Poland makes Latin and classical antiquity a core subject for high school students

Poland makes Latin and classical antiquity a core subject for high school students

The study of Latin and the culture of classical antiquity is being added as a core subject for secondary (high school) students in Poland in the upcoming school year.  

The Polish government’s Ministry of Education announced on social media that the aim of the classical studies class is “to show students the impact of the Latin language and the culture of Greco-Roman antiquity on the European languages and culture of later centuries.” 

The class intends to provide an “understanding Greco-Roman heritage as the conceptual and material foundation of Western civilization and Polish culture” and “awareness of the long-lasting endurance of the values engendered on the basis of Greek and Roman cultures, enriched by the Judeo-Christian element,” reports Notes from Poland. 

“The core curriculum treats Latin as a kind of code that the European elite has used for centuries,” it states. Students who complete the class will be “equipped with the tools to read simple Latin texts.” 

Polskie Radio (per Notes from Poland) reports that the subject was previously only available as an extended-level subject for older students and has been the least popular subject in graduation exams.  

Classical antiquity is being added to the core curriculum, but only as an option for school principals to offer alongside philosophy, art, and music.  

The focus on the classics comes is part of Poland’s drive to instruct students on other “important social issues,” including environment-related conservationism, common law, and home economics, which teaches students to be more responsible for their personal savings.