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Belarusian teachers to be freed from irrelevant functions in schools

The education system requires constant improvement, stated the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, as he took part in the nationwide pedagogical council on August 24.

The main principles of the further development of the Belarusian school, the role of the teacher and the ultimate goal of their work, teachers' salaries and children's education - these were among the main topics of the meeting. Special attention was also paid to vocational education and universities.

On the sidelines in the morning teachers from all over Belarus discussed the results of the first day. The council started yesterday on August 23 and teachers had a day to share experience, express opinions and work out some proposals.

Everyone from kindergarten nurses to university professors are now in Minsk at the meeting, which is an opportunity to borrow the best methods and education technologies from colleagues. But this is also the search for further vectors of the development of the education system.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
The main thing is that we have preserved a positive achievement, inherited from previous generations. Among them are state support, social justice, equal access to education and its decent level. It is these principles that we should be guided by when planning further changes in this area.

There are all the possibilities for effective implementation of the plans. The necessary infrastructure of educational and training institutions has been created. There are enough qualified staff working here. The state annually allocates a significant part of the republican budget for education, training and social support of youth. Therefore, we can expect the pedagogical community to achieve relevant results at all levels of the education system. Today we need to discuss each of them.

And so I end my answer to the question that I set at the beginning of my opening speech. Why did I decide to hold our pedagogical council at this level now? Because we passed one stage (I named it). Then, improving our education, we have passed a certain second stage, if it is possible to divide this process into stages. I saw all the shortcomings, I felt them literally - from preschool education, secondary school, and vocational schools to higher education. Now we have seen the problems that we have not solved yet. That is, we are on the eve of a certain third stage - perhaps, the main stage in terms of improving our education.

And we should consult with you how we will solve those issues that our education faces. That is, we have to take a new step in polishing and improving our education - preschool, school, vocational, and higher education.

In the autumn we will meet with scientists - the top of our education: academicians, doctors, candidates of science - and hold a congress where we will also discuss the training of top-level personnel.

Teachers have a great responsibility: both the educational process, and extra-curricular workload, as well as paper work and functions that are not inherent to teacher's work. The President instructs to remove the unnecessary part of work.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I still want to warn both the Minister of Education, governors as well as the chairmen of the regional city executive committees: only documents which are related to education and upbringing must come to schools. Let's finally put an end to this question. We don't want this enormous paper work. It's not even about an overload for the teacher. It's a matter of humiliating teachers themselves, who has to do unnecessary things. It is not necessary. For a person to do unnecessary work is humiliation, this is a terrible load, this is something that we must not allow in any case.

There is another problem that the authorities are well aware of is the salaries of teachers. The question is complex since to raise salaries means to increase the burden on the budget. But it is necessary to provide a decent level of salaries in education, the president instructs.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Teachers complain about salary. It is low indeed. Next year, the problem should be removed from the agenda. Not only because I came to you and decided to say this, no. The teacher and the doctor constitute the ideological, the moral foundation of our society. There are no parties. Those youth organizations, trade unions, public organizations that exist today... Their foundation is also made up of the teacher and the doctor. Especially local intelligentsia, which works directly with the people. When we need to bring something to the people, we do it through you. You are the main support in the state. Not everywhere salaries are low, of course. There are also good educational institutions where people are paid. I know this personally. But there are so many salary problems in many organizations. We agreed with you: it's your personal responsibility. This question should be removed from the agenda.

Alexander Lukashenko draws attention to many issues of education: both profile and preschool. During the meeting, the authorities raised the matters of new textbooks and new education techniques.

Alexander Lukashenko:
In addition to academicians, major scientists, innovators were involved to writing school textbooks. The effect is stunning! They created these textbooks on the basis of teaching these subjects at school. As soon as we asked them, they willingly responded and in a short time improved many textbooks. By 2019, by September 1, we will end this process.

I asked a teacher (she wrote Algebra and so on): "Do they pay you for this?" She modestly says: "Well, of course, they pay me." Well, I know that she is paid for that and I must say that it is worth it. We need to pay a lot for these efforts! Then we will be able to repeat what we did in our healthcare system.

Belarusian teachers to be freed from irrelevant functions in schools