2010 17/11
Адзьдзел адукацыі, Жодзіна

Zhodzina TED

But, perhaps, it came that on the eve of Belarusian Prosecutor General Ryhor Vasilievich’s visit to Zhodzina executive committee, town’s authorities decided to play safe again and to practice “humanly” interaction with people…

Indeed, “new situation” in a great way resembles already known (from 2009) “old case” when the Commission on Juvenile Affairs of Zhodzina executive committee delivered favorable decision about recovery of education in Belarusian language for Yan Lapitsky in Gymnasium #1, but this “recovery” lasted 4 days and was stopped by one “mysterious” phone call from Minsk (!?)…

There is no need for comments. But in any case the course of events was as follows…

15.11.2010 Aliaksiey Lapitsky, poll watcher in Zhodzina executive committee got a phone call from Senior Executive Chairman Yury Shary who suggested human right activist to meet him at the executive committee any time suitable for Lapitsky. Shary evaded the issue about the topic of this meeting and just told Lapitsky that it is important for the both parties. He also added that it won’t take more than 20 minutes.

16.11.2010 at 2 p.m. the secretary Tamara Matsiushonak additionally called to specify the time of the meeting. Curious about the suggestion of the executive committee Aliaksiey Lapitsky decided to go to the meeting together with his wife Sviatlana. One of the possible topics of the meeting could be discussion of removing impediments for Belarusian-language education and returning their 15-years old son Yan Lapitsky back to Gimnasium #1. After discriminating decision #923 of Zhodzina executive committee delivered in summer 2009 the teenager was deprived of education in Belarusian language and didn’t get proper education services on the base of Gymnasium #1 in 2009-2010 school years. Under such conditions at the meeting could possibly be present other representatives of town’s administration for who the parents of Belarusian-speaking teenager have many questions to.

It happened just the way they thought. At the meeting which started at 3 p.m. in the office of Y.Shary were present the new head of Zhodzina TED V.Shulzhyk and the former head of TED, now the head of Town’s Deputy Council Yauhen Haryd. In the hall there also was a representative of Commission on Juvenile Affairs of Zhodzina executive committee who supposedly decided not to enter Shary’s office.

Юры Шары, Жодзіна

Yury Shary, Zhodzina

In the beginning of the meeting Senior Executive Chairman Yury Shary responsible for ideology declared about his intentions to decide the problem “humanly”. After this V.Shulzhyk the third time in 2010-2011 school years suggested Yan Lapitsky’s parents in his point of view a compromise variant: continuation of education on the base of Gymnasium #1 but according to a ridiculous combined Belarusian-Russian program.

The parents yet again claimed that they are waiting for the discriminating decree to be cancelled and their son come back to proper Gymnasium education program with English language specialization and fully in Belarusian language. They proved lawlessness of the decree #923 and discrimination pressure practice which forces Belarusian citizens to deny their ideas, natural national authenticity and demands of son’s education in his native Belarusian language.

It was declared about material and moral damage caused to Yan’s family by this artificially created discrimination situation. Aliaksiey Lapitsky raised the question about lack of Belarusian-speaking education in the town in spite it being requested by the education program of the Ministry of Education (adopted by Minister of Education Strazhau) and about lack of any initiative of TED in creating “stable and priority-oriented movements in Belarusian language” in educational establishments of the town and Ted initiatives in creating optional Belarusian-language classes for everybody who wants to study in Belarusian language. It was once again declared that without changing approaches and creating state priority for development of education in mother tongue in conditions of two state languages the problem with Belarusian-language education won’t be easily solved. On the contrary one can only imitate solving these questions and in such away only make the situation more complicated.

Аляксей Лапіцкі

Аlaksiej Lapicki

Aliaksiey Lapitsky:
We had to remind high officials that having power and correspondent state duties the “power vertical” can speak to people “humanly” only in conditions of guaranteed constitutional rights and freedoms. This clear theory “not people for government, but government for people” which isn’t realized in practice, can be realized only if authorities are really elected and controlled by electorate and if they act in the frame of their duties strictly according to the Constitution and international liabilities of their country signed at international agreements. Only in this case the state can really warrant proper conditions and practical means for realization of civil and political rights and freedoms on their own national territory.

