The aim of the article is an attempt to sum up the past 100 years of functioning of the social assistance system in Poland, starting from its creation with the rebirth of statehood in 1918. The transformations that took place during that time allow us to distinguish three consecutive stages in the history of Polish social assistance. The first one was the interwar period, when efforts were made to build a social welfare system in reborn Poland, on the lands previously belonging to three partitioning states, each with a different social security system. The second period were the years of the People’s Republic of Poland (1944–1989), when the communist authorities liquidated the foundations of the social welfare system created before the war, based on the cooperation of state entities with social organizations and the Church, instead creating inefficient structures dealing only with selected groups in need. The third stage, which began after 1989 – the reconstruction of social assistance – was initially characterised by social protection of people particularly affected by the consequences of the political transformation. Whereas the last dozen or so years of the development of social assistance has been characterised by a visible stimulation of social and economic development and the activation of people belonging to the margins of society.
The High Craft School [Wyższa Szkoła Rzemieślnicza] was established in Łódź in 1869. For many decades, it was the only secondary occupational school in Łódź. During a six-year’s course, it provided general education and educated specialists in textile studies and mechanics. As the activities of that institution revolutionised, to a great extent, the education of staff for the fast-developing industry and gradually gained more and more recognition of factory owners, Dziennik Łódzki, [Łódź Daily] – a newspaper published from 1884 to 1892 – dedicated a lot of space to various aspects of the school’s functioning. It discussed the curriculum, listed all subjects with the weekly number of hours, and mentioned mandatory practical exercises in laboratories. It also informed about mandatory internships in plants, specifying the names of facilities. The newspaper published announcements on entrance examinations and described the celebrations of the end of the academic year. It also presented lists of graduates as well as information on graduate conventions. News was published on the campaign of providing aid to poor students, including the possibility of exempting them from tuition fees, requesting for scholarships founded mainly by factory owners, or receiving one-off monetary aid as well as student books, clothes, and shoes.
“Dziennik Łódzki” also published information on two educational institutions functioning at the High Craft School, i.e., Sunday drawing courses for workers, junior masters, and craftsmen, and a four-year Sunday trading school for clerks managing finances.
Poles appeared in the area of the present-day Romania in the fourteenth century. The next influx of Polish settlers came after the fall of the Kościuszko Uprising. The aim of this study is to present the history of education for the Polish minority in Romania. The work focuses on showing various forms of educational institutions from the beginning of the 19th century to 1939. In the analysed period, Poles organized mainly preschools and elementary and secondary schools in Bukovina (contemporary northern Romania). They also made attempts to introduce the Polish language learning in teacher training institutions i.e. male and female teachers training colleges. They established their own socio-educational societies and built Polish Houses in which they developed a wide range of educational and cultural activities. In the Kingdom of Romania, Polish children could also attend (under certain conditions) Polish language classes in Romanian public schools. Thanks to the Polish Schools in Romania, and then the Polish School Association in Romania, there appeared various forms of Polish private education.
The article aims to show the issue of educational travels of noble youth in the modern era. Its source basis is the correspondence of Jakub Dunin from his journeys around Europe in the years 1699–1703, addressed to his father Franciszek Świętosław. These letters (preserved in the National Archives in Krakow in the Tomkowicz Archive from Kobiernice) are the source of important information referring to the reasons for the travel, expenses related with travelling or companions in the excursion.
Particularly noteworthy are the colourful descriptions of social life at European royal courts. For example, the author visited the Versailles of Louis XIV, from which he reported in detail on the celebration of various ceremonies and courtly entertainment events. Foreign journeys made it possible to encounter foreign cultures, political system or army, which encouraged sons of the nobility to reflect, which reflections they shared then with relatives in the country. As a result, correspondence from the peregrination always abounds in individual interpretations, for example, on the political situation taking place on the international arena at that time, which when confronted with the actual state will be an additional asset of the publication.
The treatise of Hieronim Baliński about upbringing a noble boy, written in 1598, comissioned by Jan Łączyński for his son Kasper, has been used in literature for a long time. It belongs to the most well-known educational instructions of the Old Polish times.
Baliński in his guidance shows what the education of a boy from a noble family should look like. He appoints its stages taking into account the most important elements – religious and moral, physical and mental education, he also shows how to deal with a child and not discourage it to learn. The most important, according to him, is religious education. It is necessary for a young child to know God, His goodness, patience, mercy and love for a human being.
The first stage of education is home schooling, then he recommended learning at a domestic school, and after that travelling abroad. The first trip, to Germany, should take place when a boy is 12 years old and it should last 2–3 years. This was, in Baliński’s intention, a preparation for the main journey, which was to take place after a short stay in the homeland. During this break, the young nobleman should be acquainted with the law governing his nationality, and functioning of the court and the Sejm. Around the age of fifteen, a young man with a guardian appointed by his father should go abroad once again, this time to Italy, to supplement his studies and skills. After returning from the trip, the next stage of education of the young nobleman takes place, namely the transition to adult life. Baliński recommended the Royal chancellery and military service. The treatise points out to the boy’s proper behaviour, attitude towards other people, raises issues related to child nutrition, clothing. It contains tips on physical development and exercises appropriate for the child.
When looking for the sources of the Baliński’s treatise, religious literature should be indicated first, but it probably also referred to Quintilian’s or Mikołaj Rej’s works. He also used, as he wrote, his own experience and conversations with other people. The ideal of man presented by Baliński is similar to the faithful and mediocre “honest man” depicted by Mikołaj Rej.