2010 19/05

Zodzina local executive committee created a problem and wasn’t able to solve it by itself. At the same time authorities of Zhodzina TED didn’t react to Yanka Lapitsky’s parents’ ask to petition to higher educational establishments and power “vertical” for a fastest solving of Zhodzina problem.

Parents asked to recover full-quality gymnasium education for their son in Zhodzina Gymnasium #1 until the end of 2009-2010 school year and to class the pupil who was deprived of his right for education in Belarusian language in 2009 and had to study independently.

Last time Yan Lapitsky who was earlier deprived of a normal education process was classed in the third school term. And this class which happened without any preparatory study, classes and consultations all of a sudden 2 days before the end of the term gave its predictably negative results. Academic performance of the teenager became 2 points worse and grade average point was 6.13. But worsened performance and parents’ claims about improving the situation and Yan’s re-classification didn’t influence Gymnasium’s administration and the head of Zhodzina TED. They did nothing to provide Belarusian-speaking pupil with all necessary conditions for full-quality studies according to gymnasium program and English language specialization till the end of the year.

Instead of legal use of budget means and providing guaranteed education in Belarusian language in Zhodzina Gymnasium #1 for Belarusian-speaking pupil, the officials again decided to refer to the documents about stopping education in Belarusian language which they prepared and Zhodzina executive committee attested. They again made unacceptable conditions and even try to accuse them officially in the fact that their son isn’t getting education. Moreover, the officials understand clearly that they suggest continuation of full-quality gymnasium education for Belarusian-speaking pupil not in Belarusian but in Russian language without taking into account demands of the pupil’s parents which is lawless. In such a way Belarusian citizens’ rights for gymnasium type of education and the language of education which they choose in 2002 are violated in Belarusian town Zhodzina.

This means that representatives of local ruling “vertical” continue to turn a blind eye to Belarusian Constitution and parents’ rights for choosing type of education for their children. The officials in fact keep on forcing citizens to refuse their right guaranteed by law and Constitution of Republic of Belarus for their son to get education in his native language and according to gymnasium quality education. In such a way they are intimidating the parents by threatening them with administrative responsibility and accusing them in the fact that they themselves HINDER Yan’s education.

In particular, the headmaster of Gymnasium #1 in the reply to demands of Belarusian-speaking citizens to recover their son’s studies in Belarusian language once again tells different things in different language: “You are violate art. 17 of Law of Republic of Belarus of November 19, 1993 #2570-XII “About rights of children” and articles 3 and 51 of Law of Republic of Belarus of October 29, 1991 #1202-XII “About education” by hindering your son’s studies.”

We get the impression that neither parent’s choice, nor their explanations, demands, position, beliefs and references to violated legal norms and requirements of the Constitution of Republic of Belarus and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are not recognized by the representatives of education system and executive authorities as something important and obligatory during regulating the problem which was created from scratch.

Aliaksiey Lapitsky comments:

Instead of constructive solving the problem in Constitutional area grounding on legal norms and rights, officials openly ignore consolidated choice and will of our family, as the position of subjects of civil and international law in the field of human rights. Authorities purposefully continue to put pressure upon our Belarusian-speaking family – they force us (Belarusian citizens) to deny our native language and threaten to continue creating obstacles in our son’s education. As an alternative they suggest him to study independently or in any other (not existing in the region) educational establishment with Belarusian language of education (!?).

-Moreover, everybody knows that it isn’t possible to study independently according to gymnasium level with English language specialization (which requires communication with a teacher). These people and many of those who consider themselves to be “true Belarusian” and who uses “right” ideologies and thinking stereotypes don’t understand neither position of the Lapitskies, nor their explanations and the importance of the problem in general. This where mockery suggestions to place Yan to a boarding school or come to live and study to some Belarusian village or just to study peacefully at home (as if according to individual plans) come from. But it can’t be a good alternative and the choice of Belarusian-speaking pupil and his parents who have national pride and human dignity.

-Obviously, it’s impossible to get good education results if a pupil deprived of gymnasium quality teaching, after two-weeks “rapid-fire” consultations is being classed for a school term according to stedy high gymnasium criteria. The last class proved this theory.

But instead of realizing the harm caused to the Belarusian-speaking pupil and his parents, in stead of stopping putting pressure upon these people and using budget money in a proper way, the administration of the Gymnasium #1 and Zhodzina Town Education Department decided to use this fact as an additional level of pressure upon Belarusian-speaking parents in Zhodzina.

We can state that higher officials of the present ruling power who are responsible for education both in Zhodzina and Minsk even in such conditions aren’t going to fulfill their functional duties on providing realization of rights of Belarusian-speaking citizens in Zhodzina for choosing type and language of education for their children and getting quality education in proper conditions.

Information about Ministry of Education’s Program “About spreading of Belarusian language in the system of educational establishments in Belarus” is being kept secret about.

In such conditions when education officials in Belarusian regions in fact execution of this long-term Program which foresees purposeful creation of alternative quality educational establishments or Belarusian-speaking movements in already existing lyceums, gymnasiums and schools with Russian language of education in every town and region, and the highest administration even stimulates such destructive processes, it becomes clear that such like discrimination of Belarusian language speakers with reference to lack of budget money becomes a ground for refusal to execute their own program.

And it’s done just to do nothing referring to absence of demand of Belarusian theme in Belarus and lack of parents who want their children to study in Belarusian language.

But in conditions of such savage and humiliating attitude of authorities to the language, to citizens and their inherent right legislated by constitutional and accepted international norms and to such particular documents as the Program…- one can’t count on parents’ activity in the recent time.

Sviatlana Lapitskaya notes:

-Local Departments of Education in regions and the Head Department of Ministry of Education know that it’s important for parents and pupils to have REAL (not just paper) stable state guarantees and support of priority importance of native language in every type of education and in different levels of education and quality state programs and well prepared teachers’ stuff… – but they are not eager to come this way, as we see from the example of Zhodzina.

Officials have chosen other, lawless tactics just to do nothing (not to execute their own PROGRAM about spreading native language in education system).

They just present only Russian-speaking educational programs to parents and don’t create any really full-quality attractive educational grounds to choose from.

In such unprecedented conditions of a total lack of SUGGESTIONS and OPTIONS for a quality Belarusian-speaking education (for Belarusian citizens) one can’t hope for miracles and hope that these people somehow will organize themselves and write a demand to authorities about the necessity of Belarusian-speaking class.

Aliaksiey Lapitsky:

-Indeed, people try to look for quality and stable educational platforms with comfort and effective studies with opportunities of further continuation of the education type and language they have chosen.

The alternative to gymnasium education suggested in Zhodzina to Belarusian-speaking citizens who demand respect of their choice is nothing but uncovered enforcement for Russian-speaking education in the system of monopolized Russian-speaking education in the region.

And this is not an alternative to Belarusians in their country, but a cynical mockery upon the Main Law of the country, upon civil rights and upon Belarus.

1) Reply of the head of Zhodzina TED
2) Reply of the headmaster of Zhodzina Gymnasium #1

Ales Volny

Belarusian Legal Portal


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