2009 28/08

Local authorities are clearing the situation, however they are doing this from the position of psychological pressure. On 26 August 2009 Aliaksej Lapitski had a 30-minute conversation with Vital Shulzhyk, a deputy director of Zhodzina education department. The conversation concerned the Belarusian-language education of Janka Lapitski, who’s inherent right on free obligatory general education in Belarusian language in Gymnasia №1 in Zhodzina was violated for two times during the last 4 years by the actions of local authorities.

Earlier the direction of Zhodzina education department tried to clarify the attitude of Janka’s parents to the decision of the executive local government body of Zhodzina №928 which foresees the termination of Belarusian-language education according to the necessity of budget savings. After the parents appealed on 21 August 2009 once again, the executive local government body decided to make the parents agree on the discriminative decision…

However this decision is not acceptable for the parents. In the appeal they stated their position that was agreed with the direction of Gymnasia №1, and they were waiting for the constructive settlement of the problem from the local authorities.

Moreover, from the first minute of the meeting the official of Zhodzina education department tried to protocol the conversation in the presence of the secretary and explained this by the necessity of signing of some papers confirming the agreement of the parents on one or another variant of the continuation study after the Belarusian-language class is dissolved at the end of conversation.

Aliaksej Lapitski tells: “Moreover, the official tried to pretend that he only cares about the future of the teenager who is deprived of the right education “because of the wrong position of the parents”(!?!). As it turned out, Zhodzina education department together with the executive local government body and he personally as oficially responsible … all the time are settling “problems with Janka’s Belarusian-language education”… and care that he gets the “proper education””…

As it turned out, Aliaksej Lapitski gave a concrete and hard answer to the official on the attemp of administrative and phsycological pressure and cynical humiliation of national self-respect of Belarusian-speaking family.

Firstly, Aliaksej Lapitski refused from protocoling the conversation which is not common for the state bodies except appropriate bodies. Secondly, at the beginning of the conversation he made everything clear whether the officilas from the executive local government body and especially Mr. Shulzhyk, who acted according to the orders of some unnamed “higher official”, should have cared about the Belarusian-language pupil since the autumn of 2008 at the time when there where no problems with his Belarusian-language studing (!).

Moreover, Aliaksej Lapitski proves that he had to remind to Mr. Vital Shulzhyk of that disgraceful discriminative position of the Belarusian-speaking pupil and his parents thanks to illegal actions of the executive local government body’s officials that violate universal Constitutional and International norms in the sphere of human rights… (The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), which are obligatory and are provided by the Constitutional state and it’s legal entities.

During the conversation Mr.Shulzhyk proved that he acted according to the order and refused to name the higher official who had made that instruction, which is illegal in reference to a normal Belarusian-language class in Gymnasia №1 in Zhodzina.

Mr.Shulzhyk voiced the suggestions according to the variant of studying of Belarusian-speaking pupil:
1) Studying at any other “optional” Russian-language class in Gymnasia №1;
2) Individual studying of the teenager with the following taking of special exams;
3) Belarusian language home studying, not in Gymnasia №1;
4) Belarusian language studying in a village school in Plisa, Smaliavichi region.

Aliaksej Lapitski admitted, that he “believes that the ban on the Belarusian-language education and such suggestions of the officials on the eve of 1 September are purposeful pressure and persecution of his family because of the national and language belonging. This pressure is aimed at liquidation of Belarusian-language education and making all the Belarusian-speaking family the prisoners of endless discriminative situation with changing of full upper secondary Janka’s education on compulsory Russian-language studying…

Also it was notified, that in the last appeal to the executive local government body the appliers made two constructive suggestion to the executive local government body, which allow to settle down the problem and to continue Janka’s Belarusian-language education without any negative consequences for the pupil. So the parents are waiting that the direction of the executive local government body that they:
1) Call off the decision №928 as illegal, discriminative and wrong;
2) Take a new decision which allows the continuation of Janka’s full upper secondary education in Gymnasia №1 and takes into consideration his health problems (since 2008 the teenager needs periodical or urgent admission to hospital).

At the same time it was notices that the parents do not care how the form of the studying will be named. The main aim is to make the local authorities provide a Belarusian-speaking pupil with stable and qualitative education according to full upper secondary educational program in Gymnasia №1 in special room for Belarusian-language class.

As a compromise freewill step (earlier the parents refused to appeal to the executive local government body about the continuation of Belarusian-language education each year, as considered such a demand as a discriminative one) the parents are ready to appeal to the executive local government body about the continuation of Belarusian-language education of their son each year.

The meeting was nervous because of the attempts of the education department to force their suggestions as an alternative to proper upper secondary Belarusian-language education, however there was a positive moment, as the official of the education department at last (as he admitted) understood the position of Janka’s Lapitski parents and found out the possibility to settle down the problem in a constructive and legal way within the suggested variants without violating their son’s right on Belarusian-language education.

We will see, whether the direction of the executive local government body has understood the situation and how seriously the officials understand their functions and responsibility for the future of the only and the last Belarusian-speaking pupil in Zhodzina… And now we are waiting for their answer to Janka’s parents suggestions and a new decision of the executive local government body, which hold it’s next meeting at the end of the month, in the very beginning of the new school year.

Will this school year be a true school year for all the pupils?


Belarusian Legal Portal


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