The Struggle for National School in the Kingdom of Poland in the Years 1905-1907 (A Centenary of the School Strike)
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After the failure of the 1863 January Uprising the educational system of the Kingdom of Poland lost its autonomy and was subordinated to the Ministry of Education in St. Petersburg. All schools were reorganized according to the educational rules compulsory in Russia. Between 1869-1885, Russian became the official language for the teaching of all subjects in schools, with the exception of Catholic religion . Polish teachers has to use Russian as the means of instruction for teaching Polish literature. This growing russification process made people reluctant to send their children to the government schools, which resulted in an emergence of home teaching, mostly of the cleandestine character. Towards the end of the nineteenth century special organizations were set up to coordinate this cleandestine teaching. Secondary school students formed in conspiracy the circles of self teaching, which predominantly aimed the study of Polish history and Polish literature. These circles became very important institutions of self-education of young generation. During the revolution of 1905, the general strike embraced not only the academic and secondary establishment, but also the primary schools. It represented a climax in the long standing struggle for a national character of schools, and for granting the right to have its children taught in their native tongue of each nationality within the Kingdom. As a consequence of this school strike, the Russian government was forced to agree to an increased role for the Polish language in schools and to give its consent to the setting up of private Polish schools where national language could be used in teaching. By 1913, 247 private Polish secondary schools with over 50 000 pupils have been established.
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