Mikaševičy: parents struggling to keep secondary school
According to the official information received by regional representatives of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Luniniec District Executive Committee decided to liquidate secondary school №3 in Mikaševičy “with the aim of spending the budget means with the maximum benefit”.
However, all parents who took part in the survey on the matter, held by the parents' committee, didn't see this benefit and spoke against the liquidation of the school and the transfer of their children to other educational establishments.
As stated by the officials, during the 2014-2015 academic year the experts of the education department studied the possibility of further operation of the school. They held meetings with the leadership and teachers of the school, discussing the question of the liquidation. However, the officials failed to share their plans with the pupils' parents. Moreover, pupils were recruited for the first form from three neighboring villages, where schools had been liquidated earlier.
Representatives of the Luniniec DEC refer to the small number of pupils in the forms, saying the average number is 14 pupils, saying that the requirement of the Council of Ministers is 25-30 pupils. The fact that according to the Education Code the number of pupils in a form must not exceed 24, doesn't bother them. Moreover, there are up to 31 pupuls in schools No. 1 and No. 2 in Mikaševičy, to which they intend to transfer pupils from school No. 3.
One of the main arguments of the officials of the need to close the school is the statement about the great physical deterioration of the building, built in 1904, a two-storey extension of which was built in 1939. At the same time, this very argument does not prevent the officials from talking about organizing there the Center of children's creativity after the closure of the school.
Sometimes the arguments of the local authorities come to the absurd. According to them, it is impossible to organize the education process in line with modern requirements, as the building of the primary school is separated from the main building, the canteen is also in a separate building, there is no stadium and there are old toilets outdoors. The officials aren't embarrassed by the fact that according to the sanitary norms the canteen and the primary forms need to be separated from the main educational premises. The just want to liquidate the school instead of creating a sports ground. It is unclear, however, how can the outdoor toilets hinder the existence of the school, given that the school itself also has indoor toilets with all modern appliances.
However, the main problem in the current situation is the reluctance of the officials to hear the people. According to the parents, the school is very cozy and there is an area of benevolence about it. The small size allows the teachers to give due attention to each child and to find an individual approach to everyone. The parents and the pupils are wholly satisfied with the quality of the received education and flatly oppose the liquidation of the school.
The parents' calls to the regional executive committee, their letters to the district authorities and personal meetings with the school administration haven't yielded any results so far. Then the parents decided to seek protection at the Presidential Administration that forwarded their letter to the Ministry of Education. The parents aren't going to give up, no matter what answer they will get from the capital's officials.