Fifty children gather every Saturday at a Polish school in Limerick that operates out of St Patrick’s girls school on the Dublin Road, one of 38 Polish weekend schools operating in the Republic.
Divided into five classes, the pupils learn about Polish language, history and culture.
“Parents are eager to enrol their children. They want their children to improve their Polish language skills.
“Although they are using the Polish language at their homes it is spoken Polish only,” says the school’s principal Malgorzata Halwa-Zderkiewicz.
“Writing and reading is a problem for children,” she says, particularly – but not only – for the children of mixed parentage.
“In such families the predominant language is English. These children speak Polish poorly, and often can’t communicate with grandparents and cousins in Poland, which is why parents send them to the Polish school to learn spoken Polish.”