Posted on October 20, 2023

A Good School Free of Neo-Marxist Ideologies Is a Matter of Poland’s Survival, Says Chief Education Officer, October 20, 2023

“The Polish law on education is perfectly good. Unfortunately, it is not adhered to. A problem is “genderist” local councils that introduce their own educational programs. Warsaw’s city government is in the vanguard.”

Barbara Nowak, history teacher and chief education officer for the Lesser Poland region, spoke to Piotr Włoczyk.

We hear that history should be dealt with by historians, and not the state. So maybe we should leave the fight for historical truth to the specialists?

One of the main tasks of state institutions is to ensure the continuity of the state. I cannot imagine the institutions “abdicating” this task to historians. Unless we sustain a patriotic narrative and defend the historical truth about our past, the nation will cease to be a nation and become just a set of individuals, with less and less to bind them together. After all, it is the Polish nation that creates the well-functioning Polish state. Apart from that, in state institutions there is no shortage of historians specializing in this matter.

One of the fundamental institutions that should engage in protecting historical truth is the school. It is not possible to make a person into an aware citizen of the state without equipping him or her with knowledge about the roots of our community. Without that, future generations will not take care of the common good, because it will be invisible to them.

It seems, however, that the left-wing educational program would exclude the shaping of such attitudes from the school curriculum. According to that vision, schools would only pass on knowledge and teach skills.

It is true that those today who support demolishing the national identities of European states argue that it is completely unnecessary to pass on patriotic values to young people. We have to understand why they do that. If we lack a sense of patriotism, which we get largely from school, although the family also plays a hugely important role, it will be easier for them to build the “modern” Europe of which they dream so much – one great EU superstate, in which citizens forget about pride in their own national identity and instead adhere to vaguely defined “European values.” If we do not want Europe to change into such a shapeless mass, a collective farm of sorts, we cannot give in to the “fashion” of eliminating patriotism from schools. The stakes here are enormous – if we abandon the field, there is a danger that the country will disintegrate.


Maybe this drift toward nihilism is unavoidable, and even without outside direction our young people are increasingly unwilling to “buy” stories about traditional Poland? Maybe that is simply the order of things?

If everything was preordained, then indeed there would be no sense in resistance. But I am not a believer in historical determinism. I am a historian, and I know from looking at the history of the world that although our societies are always changing, much still depends on people’s determination, and we are not inextricably doomed to anything. People are endowed with reason and free will. Everything depends on whether we find within ourselves the strength to stop dangerous trends.

It is not that we are already condemned to a world without values, with no place either for Christianity or for national patriotism. Of course, some people do not need such values, or are even afraid of them, but the majority nevertheless still feel an attachment to a national community, are not ashamed of our history, and do not reject Christian principles. In schools we have to bring up free citizens. As a teacher with many years of experience, I know that bringing up free people is something that can be done only by people who are free themselves.

Unfortunately, today we can see people entering schools who have strongly left-wing views, and for whom freedom means something completely different. Dissoluteness is not freedom, which after all always comes with responsibility.

Are you talking about young teachers?

To a large extent this concerns young teachers, although it is also concerning that our schools, particularly in large cities, are allowing in all kinds of “activists” who fill children’s heads with harmful ideas that are not in line with the curriculum.

There has been too little attention in Poland to ethical education of teachers in colleges. At one time, teachers’ foundational principles were universal. For almost everyone entering the profession, it was clear that besides specific knowledge – historical, biological, mathematical – they were also to provide a social upbringing. This concerns not just cultured behavior, but also a sense of affiliation to the nation and state. But today?

For some young teachers, Polishness is a problem – it comes with negative connotations. The good and the beauty that we should be cultivating in our pupils is vanishing from teachers’ ethos. I also have significant doubts as to how far young teachers see an ethos in a profession that ought to be a service to people and the motherland, since I am hearing more and more that it is a job “like any other.”

We cannot go in that direction, because it will end like in some Western countries, where as a rule a teacher serves as a transmitter of neo-Marxist ideology {snip}


Not so long ago we were hearing how schools would be healed, and patriotic education would be treated as an absolute priority.

It was supposed to look much better than it does. I would even say that it is now hard for a teacher educated according to the principles and values of Christian civilization to find a common language, in matters of young people’s upbringing, with colleagues who are just beginning their careers.


What is at stake is what kind of state the Poland of the future will be. And whether Poland exists at all, or whether we let ourselves melt into some kind of pan-European, supranational sauce… While we still have teachers who are aware of the weight of the Polish task, there is still hope.