Legal approach to the problem if used by officials wouldn’t have resulted such discriminative document which in fact has started pursuit of Belarusian-speaking Zhodzina citizens when parents and pupil were forced to choose education in Russian language as a “forcible specialization” with monopolistic ideology and with no place for values of national, cultural and historic heritage, adherent human rights to freedom and expression, freedom of opinion etc.

Сьвятлана Лапіцкая

Sviatlana Lapickaja

As a result of this exchange of views and the position once again expressed by Aliaksiey Lapitsky and Sviatlana Lapitskaya, the head of the Town’s Council Yauhen Haryd at last expressed a principally new suggestion which sounded like the local authorities were ready to accept all the mentioned demands of the parents and in fact to recover education of Belarusian-speaking Yanka Lapitsky on the base of Gymnasium #1 according to the previous Belarusian-speaking gymnasium program.

The parents’ answer to this consolidated decision of authorities’ representatives was that events of 2004-2005 and 2009-2010 school years proved that authorities have consequently used discrimination measures to deprive their son free Belarusian-speaking education. And this makes them treat all attractive offers very suspiciously.

That’s why they declared that mentioning any concrete positions and further negotiations doesn’t have any perspective until the town’s authorities commit in writing all their suggestions and guarantees about providing normal, stable and non-conflict conditions for further (until graduating from Gymnasium in 2013) Belarusian-speaking education of Yan Lapitsky in Gymnasium #1 according to his previous gymnasium education program (without any reduction or outgoings and returning back to work a young Belarusian-speaking teacher of English Tatsiana Zdonchyk who was dismissed from Gymnasium).

Consequently, the representatives of executive committee agreed to start urgent procedure of preparing the correspondent decree with guarantees reassured by executive committee in writing, then coordinate it with the parents and adopt a conclusive decision.

Therefore, it appeared that a day before the visit of Prosecutor General of Belarus Ryhor Vasilievich appointed for 17.11.2010 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Zhodzina executive committee the local “vertical officials” gave up administrative force action tactics towards local human right activists and after all decided to make advances to their legal demands.

It’s too early to say whether the wishes and suggestions mentioned above and also state guarantees for a stable educational development of Belarusian-speaking pupil in Zhodzina will be stated on paper and will get status of an official document.

Ян Лапіцкі

Jan Lapicki

Indeed, the decree of the Commission on Juvenile Affairs of Zhodzina executive committee of 20.10.2009 which obliged the head of Zhodzina TED (Yauhen Haryd at that time) to recover gymnasium Belarusian-speaking schooling of Yan Lapitsky in 5-days term, but in 4 days of this “recover” after a “mysterious call from Minsk” schooling in Belarusian language was suddenly stopped as well as it had started. With that TED’s and gymnasium’s authorities didn’t “give away” the person called and explained the situation with the fact that formally the conditions of the decree were executed because the pupil came back to his schooling in 5-days term (!?). As for the rest, it all happened as it ought to have been so! Belarusian teenager was just forcedly deprived of his right to education in his native Zhodzina town because of his “incorrigible Belarusian-speaking manner”…

That’s why, unfortunately, we have to state that these manipulations with fates of Belarusian-speaking Belarusians keep continue. This “football excitement” of “still” Russian-speaking officials in Belarusian governing organs beats common cense and legal logic. In these conditions all hopes for a real “humanly approach” in solving suchlike (important for the country) matters – not just humane but national wide, civil and political – sounds like very problematic.

And the most interesting thing is that in these conditions nobody from the officials finds courage and attempts to change the situation which is humiliating for the country and to admit violations and their own mistakes.

But to create a new approach and to solve suchlike questions and to create really new “humanly” relations, first, they should learn not make such “unsolvable problems” for citizens.

We think that Belarusian authorities, of course if they are still capable to realize themselves being so, finally must get mature for a totally new understanding of priority of acknowledged legal norms in the field of human rights and for realization of their obligations to Belarusian citizens – not only to all Belarusian people, but to every person in particular.

Ales Volny
Belarusian Legal Portal

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