Education Minister Andrei Ivanets provided his commеnt on TV channel Belarus 1, in which tried to explain the need for an implementation of a new standard in school uniform. Now schoolchildren have to wear the emblem of the general-education institution. Consequently, to the standard taxes will be added another one. The only questions remain: how much this element will cost and how often it will have to be purchased.
“By August 2022, every school in our country had already decided on the single element of school uniform that they would introduce. The whole August is ahead of us ─ there is an opportunity to buy it and have absolutely no trouble in preparing the child. No one is going to dress schoolchildren in the same uniform: each school can and should have its own school uniform,” said the Minister.
We asked our readers what emblem format their schools chose, how much they had to pay for it, and, most importantly, what quality it was. The most common choice turned out to be the badge.
Despite the differences in size (from 2 to 5 cm), they all cost the same ─ 2 rubles. Parents pointed out that the badge was rather flimsy and would either break quickly when worn every day, or would simply get lost, thanks to the weak clasp.
“At the meeting the class teacher said that quite a few children’s badges are broken ─ we need to order new ones. Many people have ordered several pieces to replace them. It becomes clear what quality they are,” ─ the parents share.
We wondered if one badge really costs 2 rubles when buying in bulk. After a short search on the Internet, we found a cheaper option.
Let’s calculate how many badges we need to buy for the conditional school N. Let’s calculate the number of students. Let’s assume our school meets the requirements of Article 158 of the Education Code of the Republic of Belarus, namely paragraph 13: from class 1 to 4 the number of students shall not exceed 20 people, and from grade 5 to 11 ─ 25 people. That is, there are 765 students in our school in three parallel classes. Since many parents order several badges each, let the parents order two each for the younger classes. Total: our school N has to buy 1005 badges.
According to that price list, depending on the size, one badge will cost from 1 to 1.30 rubles, but not 2 rubles. The discrepancy will be from 703.5 to 1005 rubles for 1005 pieces. It’s a bit expensive, if that’s the margin to pay for delivery, considering that in Minsk such an order would have been delivered to us for free.
It begs the question: why so? Are schools trying to “make money” the same way officials tried to make money on body bags for Belarusian soldiers?
But if everything is more or less clear with the badges, then there are schools where the emblem is applied to ties and stripes. However, the price of a tie can vary greatly: some parents said the price of 13 rubles, and somewhere it came to 17 rubles. “The quality is poor ─ most likely, it will lose its appearance in 4 months”, ─ the parents conclude.
We also decided to search for the cost of ties and found an offer for schools: ties with a logo for 10.90 rubles for boys and 12.50 rubles for girls.
Another waste of money on an unnecessary, low-quality, and expensive piece of uniform. It is still unclear why this “innovation” was needed at all. Moreover, because of the poor quality, parents are forced to buy more than one, and sometimes not even two copies. And it is possible that this purchase will have to be repeated in a year or two at a higher price. Perhaps some students were luckier and got higher quality badges, ties and stripes.
The closure of national minority schools in Belarus poses major threat for all society. Children are turned into slaves who will simply follow orders.
Stop fascism and genocide, which have already come close to the youngest citizens of Belarus! This was the primary call during the protest against both the closure of national schools in Belarus and deprivation Belarusian children’s of the fundamental right to study in their mother tongue. The meeting was initiated by the ICCI “Our House” and the Belarusian diaspora of Vilnius. Lithuanian and Polish politicians and public figures, representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora, the teachers of closed Lithuanian and Polish schools in Belarus responded and participated.
“For hundreds of years, Belarusians and Lithuanians lived together in Belarus, national languages and European education have been maintained. Since the beginning of this school year, lukashenko’s decree on school teaching only in russian/Belarusian has come into force. Until September 2022, there were at least two Lithuanian-language schools and two Polish-language schools in Belarus, and nowadays there are none left,” said Emanuelis Zingeris, politician and public figure, member of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Special Rapporteur on Belarus. “What is it if not fascism when people are oppressed on the basis of their national belonging!”
In addition, as the politician emphasized, the education in the Belarusian language in Belarus has been reduced to zero. In the mid-90s, education in Belarusian was provided by 58% of schools, and in 2022, the number of Belarusian-language schools corresponds to approximately 2%. “This is a real disaster because they are replacing that with education in the russian language, accompanied by the ideology of the ‘russian world’! There is a zombification of children, imposing them hate-filled ideas. And we can’t stand aside, we need to fight for every child in Belarus”.
The Seimas of Lithuania has prepared a Resolution authored by Emanuelis Zingeris against the persecution of the indigenous groups, who have their right to study in their native language. The document will be considered in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania in the upcoming days.
“We welcome this resolution as both support and an act of solidarity Lithuanian politicians with Belarusian children”, – said Olga Karach, Belarusian politician, public figure, human rights activist, director of the Belarusian human rights organization Nash Dom. “Today, any national culture in Belarus is being destroyed with the exception of russian one. lukashenka wants to educate a generation of Belarusians who will be poisoned by the propaganda of the ‘russian world’ and easily could be used for any attacks against their neighboring countries – Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia”.
According to Olga Karach, the actions of the Belarusian regime for the infringement on the rights of young citizens of Belarus should become a separate chapter in the international hearings on lukashenka’s criminal offenses. “We need a reaction from the international community. We need a resolution from the European Parliament, the UNO, the OSCE, PACE. It is also necessary to create online schools so that children would be able to continue their studies in Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian. Presently children are not provided with their right to choose the language of instruction, they are deprived of the possibility to choose language they speak at home. For this reason, such young citizens need for overall support.”
Olga Karach also underlined that national school closures (Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian) is the tip of the iceberg. “Following is the militarization of the children in Belarus, their indoctrination in order to get adherents of the ‘russian world’ without barriers and moral guidelines. Nowadays we protest against the closure of Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian schools in Belarus, a sharp and catastrophic reduction in schools with the Belarusian language of instruction and the deprivation of the right of Belarusian children to study in their native language. The action is only the beginning, the first step.”
“Our House” is planning a systematic campaign to draw attention to the situation of young citizens of Belarus.