2009 12/10

Alaksiej Lapicki

Alaksiej Lapicki

Comments on the recent reply by the Ministry of Education
Human rights activist Aliaksei Lapitski, father of Yanka Lapitski, has provided his comments on the recent reply by the Ministry of Education in the context of Belarusian-language education in Zhodzina.
I was not at all surprised that our complaint against the inaction by Deputy Minister of Education Mr.Faryno was addressed by Mr.Faryna himself. Being unaware of such simple things and ignoring the legislation at this level, in particular the Law on Public Appeals, is real ‘aerobatics.’
The system has been shamelessly corrupting Belarusian officials and they, in conditions of absolute impunity, are legally degrading. They tend to think that the fundamental law for an official is neither a Constitution, nor a specific law, but merely an inner instruction or even an oral command… In other words, anything that cannot cause displeasure of a superior official!
The system of bureaucratic impunity before the law for failing to execute one’s official duties aimed at securing the rights and freedoms of Belarusian citizens, guaranteed by the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, has become an overwhelming tendency in the country.
THEREFORE, it is hard to expect a Belarusian state servant, working inertially and guided solely by his own imperfect instructions, violating universally recognized legal standards and the fundamental law of the country, to pay attention to such ‘minor trifles.’
Comments on the Reply by the Ministry…
It has been a month already (9 September 2009) since my Belarusian-speaking son Yanka was forcibly expelled from his school due to his mother tongue, in which he wishes, just like he has been doing for 7 years now, to receive education. This is what happens despite numerous promises by the school administration, that in case of such ‘paper’ alteration of the status of education my son would not be affected by practical changes. School principal Henadz Karshun personally confirmed that Yanka’s future education would not be changed, neither the place nor the language… It all turned out to be a trivial bunch of lies! I still cannot believe that. This level of cynicism by local officials is astonishing and makes me think: What other ‘tricks’ are they going to invent?
Which application does Deputy Minister speak of in his reply? Today, a MONTH AFTER, when he suggests writing it and submitting to the Gymnasium?! The application was written a long time ago and sent to the principal of Zhodzina Gymnasium #1, remaining unattended since the beginning of the 2009 school year!
Everything was done for Yanka not to notice anything in practice. So that the high-level ‘idiocy’ would not affect him and he could continue his studies. However, the application has not yet been responded to properly!
The thing is that, upon receiving our application and the requested health certificate, the principal, instead of taking measures aimed at maintaining further studies and the implementation of our agreements, was too quick to ask the town authorities for consultation. And… received ‘an oral command’ (this is what he called it at a regional meeting on education) to lock the doors of the school.
Immediately after that a brutal and high-handed violation of previous agreements and promises was started. THUS, as a result of this, the school administration simply locked its doors for our son and prohibited the teachers to provide any educational services to him – including access to the library…
The principal himself, with an intention to avoid punishment by superior officials, decided to receive a permit for further education of the Belarusian-speaking pupil from the Ministry of Education. He requested that we addressed the Minister himself… This is what we did. However, the Ministry replied that the issue was within the authority of the principal of Gymnasium #1 and Zhodzina town authorities…
This is how the mad NOMENCLATURE AND EDUCATION OFFICIALS were ‘tossing’ THEIR DUTIES AND OUR INHERENT RIGHTS from Minsk to Zhodzina and back, ignoring such FAMILIAR TO EVERY CHILD, simple, round like a ball, RIGHTS of our son YANKA TO STUDY… STUDY IN BELARUSIAN IN HIS OWN, THE UNIQUE FOR THE REGION GYMNASIUM, at which he passed specialized tests in 2002 and 2004 and received an opportunity to obtain high-quality education in Belarusian.
