Parents of Belarusian-language pupils in Baranavichy petition Prosecutor General over discrimination
Parents of pupils of the former Belarusian-language class in Baranavichy have sent an appeal to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus. The appeal notes that the Baranavichy city executive committee, the administration of school No. 4, the Brest Regional Executive Committee and the Ministry of Education of Belarus denied them the right to education of their children in the state Belarusian language provided by the legislation and international standards. The letter says that in 2010 the authorities organized a Belarusian-language class in school No. 14 for three children. For four years, the children studied all subjects in the Belarusian language, according to all regulations adopted in the Republic of Belarus in the field of education, and legal norms.
In June 2014, two of the three girls entered school No. 4 to continue their education in the Belarusian language at a higher level. However, this did not happen, despite the fact that Article 50 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, as well as Article 17 on the equality of the two official languages and the Code on Education guarantee the right to choose the language of education in any educational institution of the country. The authors criticize the fact that for almost six months they have been forced to struggle with officials. The parents write that they had some hopes for the Ministry of Education, but time passes and no progress is visible. Tatsiana and Aleh Malaschanka, as well as Antanina and Vasil Filipchyk regard such actions by the authorities as insulting. They add that all are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the rights and legitimate interests, as stated in Article 22 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.
The authors of the appeal ask the Prosecutor General to protect their legitimate right to education in Belarusian and to punish the perpetrators.