September 1 Belarus will mark Knowledge Day. On August 31, schools all over Belarus held solemn "First Bell" ceremonies for first-graders and other schoolchildren to mark the beginning of the new school year. This is a true holiday not only for students, but also for their parents and teachers. There are about 965,000 schoolchildren in Belarus.
President Alexander Lukashenko today went to the Kamennaya Gorka neighborhood of Minsk to partake in a ceremony to mark the start of school year in school No.56.
The head of state noted that Belarus tried to do everything so that September 1 be a real holiday for each student, teacher and parent. The state allocated huge budget funds for this.
Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
We need to optimize the learning process. We need to ensure that children receive the basic knowledge in school. It is not good when kids study 6-7 hours at school and then spend further 5-6 hours doing homework. The student must acquire knowledge at school. First graders should spend no more than two hours doing homework. High school students may spend a little more - 3-3.5 but not 6-7 hours. Do it, please, and our children will be much healthier.
And the second thing. We agreed that our kids will go to school 5 days a week. Saturday is not a day off, especially for school staff. On this day, kids can train physically. Move some PE classes to Saturday. Then kids can come to school in sports clothes on Saturday. They can also make some handcrafted items from wood or other materials. Show them how to use jointer-planes, chisels, files and other tools. You will learn how to live. We have much to do not in terms of reform but in terms of perfecting the educational process in both high schools and universities.
Third - our textbooks are weak. The new minister promised me that by the end of next year all textbooks will be adapted to modern requirements. And this is a hard task. But we are able to do it. We need to take a decisive step and get our education to the best level we can and make it the best in the world. We have everything for it - will, desire and specialists who can fulfill this task.
All in all, about 2,000 kids will study in this school during the upcoming academic year. The school building opened in March and by September 1 its territory has been beautified and improved. It now features new sporting facilities.