Residents of Vialikaya Mashchanitsa struggle for secondary school
March, 11, residents of the agrotown of Vialikaya Mashchanitsa (Bialynichy district of the Mahiliou region) filed a collective appeal to the head of the department of education of the Mahiliou Regional Executive Committee. In this address the residents of the agrotown require the Department of Education to keep the secondary school in Maschanitsa, which the authorities are going to turn into a basic school (educating schoolchildren for 9 years instead of 11) without any public discussion.
The appeal was signed by thirty-two residents of the agrotown.
The people are especially outraged at the fact that the Department of Education of the Bialynichy District Executive Committee tried to take this decision without saying a word to the pupils' parents.
"Just before the decision about turning the secondary school in Vialikaya Mashchanitsa into a basic one was taken, I learned from teachers of the Mashchanitsa secondary school that this issue would be considered at one of the nearest sessions of the Bialynichy District Executive Committee.
I am the father of a pupil of this school, and was also educated there, that's why I cannot but be indignant at the fact that the district authorities, which call themselves “elected by the people”, intend to considerably decrease the status of the school without any discussion with residents of hte agrotown.
I immediately filed an appeal to Chairman of the Bialynichy District Executive Committee Mikalai Kandratsenka, in which I asked the executive committee not to take hasty decisions, the more that it was taken without holding a general assembly of the parents and public discussion. To my mind, it witnesses an absolute contempt on the part of local authorities to the people living in Vialikaya Mashchanitsa,” reported freelance journalist Barys Vyrvich.
“Many young families live in the town of Vialikaya Mashchanitsa, raising a sufficient number of children to ensure the normal functioning of the secondary school in the coming years. Let me remind you, that some time ago the district authorities had taken the decision to close the kindergarten in Vialikaya Mashchanitsa, but afterwards had to reopen and expand it due to a significant increase in the number of the children living in the agrotown.
The conversion of the secondary school into a basic school makes the agrotown of Vialikaya Mashchanitsa unpromising, because if You are honest, You must warn all young professionals that there is no sense to come and work in the villages any more,” wrote Mr. Vyrvich in his appeal.
“The overwhelming majority of residents of Vialikaya Mashchanitsa support the opinion that the secondary school should be preserved in it. In case the Bialynichy DEC take a rash decision about changing the status of the school, I reserve the right to organize the collection of signatures under a collective appeal to the executive and legislative powers of the Republic of Belarus.
Also, in strict accordance with the laws of the Republic of Belarus on the basis of Article 35 of the Constitution and in accordance with the Law "On Mass Events in the Republic of Belarus" I will initiate holding mass events with the purpose of public protest (with posters and banners) against backstage transformation of the secondary school in Mashchanitsa into a basic school without any public discussion,” continues the activist.
Incidentally, the head of the department of education of the Bialynichy District Executive Committee Lidziya Shchatsinka also heads the district organization of the pro-government NGO "Belaya Rus", and all the heads of the rural executive committees in the Bialynichy district are members of this organization.