2009 26/11
ГАА, Жодзіна

The Town Department of Education, Zhodzina

And the common term “telephone law” does not even fit here…

This is what happened…

Less than two weeks had passed, after the parents of Yanka Lapitski manage the return their own Belarusian-speaking son to full Belarusian-language training in Zhodzina Gymnasium № 1, but the efforts of the Director Henadz Karshun again deteriorated the situation and almost threw it back.

The parents, of course, were under no illusion and believed that the anti-Belarusian pressure on them and their under-aged son would not stop completely and might even intensify in the future. But the truth is nobody expected that discriminatory abuse would occur again, once again so fairly transparently, so cynically and so soon.

The situation in Zhodzina is a litmus test of the whole system of power and declared Belarusian liberalization. Belarusian dignity is cynically discarded in BELARUS by order of the authorities, that even if they wanted, could not be called Belarusian. We can state their anti-Belarusian cynicism and deliberate criminal nature.


At 12-00 on 23.11.2009 Yanka came from Gymnasium № 1 home…

Father asked:

– Why so early?

Yanka replied sadly:

– There are problems at school again! The Director summoned me to his office and told not to come to school tomorrow … He explained, that somebody from Minsk on the phone had told him that they violated the regulations on the organization of home tuition… Besides, since we applied for 2 hours (instead of 3 hours English language classes), they will give only 2 hours, and Informatics (1 hour) will not be taught at all… and I would not be assessed, the director said, too… (!?) The Director is so weird… That’s too much… In addition, there was no lesson of History today…

At 13-00 the parents were phoned by the director and explained that he had received a call from an inspector of the Minsk department of education (he refused to call his name)… and warned him of violating instructions.

Director Henadz Karshun:

– I cannot take risks … because my contract says that I must follow instructions… Therefore at 15-00 I am going to the town department of education and if I do not get anything concrete on paper… I will not arrange classes and will send teachers to you…

Aliaksei Lapitski suggested not doing reckless and illegal steps, which again exacerbated the already discriminatory provision with the Belarusian-language training, once again exerts psychological pressure on the under-aged student and the family. He noted that he would not let the Director exert psychological pressure on Yanka and urged him not exceed his authority, not to interfere with learning and to execute the decision of the Commission on Juvenile Affairs on the continuation of Belarusian-language learning of Yanka at the gymnasium.

The parents proposed not to suspend training, but make an inquiry about the call, which frightened the director and to wait for an answer from the Town Department of Education.

– Maybe some paper may appear. It’s easy to do by order of the Commission on Juvenile Affairs, which obliged the TED within 5 days to resume Yanka’s studies in the gymnasium…

Father’s words were not accepted by the director… It was felt that he was determined to stop the classes… He just did not want to continue to listen and just said that Yanka would not have any classes the next day…

At 14-00 there was a conversation between Yanka’s father and Mrs. Liudmila Malets from the Education Department of Minsk regional executive committee.

The latter was surprised and reassured about the fact that the Zhodzina Director had received no calls from inspectors.

– When there is an application of the parents and permission to do so from the Ministry of Education –

no instructions are violated. It’s like a fantasy. It should be dealt with at the spot. She suggested if the issue was not solved in the TDE to tell her and she would respond.

At 15-00 Aliaksei Lapitski talked with Raisa Sidarenka, inspector in charge of the Ministry of Education.

After listening to the father, the official of the Education Ministry asked to repeat the name of the student and said she would immediately see to the situation and hoped that it would be resolved.

On 24.11.2009 Sviatlana Lapitskaya registered an application at Zhodzina Prosecutor’s Office. In a direct conversation, she asked the Town Attorney Viktar Litvinenka to urgently review the application and to take immediate action on the facts of discrimination, to prevent the recurrence of gross violations of the right to education, to stop violent actions to force to Russian-speaking training, and rejection of the inalienable rights and freedoms, contrary to the legitimate demands of the parents, their conscience and convictions.

However, neither the next day, 24.11.2009, nor on 25.11.2009, no classes were arranged for Yanka in the gymnasium.


Due to undue and destructive inaction of local and Minsk officials the Belarusian-speaking student, the son of Zhodzina human rights defenders, members of the HRC “Viasna”, Yanka LAPITSKI was denied the right to education in Belarusian for a whole quarter at Gymnasium № 1 in Zhodzina.

Only after one of the written protest of parents to the Minister of Education of Belarus Aliaksandr Radzkou, a response by Deputy Minister Faryno finally officially guaranteed the opportunity to continue Yanka’s learning at Gymnasium № 1 in Zhodzina.

After the decision by the Commission on Juvenile Affairs that ordered the leadership of Zhodzina TDE to restore classes in the gymnasium for Yanka, the case has failed to moves from the “dead point”.

However, as it can be seen, even after the resumption of Belarus-language education, the “architects” of the discriminatory anti-Belarusian plan against the son of Zhodzina human rights defenders, have not desisted speed.

The Directorate of Gymnasium № 1, referring to calls from unnamed persons, who allegedly control the actions of Director Karshun, now actually performs the pressing of Belarusian-language training from the state educational institution, which was ranked 3rd among schools of Minsk region and, in fact, engage in public and official discrediting of Belarusian forms of education in Zhodzina.

In 2004, with the active participation of these same anti-Belarusian minded individuals, a Belarusian-language miniclass was closed down and the Belarusian status of Zhodzina Belarusian gymnasium was eliminated. Around the same time last Belarusian-language forms completely disappeared in school № 6.

In such intolerable and shameful, deliberately and methodically created discriminatory conditions, it is hard to expect that the constitutional rights of Zhodzina residents to free choice of language of learning as well as Belarusian-language teaching of their children in stable and priority conditions, will somehow be realized.

Aliaksei Lapitski, Yanka’s father, Zhodzina human rights activist.

It is clear that education officials in Zhodzina apply the results of a large-scale survey conducted by us under the supervision of the TED in 2002 with the purpose of determining the attitudes of parents, students and teachers to Belarusian-language education in the town’s schools, with an accuracy of contrast.

All these years, no proactive steps to implement the Program of the Ministry of Education on extending the use of the Belarusian language in educational institutions have been taken (adopted by Minister of Education Strazhau). Conversely, as the practice shows, everything has been methodically done contrary – so as to keep anyone away from the Belarusian language.

One can absolutely justly state that Zhodzina current executive authorities have been consistently engaging in the suppression of universally accepted and binding (for the State and its subjects of law) civil rights and liberties, through realizing carefully developed and consistently implemented before the election plan for cleansing the socio-political field and the final de-Belarusization of society in Zhodzina.

Ales Volny,

Belarusian Legal Portal,


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