Saturday, 24 September 2011

Adelaide Lithuanian School

In 1989, it became logical to merge the two schools. Smaller class numbers, teachers growing older and rising costs justified such a move. Initially classes were held over two sites. The younger children and older children alternated sites every few weeks. Both age groups would come together for folk dancing singing and religion classes.

The school continues to this day, with second generations of Australian born people of Lithuanian decent still see value in providing their children with a link to their heritage.

Matriculation classes
Matriculation classes have been held when students are studying at this level. In 1978 there were six teachers, Vladas Statnickas who taught grammar, Mrs Mockunas, literature, Mrs Steponas, Mr Riauba, Mr Straukas who alterned. Dr Viliunaitė and Lidija Pocienė assisted with English translations. At one time Isolda Davis, Kristina Dundienė, Elena Varnienė with Dr T C Fennel from Flinders University prepared the Lithuanian language examination for Australia. Melbourne now is responsible for this. Ona. Zamoiskienė would mark the papers.

Adult classes
Lithuanian language classes for adults were initiated by Isolda Davis. While the schools were primarily geared towards teaching children there became a need for classes for adults. People of Lithuanian heritage who did not grow up in a household where Lithuanian was spoken or people who married a Lithuanian and were keen to learn the language. Occasionally people with no Lithuanian ties came just to learn one of the oldest living languages. These classes have been faithfully taught by Romas Jablonskis for the past fifteen years. Romas has been assisted over the years by Laisvė Daugalienė and V. Vanagaitė-Mount. It is with great sadness that Romas unexpectedly passed away last month.

Classes are still conducted every Saturday morning from 10am to 1pm at Lithuanian house.

Over 61 years of the schools existence there were more than 678 students, 156 teachers about one third (53) had been students and then went on to teach. Of the 678 students, 297 were male, 381 female.

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