already apparent that many users are moving into the next generation of access to the Internet by adopting more devices, such as laptops and smart phones that complement the household personal computer as the central point for access and enable greater mobility’.
He goes on to write that ‘users are concerned about issues surrounding their freedom of expression and privacy online. It is critical that government and Internet Service Providers in Poland focus on ensuring that users trust the Internet as a space for democratic expression, open communication, and access to trusted sources of information. The continued economic and social development of Poland depends in part on the vitality of the Internet, and inappropriate or over-regulation of the Internet could undermine that vitality. Too many users believe that government and corporations watch what they do online’.
The most popular ADSL services for home users in Poland are Neostrada provided by TPSA and Net24 provided by Netia. Both provide download speeds in the range of 1 to 80 Mbit/s. and upload speeds of 512kbit/s or more. Business users as well as some home users use Internet DSL TP also offered by TPSA. According to Eurostat, OECD and others, Internet access in Poland is among the most expensive in Europe. This is mostly caused by the lack of competitiveness and lack of know-how. New operators like Dialog and GTS Energis are making their own provider lines and offer more attractive and cheaper service. In February 2011, the Polish Office of Electronic Communication issued an order forcing the TPSA to rent 51% of their ADSL lines to other ISPs at 60% discount of their market pricing. As the result the prices are non-competitive, other ISP charge as TPSA making a guaranteed 40% profit, while TPSA has no incentive to lower its consumer prices, because it would result in lowering of wholesale pricing just as well. This order will definitely not affect the prices of DSL in Poland and most certainly will not improve speeds. But, the ping times are impressive at 28 sec.
Sourced from: Wikipedia
Internet in Education
At the preschool level, virtually no ICT is used (although most children have free access to computers at home).
Students begin taking technology-related courses during primary school when the child is approximately 12 years of age. At the grammar school level students are exposed to 2 hours a week of obligatory subject "computer science", which is called "informatyka".
The curricula of this subject includes the following:
• Computes in everyday life. • Working with computers. • Utility software (graphics editors, text editors, spreadsheets, databases). • Multimedia sources of information. • Algorithms. • Simulation and modelling.
Students continue the ICT focus while in vocational, technical secondary, specialized lyceum, and general lyceum schools. In general, the use of technology is being more widely incorporated into the curriculum as head teachers are encouraging teachers to include ICT in the classroom.
The use of computers in schools
A number of programmes and projects aimed at equipping schools with computers, providing internet access, and improving IT education and the quality of teaching have already been implemented, e.g. Interkl@sa (including “An Internet classroom in every community” and “An Internet classroom in every junior secondary school”), “Equipping secondary schools with an Internet laboratory”, “Teaching for the future” and two “Internet for schools” projects.
Poland supports the European Union’s vision for ICT in education policy. Consequently, eEurope and eEurope+ action plans were followed. However, ICT in Polish education is not as widespread and modern as it is in other prominant EU countries.
The main aims and priorities of the policy were and still are: • Introduce the ICT in education to all schools - not only through lessons in computer science but also through lessons in other school subjects, • Prepare all teachers to become animators of ICT in their schools and to use ICT for pedagogical purposes, • Assure access to rich educational content for all students.
Between January 1998 and December 2002 Polish schools, under the programme of the Ministry of National Education and Sport, were equipped with a total of 100 000 computers. ICT workrooms have appeared in all lower secondary schools in Poland. The aim of Interkl@sa was to equip all secondary schools by the end of 2004 and all Polish primary schools by the end of 2007. Interkl@sa started in co-operation with the private company Intel the teachers training programme "Intel teach to the future". Thanks to the cascading structure of the programme, by the end of 2002 over 40 000 teachers had been trained in using Information and Communication Technology for teaching and for their own work. It was vital for the Interkl@sa programme to open the ICT workrooms for local communities, to make use of them as training centres, and also as communal European information points, as tools for the promotion of communes, for the implementation of ecological projects, programmes for the disabled, and in elections and referenda.
Efforts were made to turn school libraries into multimedia information centres.
Computers in Polish schools are mostly purchased by the Ministry of National Education and Sport (currently entitled: Ministry of National Education) and local governments.
All schools in Poland are now equipped with computers with the access to Internet. In many schools there is more than one computer laboratory (for example: two laboratories for regular lessons from ICT education and one multimedia laboratory for lessons from other subjects supported by using technology). At the end of 2008 the programme “Laptop for grammar school (gimnazjum) student” began.
The main aim of this programme is to equip schools with laptops – with proper educational software - in order to lend them to students for three years (duration of continuing students in the school). About 12000 teachers were trained in operating mobile devices, multimedia devices and using methods of distance education. Methodology of using educational software (properly to particular subject taught at school) is to be a next stage of training.
