Lithuanian language schools
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AbstractIn 1923, after Klaipėda Region was returned to Lithuania, many reasons led to the 15 years’ fight between the Central Government and autonomists in all areas of life of the region, and schools were the “front line” in this confrontation. The paper discusses the circumstances of re-establishment of Lithuanian schools after almost 50 years’ interval, the peculiarities and personalities of this process who made the largest influence on Lithuanian schools. In 1923, 241 elementary schools functioned in the region, and only one had Lithuanian as the language of instruction. The main precondition to change the situation in the area of education was Klaipėda Convention and the Statute, signed on 8 May 1924. Article 33 of the Statute established that education in Klaipėda Region is based on the freedom of teaching and the right of establishing schools; private societies and persons, regardless of their nationality, language, race and religion, may freely teach or establish schools to the extent that these acts do not contradict laws, public order and state security. The School Society of Klaipėda Region, established in 1926, undertook the initiative to establish private schools in the region. Since the very establishment, the activities of the School Society were secretly financed by the Central Government. In view of 12 years of history of the School Society of Klaipėda Region, it should be mentioned that the private Lithuanian schools funded by the Society as if counterbalanced German schools with old traditions and the inhabitants of the region who wanted to teach children in Lithuanian, and provided an opportunity to realise this choice, which determined the continuity of the Lithuanian cultural tradition in the region.