BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland – The National Education Day is the anniversary of the establishment of the National Education Commission in 1773, which was the first ministry of education in Europe and reformed the public education system in Poland.
NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Poland Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (3-8 CAV) alongside commanders from the Romanian Army “Transylvanian Gepards'' Battery, and British Army “Black Dragons'' Troop attended the National Education Day at the Primary School General Jozef Bem in Bemowo Piskie (Szkola Podstawow im. gen. Jozefa Bema Elementary School) on Oct. 12, 2022.
Commanders of the eFP were invited by Joanna Gerejczyk, principal of Primary School General Jozef Bem to attend an awards program for National Education Day. On this day, teachers are acknowledged and celebrated throughout Poland for their efforts and achievements of the previous school year and is commemorated on October 14, 2022.
“From the very beginning, the school house has been connected to soldiers,” said Gerejczyk.
The Primary School of Bemowo Piski was established on September 1, 1954 and functioned as a branch of the primary school in Orzysz. In 1964, after the establishment of the Polish Military units in Bemowo Piskie, the school was named after General Jozef Bem.
“The soldiers built this school, and the first children were children of the soldiers,” said Gerejczyk.
On September 1, 1966, soldiers from the local military units constructed the new school building and in 1977 soldiers from the Polish National Air Defense Forces Specialist Training Center assisted in the construction of the sports hall.
“Interacting and being involved with the people of Poland is a reminder to them of our commitment to the people of Poland,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sean M. Castilla, commander of the eFP, and 3-8 CAV Commander. “Staying involved with the community strengthens our resolve to defend our alliances along the Eastern flank.”
Those military units would continuously support and organize school activities and events throughout the years upholding their tradition.
“The tradition of having soldiers involved with the school is a tradition and continues on still to this day,” said Gerejczyk. “It’s important to our society that the soldiers here feel connected to our school.”
Currently the school is an 8 year primary school that strives to achieve the best results in teaching, education and care work.
“It was an honor, and we are very grateful to be present to see these teachers recognized, who serve their community in very important ways, just as we are serving, they too serve,” said Castilla.
National Education Day is recognized every year, and teachers are rewarded for their achievements from the previous year.
“There is this one time during the year to recognize all the effort and dedication that was put towards the children,” said Gerejczyk.
NATO eFP soldiers deployed to Poland as part of an allied-force defense and deterrence military mission is essential to this community and is critical to accomplishing that mission. The Primary School of Bemowo Piskie has a deep connection and history with the military.
“Just as the men and women of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Poland have dedicated our lives to the service, we are inspired by the service and dedication of these teachers who are instructing and teaching the youth of tomorrow, the future leaders of Poland,” said Castilla.