In Poland teachers and students can use didactic materials gathered in educational portals. Portal Scholaris (www.scholaris.pl) (Internet Centre of Educational Resourses of Ministry of Education- launched with the support from European Union) is the biggest and the most famous one. It contains a large number of e-lessons, presentations, simulations, tests, pictures, maps, movies etc. categorized in two ways: type of material and subject that it is useful for. Also the portal contains online journals for teachers. Many of these journals are focused on using ICT in education (for example: New Technologies in the School, Safe Internet, Interklasa). Other very good educational portals are:
Many schoolbooks are now equipped with CDs that contains different multimedia interactive materials for students. A very interesting initiative is “Internet lining for schoolbook”. This makes materials for students and teachers available via the website of a publishing house. Materials are strongly connected with particular schoolbook, interactive and (mostly) dynamic (www.wsip.com.pl retrieved on December 9th, 2009).
Adapted from Source: E-Learning in Poland, Anna RYBAK, University of Bialystok, POLAND, 2010
Copyright law in Poland
A problem mentioned by Poland in implementing OER is redefining copyright and intellectual property regulations. (1)
Intellectual property in Poland is governed by two principle legal acts: the Copyright Act and the Industrial Property Act.
The Copyright Act relates to such acts of human creativity as literary activity, journalism, science, music, IT and many other. The Copyright Act, unlike the Industrial Property Act, does not provide for any registration requirements. However, the rules of licensing, transfer of rights, the permitted scope of use of copyrights and many other related issues are strictly regulated.
Sourced from: Wikipedia
Copyright law in Education
Openaire.eu states that Poland has already developed a good local tradition for Open Access content, with the active involvement of organisations like Creative Commons Poland.
Open Access repositories
AMUR - Adam Mickiewicz University Repository - Included among the repository collections are: journals published at the University, PhD theses, research papers, conference presentations and learning materials. On November 20, 2009 the Rector of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan issued an open access PhD theses mandate - the first in Poland.
Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences - Earlier this year the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences registered an open access institutional mandate – “All newly published manuscripts must be immediately deposited in the repository in the final reviewed version (not publisher's proprietary pdf). Deposits will become available immediately or after expiration of embargo, depending on publisher's policy.”
ECNIS Repository (Environmental Cancer Risk, Nutrition and Individual Susceptibility)
Electrical Engineering Department, Wroclaw University of Technology
Digital Library of the Formal Linguistics Department at the University of Warsaw
Polish digital library federation - the PIONIER Network Digital Libraries Federationis - is maintained by the Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center affiliated by the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of Polish Academy of Sciences.
Adapted from Source: Openaire.eu
'Open the Book' is a digital collection of contemporary scientific books, published by the authors. The focus of the project is to use new technologies to increase the availability of scientific publications. It is run by the Interdisciplinary Centre at Warsaw University (ICM UW), in collaboration with Creative Commons Poland and the Virtual Library of Science.
"Free Reading" is a project implemented by the Modern Poland Foundation. In operation since 2007, it provides a collection of school reading texts which have already found their way into the public domain (so they are not related to the rigors of copyright). They have been developed and made available in several formats (html, odt, txt and pdf, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and the system DAISY), and are; free to view, download to your computer, and share with others. Reading is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.
Library of Polish Literature on the Internet - repository of more and less well-known Polish literary texts, which are in the public domain. The project is implemented at the University of Gdansk under grant "Public Domain" by UNESCO. It also contains scans of old prints. Sourced from: KOED
However, the University of Economics in Katowice asserts that OA is not so widely understood. ‘Taking into account only one criterion i.e. Ph.D. works access, it should be noticed the only 8 out of the 35 Polish digital libraries enable open access to these works. Some other (i.e. 5 universities) ensure open access at local library to printed copies of Ph.D. works. Only the Rector of Polytechnic Institute in Cracow in 2004 has made decision that Ph.D. works are accessible in open repository for al. According to the survey done in 20 other countries the searching results are similar and the general conclusion is that universities do not strongly support the Ph.D. works to be openly accessible online.
For Polish digital libraries included in the OpenDOAR directory [of which there are 19], the unified standard of metadata, known as Dublin Core version 1.1 is applied for all the stored publications’ description. Although interface standard for eLibra digital repository Internet portal was widely applied, information retrieval is not easy because of the lack of clear classification of repository content and necessity to browse through a mixture of popular daily news, old manuscripts, maps, and scientific publications.
