Belarusian education system should not be reformed but improvement is necessary, said April 1 the Belarusian President at a meeting on the development of secondary and higher education. Among the meeting's topics were new textbooks and the sixth school day. The topic of optimization was also raised. It will touch upon approaches to the construction of kindergartens and the creation of entire educational holding companies.
Aleksandr Zhuk, Rector of the Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after Maksim Tank:
Today, the main resource of the country is intellectual human capital. It is vital that we form professionals - educated and skilled workers.
Lifelong education. This is a slogan of many universities, the country's development paradigm. The world, life and youth are changing quickly. The President, who himself has a diploma in pedagogy, feels it very well. Alexander Lukashenko before the election ordered to make some corrections.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Education. I just remind you once again that I appointed the new Minister of Education, "from the frontline". Also "from the frontline" was appointed a person who knows well our secondary education - our schools. And back then a particular task was set. We cannot continue this way anymore. We identified a number of problematic issues and on each of them I instructed you what to do before we discuss this problem in a serious way.
Carrying out the President's order, Natalia Kochanova even sat down at the desk. In a literal sense, the deputy head of the government had to become "a schoolgirl" again and also visited lots of kindergartens to check the situation there. Therefore, at the meeting, several opinions were heard. The Minister of Education talked about proposals and innovations, while the Deputy Prime Minister voiced the real situation in the system.
Natalia Kochanova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
Undoubtedly, it is necessary to pay attention to young teachers and nannies. And, of course, we need effective use of buildings and facilities occupied by institutions of the education system. New programs, new textbooks and the education system of our country, of course, must respond to the challenges the society faces. And, of course, the main task of teachers at all levels is not only to teach but also to educate.
On the whole, the Belarusian education system has been shaped. The best features were left and modern approaches added. There will be no significant reforms, only some improvements.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We don't need any reforming of education. We must simply improve what we have. The education system we inherited from the Soviet era is not bad; we have transformed it. We revisited this issue several times and wrote new textbooks and so on. However, there are still quite a lot of problems. There is a student or was a student in every family. At school, in kindergarten (pre-school education, as we call it), in universities and so on. People are learning. Therefore, this issue concerns everyone and this is a problem with consequences in the future.
Belarus has 100 specialized educational classes where half thousand children study. It is the backbone of the future pedagogical institutes. There was a problem with decent pedagogy students several years ago. But now here come not only the best students but those who are eager to teach others in the future.
Kristina Chaika, 5th year student of the primary education faculty of the Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after Maksim Tank:
I think that a teacher is something incredible, high, divine, they are not like everyone else. Yes, this has been my idea since childhood. And I would like to become a teacher even today.
The decision to train teachers from secondary school in Belarus was taken four years ago, when the shortage of pedagogy students was discussed at the presidential level at the Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University. This approach is the right one.
Already today, every second secondary school student studies in a field-specific class.
Mikhail Zhuravkov, Minister of Education of the Republic of Belarus:
We decided to continue to make secondary education more field-specific and let each child choose what he wants to do in the future. When we say "specialized education" we also mean vocational training. This means technology, engineering, which a school student must obtain at the level of vocational training available in colleges.
It is only in Belarus where the vocational education system has been kept since the times of the Soviet Union. Vocational schools and colleges is also a means of social mobility for mediocre pupils. Therefore, the President warned that the reduction in the number of these "schools of life" should be carried out very carefully. The same approach will be to the closure of small schools.
The President demanded to ignore money issues when it comes to the creation of new textbooks. They should be colorful, clear and modern.
Need for modern textbooks is especially vital in such fast-developing spheres as computer science. School leavers are told about the Internet in textbooks while many of them have their own twitter account or become successful bloggers.
Therefore, the new books will be more modern both in form and in content, but at the same time simple. The President requires not to overload kids with the curriculum and weight of textbooks themselves. To do this, a group of authors has been set up.
Larisa Murina, Chief Researcher of the National Institute of Education of the Republic of Belarus:
Grades 10 and 11 need better focus on science. This means that they need to take a more active part in research work, participate in the design of various forms of work, so that they are prepared for life.