How to help children with disabilities adapt and remain on equal footing with others was among the main topics of the Belarus President's September 1 visit to boarding school No13 in Minsk. On Day of Knowledge, the institution visited by the head of state.
Today, this school is attended by 120 children with hearing impairment. All necessary conditions are created for them allowing the children to get exactly the same high school education as in regular schools.
During the visit Alexander Lukashenko admitted that he no longer believed that these kids are "special". This is a room for crafts. Here the school implemented what the head of state repeatedly said about.
Already at 14-16 years, students have work record books. During summer camps they earn their first money. They sow clothes for themselves and the entire school.
Sign language is like the language of love. You can do without voice to convey the most important thing in life. Not long ago, universities in Belarus began to train teachers and now sign language is taught in schools.
However, not all graduates of this school are lucky with employment. The President was briefed on this problem. Even with pre-signed contracts, employers refuse to accept employees with disabilities.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
It is outrageous! I do not even believe that it may be so in this country. Please study this problem and report to me. Especially when people's services are ordered and then they refuse. Specify please who is so "courageous". Such people must be supported at all times.
For boarding school the President bought a modern multi-functional system that will help make learning easier and more varied and interesting. Pupils of the boarding school replied and handed their gift to the head of state.
I for the first time opened for myself such a thing: you are not disabled, absolutely not. You are just like us, just a little bit different, just a little bit. And the state should do for you quite a bit, compensate that very small difference so that your disability becomes completely invisible in our society. Of course, there are people with really limited abilities and capabilities, who are moving around in a wheelchair, unable to walk. For these people, we need to ensure that they can easily get out of their homes and move around the city. That is the main thing that the state should do.
Of course, teachers of our school are concerned what way you will choose later. I promise you that you will have no problems. We agreed that the government will once again examine the problem of your employment.
Thanks to all the teachers for the work that they are investing in you. It is thanks to them that you become much more educated, better patriots of your country. You love your country. Thank you for this and I congratulate you all on the beginning of this long and sometimes tedious, hard way. I congratulate you on the Day of Knowledge, the beginning of the school year.
The general problems of the education system were also touched upon. More than once did the head of state raise the issue of the status of the teacher and their salaries.
School is perfect for a person. And in terms of freedom, creativity. The only thing is that teachers should not be offended by low wages. And we need to raise teachers' salaries by at least a quarter. I'm sure no one will go anywhere from school. Conditions there are quite acceptable. And you need to work in school. And we can support teachers not only with money but with some other things on which people can spend money.