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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, A/HRC/4/29/Add.1, March 15, 2007: Poland

33. In a letter dated 11 January 2007, the Government replied to the communication of 27 June 2006.

34. The Government stated that the National In-Service Teacher Training Centre (NITTC) is responsible for the teacher training at all levels in Poland and accordingly all documents published by the NITTC should be consistent with the contents of the national curricula. The current curriculum was introduced by the Regulation of the Minister of National Education and Sport of 26 February 2002.

35. It was noted that Compass – ‘a manual on human rights education for young people’, contains chapters related to sexuality, homophobia and sexual orientation. The  Government indicated that the contents of the manual were not suitable as a teaching aid and that it was contradictory to the general education curriculum of Poland which conforms with the Constitution of Poland, which protects marriage, defined as a ‘union of a man and a woman’. It was also noted that the English translation of the document differs from the Polish document and that a number of links to Polish gay websites are included in the document.

36. The Government concluded that Mr Sielatycki was responsible for teacher training within the national curriculum and that as Deputy Chairman of the National Committee for the European Year of Citizenship through Education, Mr Sielatycki was in a position to suggest to the Committee that the manual be published without the involvement of the NITTC. Mr Sielatycki was dismissed in accordance with Article 38.1 of the Act on the System of Education.


37. The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government for its response. However, he remains concerned over the situation of Mr. Sielatycki. In spite of the fact that his dismissal has been decided according to internal legislation, it appears that it does not comply with Poland’s international obligations. Indeed, the inclusion of the Manual on Human Rights Education with Young People into the national curriculum was compatible with the goals pursued by the international human rights law, in particular the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, that Poland ratified in 1977. The  Special Rapporteur urges the Government to reconsider its decision on the matter.

Link to full text of the report: Communications-SR Education-2007-eng