Families that want their children to attend Lithuanian-language kindergartens in Vilnius District, a predominantly Polish-speaking region, are faced with a very difficult task and are often forced to opt for a Polish-language institution, Lietuvos Žinios daily said on Friday.
© Stopkadras

"There are no Lithuanian-language kindergartens in (the suburb of) Rastinėnai, just one Polish-language institution, although the population of the area has been growing lately. More young families move in. We would have agreed to drive our daughter to Sudervė, but there were no slots there," a mother from Rastinėnai told the daily.

She says that she had to go back to work in Vilnius, which left her not other choice but to enrol her daughter at the Polish-language kindergarten. Neither the girl's mother, nor the father speak Polish.

Vilnius District authorities say that six new kindergartens have been opened in the area over the past decade, with one more new kindergarten in the works. However, four of the kindergartens are for Polish-speakers, with the exception of Avižieniai and Nemenčinė that have separate groups for Lithuanian-speaking children.

Residents of Vilnius District, which has the biggest Polish-speaking population in the country, also say that there is a shortage of Lithuanian-language schools in the area. Kristina Bykovienė, leader of the Rastinėnai-Bubai community, says that many pupils from local villages have to commute to Vilnius in order to attend classes in Lithuanian.

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