Poles' position

1st December 2006 at 00:00
I write in response to the article "Polish influx triggers a wave of bullying" (TES, November 17). I am a Polish student of education studies at Exeter university and left my country because of huge unemployment. Three million Polish people emigrated for the same reason.

Few people realise that Polish waiters, cleaners or labourers are often graduates or teachers. If these people were offered jobs as teaching assistants at schools attended by Polish pupils, they could help these children with their difficulties.

As for Polish pupils being "racists", I would like to point out that Poland is a homogeneous country. Polish pupils have no idea how to behave in multicultural classrooms because they are not used to them. The situation described in the article involved Polish children who were bullied, not other children.

It seems clear that the word "racist" described the wrong pupils. These are English pupils who need to learn about Polish culture to understand Polish pupils. Relationships with English pupils could be improved through non-core subjects in which command of language is not as vital, such as PE, ICT or the arts.

Maria Kmita

Exeter

Devon

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