As for the applications to the ‘frightened’ principle of Gymnasium #1, we did send them to him daily (upon his own requests) since the beginning of the 2009 school year. But all these applications have appeared to remain unattended.
As a result we are facing a typical example of how the Ministry of Education issues similar MIRACLES OF A REPLY!
By the way, it should not be forgotten that all the educational officials receive budget resources for their work from THE PEOPLE OF BELARUS. However, as we can see, for over a month they have been unable to untangle their own papers, statements and replies, as well as the rights and freedoms of the representatives of THE BELARUSIAN PEOPLE in Zhodzina. As a result, by an officially issued order, a BELARUSIAN teenager Yanka is not allowed to enter his classroom to continue EXERCISING HIS INHERENT RIGHT TO EDUCATION in a STATE EDUCATION INSTITUTION.
MOREOVER, what stunned me most of all is that the Deputy Minister’s reply has some incorrect legal statements. For example, the phrase by Mr.Faryno quoted at by.prava-by.info, if perceived literraly, appears to be an illegal and discriminative NEW EXTRA CLAIMS to us, as the parents of the Belarusian-speaking pupil.
Under concrete circumstances, (which is again very topical for the Zhodzina situation) it can be considered as a direct threat… in case of return to previous practice of Belarusian-language education in Gymnasium. For the parents, as part of the NEW EXTRA CLAIM, are proposed to undertake responsibility FOR THE LIFE AND HEALTH OF THEIR SON WHILE HOLDING CLASSES at Gymnasium #1.
As a result, we ARE OBLIGED TO UNDERTAKE RESPONSIBILITY ‘FOR THE LIFE AND HEALTH OF THEIR SON WHILE HOLDING CLASSES’ at Gymnasium #1. Isn’t it a mockery!? A horror film… Can such THREATS happen at all? If yes, where do they come from? And why are they used against our Belarusian-speaking son only? Who or what can be of danger to him at Gymnasium? Should not this question be redirected to the Prosecutor’s Office? If there is any PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE in this country… Or, say, there is one… but it is them for whom it exists. That is, it, using PUBLIC MONEY, works for the PRIVILEGED PART of the society only…
Indeed, when trying to recollect the events of 2004-2005, when our apartment was attacked and shot at by ‘unknown bandits’ immediately after the victorious return of our son to school and the respective publication in the NARODNAYA VOLYA newspaper, there arise some very unpleasant associations! The criminal case initiated after the attacks is obviously to be updated?
So maybe in this way our BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES (represented by Deputy Minister Faryno, which is now on leave) reminds the parents of a Belarusian-speaking son of the existence of SUCH LEVEL OF THREATS AND DANGER in case of his return to studies at Gymnasium #1?! And what did the high official of the Ministry of Education, who is now unavailable for conversation, mean by writing this in his reply?! Who can answer these questions? (except for the Prosecutor!)
And one more unpleasant conclusion – the Ministry either fails to read our complaints and coordinate the situation on-the-fly, while the rights to education in Zhodzina keep being discriminated. Or it is too simple – they don’t want to be in charge and are SCARED… SO WHAT DO OFFICIALS FEAR?!
THEY ARE AFRAID OF THEIR OWN BOSSES. Afraid, without a superior order, to start abiding by the CONSTITUTION, THEIR OWN DUTIES AIMED AT THE GUARANTEED PROTECTION OF THE INHERENT RIGHT OF CITIZENS TO EDUCATION?! Afraid of placing local officials into the proper legal status – in their ‘accurate’ responsible activity for the sake of the state?!
According to the latest news, after Yanka Lapitski’s parents received the reply, they had a number of telephone conversations with representatives of the Ministry of Education. It is then turned out that Mr.Faryno, upon putting his signature under the reply, left for holiday. Other superior officials were at that moment unavailable. At the same time, the Minister’s assistant Mr.Trafimchuk promised to pass the necessary information to the Ministry’s ‘high management.’ He promised to tell them that the requested application had been submitted on 31 August 2009, but has not yet been replied by the administration of Gymnasium #1…
Prepared by Ales Volny,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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