KOLAS LYCEUM FACES CLOSURE

2003 2003-05-30T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The National State Humanities Lyceum is going through the coup. During today’s urgent meeting Lyceum deputy head Uladzimir Kolas informed the teachers that he was getting a dismissal. We know the name of the future lyceum director – Tatsiana Shcherbachevich. Shcherbachevich earlier worked as a school director, then as methodical department head. Even the Education Ministry did not manage to explain, “Who is Mrs. Shcherbachevich?”
The new director is unfamiliar to lyceum programs and the lyceum education system. The lyceum teachers and students are perplexed.
Five years ago when they forcefully evicted Lyceum from its historical premises in Kirova str.21, the students and their parents embarked on a strike, collected signatures and addressed all possible international instances. Then the public resonance was so great that they silenced the case.
In 1998 director Uladzimir Kolas made a compromise, and lowered his status to the level of vice-director in order to rescue the lyceum. Over the last five years the post of the director was vacant. The lyceum was managed by three vice-directors: Uladzimir Kolas, Lavon Barshchewski, and Iryna Sidarenka.
Although the lyceum never lived in tranquility, nobody expected the events would develop in such a way. Recently the authorities almost managed to affiliate the lyceum with the State Teachers’ University. Such affiliation would mean not only the change of the management, but also “staff cleansing” and adjustments of education programs, including introduction of bi-linguism.
Uladzimir Kolas believes, in the present situation his colleagues, lyceum teachers should have the final word. If his colleagues decide he should resign, he will do so. Although he pledged readiness to leave the post in case the authorities appoint the new director in a violent way.
The students fear that teachers might follow the director and leave the lyceum to demonstrate solidarity. But this is quite unlikely. Most probably, they will fight to the uttermost. Change of the leadership means the lyceum as it is now will just cease its existence. Students who study here, came to study to the THIS Lyceum.
Some people believe the recent events are connected with the public activities of Uladzimir Kolas, his participation in organizing the Intellectuals’ Congress.
The unique school, which has been working for 11 years and “supplying” the society with intelligencia, found itself under threat of closure.

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