OpenDOAR directory does not cover all scientific research repositories in Poland. Some universities are overlooked and they develop their digital repositories within other projects. For example, Silesian Polytechnic Insitute in Gliwice is involved in Springer Open Choice/Open Access scientific publication programme. Within that programme publication are funded 100% by the Ministory of High Education in Poland within Springer/ICM agreement. Although ICT allows for high speed transfer and mass data storing, it does not mean a permission for uncontrolled redundancy of information. Unfortunately, digital library content classification are not cohesive. Lack of clear classification of publications results in longer time for searching and low effectiveness of information retrieval. Therefore it can be suspected that valuable research publication are not quoted.’
AGH University goes even further in disputing the widespread use of OA and OER.
Researchers at the institution stated that whilst creating open educational resources (OER) is a global movement, ‘there is still little awareness of open initiatives among Polish educators. ‘The attitude to openness in education varies from very positive to ignorant or even inacceptable according to different professions and academic policy.’
On the Polish educational market plenty of educational materials are published online. However, conditions of using and re-using them might be varied on several levels.
Much online is double closed. Several examples can be provided, but the most important from the academic point of view is Virtual Library of Science, which is a national project of the National Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
It was launched in order to guarantee free access to scientific literature for Polish higher institutions, scientists, academic teachers and students. In fact Virtual Library of Science provides access to closed password protected databases, which can be browsed only. Copyrighted content.
Second the majority of content freely available in the public web is copyright protected. In many cases those resources are high quality materials and could be excellent sources for teachers, trainers, academics for further use and adaptation. The fact that those materials are available for free in the web, does not mean the possibility to re-use them for any purposes. Copyrighted content, even if valuable for education, can be only read, browsed, watched/listened to in a passive way. Example here, can be online repository of educational materials for primary and secondary school Interklasa.pl or scholaris.pl which development is donated from public budget. Excellent example of learning resource prepared for academics is learning materials for informatics studies (Studia Informatyczne, 2006). Authors provided high quality educational materials and allowed everyone for unlimited usage. But if we look deeper, the condition set by authors shows that resources can be used, but re-use adaptation and modification is forbidden. This case is also a proof of wrong understanding of the idea of open educational resources.
To sum up, examples described above illustrate the lowest level of openness which should be called rather availability where the read-only approach is widely promoted. Those resources can be used on fair educational use condition and are opened for public view but at the same time closed for re-use and modification.
You can also find educational materials available on more liberal conditions based on Creative Common licenses. Here the level of openness can vary according to a type of chosen license. In Poland the main responsibility for shaping open education takes Coalition for Open Education [KOED – a partnership of organisations founded in 2008 to promte open education and science in Poland. Founding institutions include Modern Poland Foundation, the Polish Librarians Association, Wikipedia Poland Association, and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modeling at the University of Kracow. Coalition forces using the most liberal CC license with Attribution and Share Alike conditions and promotes the attitude that full openness allows for unlimited re-use, adaptation, modification for any purpose even commercial. But taking into account that in the context of Polish education, the awareness of open educational resources and open education is still low, the Coalition for Open Education supports every project aimed at OER production. It is believed that a small steps approach is better then hermetic, limited access.
The highest level in openness gradation is public domain. This institution is strongly developed in United States, where authors and creators can abandon the property right and decide to put their works in public domain, which means that the works is public property and can be used in unlimited way. However, the Polish law system is much more restrictive. Works are transferred to the public domain after 70 years after the death of an author(s). This means that modern works will be a public property for our grandchildren. Currently in Poland, there are several projects of digital libraries which allow for easy access to works from the Polish public domain. For instance, National Library POLONA or the Polish resources in Gutenberg Project.’
OER Initiatives in Poland
National OER initiatives
Overall there has been relatively low formal support for the development of open courseware and OER repositories in Poland. This is changing, though, as there are first specific steps taken by the government to facilitate openness of digital resources.
In its response to the OECD questionnaire, Poland estimated that 90% of all publicly produced or financed learning materials are available in digital format (1).
Digital School Program in Poland
The Prime Minister’s Office has initiated a program for the use of free digital textbooks under Creative Commons License in the polish schools.
The government has endorsed the value of open education in today's digital society: Their digital school program, the largest government-sponsored open education program in Polish history, has created a full set of educational materials for grades 4-6 licensed under cc-by license (the fully free creative commons license).
The “Digital School” program with the “Digital Textbooks” component was initially drafted and proposed to the Prime Minister Office by the Modern Poland Foundation, the Center for Civic Education, and Creative Commons Poland (with the cooperation of the Prime Minister’s Office). All those organisations are members of the Coalition for Open Education (KOED), a network of NGOs and educational institutions promoting open education in Poland.
One of the most ambitious features was the creation of a national repository of training materials. Teachers in all of the test schools will have access to this nationwide database.
The first draft was accepted by the Ministry of Education, but at a later stage of the negotiations, the free licensing requirement was left out. Both the Coalition for Open Education and the Modern Poland Foundation took part in the public consultation process; their comments in support of free licensing were agreed and accepted.
