- It has been very nice to come back to school after a year and a half with digital teaching, says Michael Mazurek, who is a geography teacher at the school and contact person for Eterni. Eterni Norge sponsors the school, which intends to provide education in Polish language, culture, geography, history and religion to children growing up in Norway.
Deputy head of the school, Joanna Slysz-Kaluza, is proud to be Norway's largest Polish school:
- What we are especially proud of is that the students who return to Poland can go straight into the Polish school system again.
The school is officially approved by the Ministry of Education in Poland, so children and teachers have the same status as children and staff in Polish schools in Poland.
- It makes the transition much easier for those who move back to Poland. They have no problems with language, and adapt very quickly in Polish society again, she continues.
The Polish Catholic Saturday School has approx. 310 students, 33 teachers and assistants, one speech therapist, two psychologists and one special educator. Everyone works voluntarily every Saturday - a total of 20 Saturdays during the year.
- We really appreciate our teachers, and that they use their free time for teaching and correction. Several of the teachers also take extra education. We are many who work closely together to take care of the Polish language and culture, Joanna points out. - The money we get from our sponsors we use to buy school books, workbooks, books for the library and some teaching equipment. In addition, they go to a number of different events, such as. collections and performances, Joanna can tell.
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HR consultant at Eterni Norway, Michael Smykowski, is behind the sponsor initiative:
- We have many employees who are from Poland, myself included. It is important for us Poles to have contact with Polish culture. By sponsoring the Polish school, we support the entire Polish environment - not only in Stavanger, but in Sandnes, Finnøy, Egersund, Bryne, Nærbø. Although we love Norway and are well integrated here, it is important not to forget the Polish origins and everything that goes with it. Not least the social.
They agree that it was great to meet again the first day of school. And the excitement was great:
- Everyone was very happy, curious and excited about how it will be. We hope we can continue to meet as before. It is not the same to be seen via a screen, emphasizes geography teacher Michael Mazurek.
Eterni Norge wishes good luck with the school year 2021-2022.