The article is about social inequalities in education by which the auhoress understands the relationship between social background, i.e. parents' socioeconomic status, and the student's achievements at school. The Polish educational system creates the chance for advancement only for some people. There are children living in bad material conditions, whose families cannot take care of their proper development. Two education institutions are responsible for creating chances to these children: kindergarten and school. Neither of them fulfils its role accurately. The small number of kindergartens that are in Poland very seldom are attended by children from families with the lowest SES. Moreover, working with those children at school is not very effective, both in educational and didactic terms. These children form a group that only formally finish junior high school, creating the so called 'hidden dropouts'. Polish schools are proud of the fact that they have one of the lowest indicators of school dropouts in Europe. It seems however, that this is the effect of both imprecise data and the practice of 'pushing' students through junior high school. The authoress observed this phenomenon in several schools and it was also mentioned in many interviews with teachers. It seems therefore, that it requires a more careful diagnosis as well as applying preventive measures.
Marta Zahorska, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Socjologii, ul. Karowa 18, 00-324 Warszawa, Poland
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