As a result of the adopted regulation, schools will be computerized and all educational materials for grades 4-6 will have a Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0) to allow for easy sharing and attribution. By accepting the regulation and now also accepting the materials, polish schools will soon be fully adopting the open education model.
The textbooks are available under the Creative Commons Attribution license, in an open format (with the full specification being freely available both technically and legally), and for Web access as required by the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. so far, it appears that the only non-accessible material may be some of the images, which contain embedded text and thus may be inaccessible to blind students.
The initiative is a success for the KOED movement, ending several years of hard work. Three years ago, the Coalition for Open Education organised the OER conference in the Polish parliament, where for the first time in Poland, the need for free public educational resources was expressed. Since then, the coalition has grown substantially from four to over 15 organisations. the initiative has cost the government 45 million złoty (approx. 15 million USD), and is the largest government open education project in polish history.
Sourced from: Creative Commons Poland
KOED has been at the forefront of other significant combined efforts to raise awareness of OER through the following projects, such as the Public Domain Day Celebration. This is a series of events organised by the Coalition and other cultural institutions to expand the public domain resources. Public Domain Day has been celebrated in Poland since 2009.
Regional OER initiatives
Institutional OER initiatives
AGH is the first Polish higher education institution to establish an OER repository. Open AGH was launched in January 2010 and includes a growing number of courses. Prior to the official start of Open AGH, some of academic teachers had placed their resources on their home pages or within AGH VLE Moodle, but they were copyright protected. After Open AGH was launched, some of staff agreed to transfer those resources into open repository and made them available under creative commons. In addition, students’ work is part of Open AGH repository, which is quite unique even in the global perspective.
OER in Open AGH are available publicly under the terms of Attribution - Non Commercial – Share Alike Creative Commons license. Any user who is interested in Open AGH content can use and copy it for free, as well as transform and adapt for own purposes under three conditions: must give the original author credit, may not use this work for commercial purposes and distribute the derivate work only under a license identical to used in “Open AGH”.
The decision about choosing Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license was driven by the view of the academic staff attitude on open educational materials. While in Poland there is agreement that fully open educational resources is only those published on license CC BY and CC BY-SA, AGH has decided to prevent commercial usage of Open AGH resources. This decision gives the academic staff an assurance of not losing financial benefits. AGH authorities are convinced that with a chosen license, employees will be more willing to share their resources.
'Free Manuals' is a project of the Modern Poland Foundation. The materials are produced in accordance with the ideals of the free culture movement. Teachers know best how books should be built to impress and attract students. Free Manuals creates a community working together on a wiki site. This site allows multiple authors to simultaneously share writing - commenting and correcting.
'Zabawnik' is a collection of 150 ideas, scenarios and games for children, from rhymes through board games to the theater. Zabawnik is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. and was created under the project "We listen to Polish" by the Modern Poland Foundation in 2011.
'University of Orange' is a grant program aimed at non-governmental organizations, educational and cultural institutions. Its purpose is to promote modern cultural education of children and adolescents. The two editions of the Academy of Orange completed 80 projects, which are innovative and attractive way to encourage young people to work and learn. Children and young people create music based on digital techniques, preparing educational games, interactive maps of regions, video documentation, carry out artistic experiments with other cultures. All materials produced under the project of the Academy Orange is licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 platform.
'Clip collaboration platform' is a nationwide online database of information for open innovation research projects developed by FWiOO . The project aims to disseminate information on innovative business projects in the field of free and open source software, resulting in an academic environment and foster cooperation between universities and the business community. Inherent to the project is the commercialization of R & D on the free and open source software. The project is addressed mainly to businesses, higher education, scientific research, academics and individual developers and business institutions have their headquarters in the country.
'Panjandrum' - a project run by the Institute of Computer Science Centre for Open and Multimedia Education at Warsaw University. Contains the complete scripts and books in the field of science studies, which are developed jointly by staff and students of UW. Resource does not have a specific license available, says only " You can freely use the materials available here in the classroom. Please only refer to the address ( http://wazniak.mimuw.edu.pl/ )" .
Creative Commons Poland
Blog of Professor William Dutton, University of Oxford, 2011
Malgorzata Pankowska, Open Access Business Model and Financial Issues, 2011
Anna Rybak, E-Learning-Practices-Volume-II E-Learning in Poland, 2010
Jan Markovic, Jan Kusiak, Karolina Grodecke, First Steps: promoting OCW in a New Context (Poland), 2010
1. Hylén, J. et al. (2012), “Open Educational Resources: Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country Questionnaire”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 76, OECD Publishing. http://oer.unescochair-ou.nl/?wpfb_dl=38