Analysis of context

Legal framework in Poland

Educational system for adults in Poland, and the development of key competences

In Poland, there is a concept of lifelong learning which means learning throughout life. The concept is defined by Regulation of the Education System and the Act from 20th April 2004 about employment promotion and labor market institutions. They define lifelong learning as:

  1. "... education in schools for adults, and obtaining and supplementing general knowledge, skills and professional qualifications in non-school forms by persons who fulfilled the duty school" - Regulation of the Education System
  2. "... education in schools for adults, as well as obtaining and supplementing general knowledge, skills and qualifications in relation to the unemployed, job seekers, employees and employers" - Act about employment promotion and labor market institutions. 

Adults have the same possibilities to learn as young people. In addition, Regulation of the Minister of National Education from 7th February 2012 on the frame of education project  in public schools says about the number of teaching hours which must be realized at different levels of education at schools for youngsters and for adults. All of the classes develop the basic skills and key competences.

In Poland, adults can learn in the following forms: 

  • High school for adults- this is the only opportunity to obtain a secondary school education in case of not having it yet, or graduating the vocational school. When student does not have a secondary education, learning starts from the first semester. In this case, the it takes 6 semesters which is 3 years. In case of finishing the vocational school learning starts from 3rd semester and takes 2 years. Both ends with obtaining secondary education and the ability to pass matriculation exam. 
  • Part-time study -after passing the matriculation exam, student can begin the part-time study. This is the kind of study which is offered by the public and private universities. Organization of classes in this case is specific. All activities are held every 2nd week only on Fridays afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. This allows adults to connect professional work with the ability to increase their education and acquire new competencies. Today in Poland it is difficult to find a well-paid job without a higher education. For many people this is the only possibility to achieve it. 
  • Postgraduate studies are also carried out like part-time study. They are directed for people with Bachelor or Magister degree, but who also want to get new qualifications and specialized skills. Classes also are held every 2nd week on Fridays afternoon, Saturday and Sunday.

High school for adults contains in its frame of training the key competences such as communicating in mother tongue carried out by the Polish language lessons, communicating in foreign language carried out by teaching a foreign language- English or German. Mathematical, scientific and technological competence are developed by lessons of mathematics, physics and chemistry, digital competences- through lessons of computer science. Social and civic competences are developed on lessons of Knowledge About Civics. Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship are improving on the lessons of Basic Entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness and expression on the lessons of Knowledge About The Culture. This means that the Polish educational system in the frame of basic education ensures development of all key competencies recommended by the European Parliament. 

Part-time study develops the key competences in a frame of Computer Science or Information Technology. It is important that on the technical fields of study there are also classes related to humanities or social science fields. On the fields of humanities and social sciences study are realized classes related to the mathematical fields. Thus also during getting higher education most of the key competences are developing. That trend is showed by the research PIAAC. Respondents with an university degree reach higher score than those with basic education only.

Postgraduate studies do not include in their frames classes directly developing the key competences, because they are focused on acquiring advanced and very specialized knowledge on the chosen field.