"Council of Ministers will hardly understand those who study in special schools"

2015 2015-09-01T23:13:27+0300 2015-09-01T23:13:27+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/ucioki-magileu.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

August 24,two pupils escaped from the closed vocational school in Mahilioŭ. This is far from the first case when pupils escape from correctional educational institutions.

This time, the runaways were found in several days: they were hiding in the attics of urban high-rise buildings. However, this incident was the occasion for the visiting session of the Commission on Minors' Affairs under the Council of Ministers.

Representatives of ministries and departments gathered at the special medical-educational vocational school of closed type in Kryvičy in order to analyze the situation with difficult teenagers.

According tut.by, during the meeting the Minister of Education Mikhail Zhuraukou drew attention to the fact that the teenagers who need treatment for alcohol and nicotine addiction and those who got there by being evil violators of public order are kept together in all institutions of this kind. The relevance of this issue was also stated by the Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Natallia Kachanava, who agreed that this was wrong. However, she said, it was too early to talk about the opening of a specialized agency for the dependent adolescents.

That's why all these categories of troubled teens are still kept together in the same institutions, which provokes various conflicts, as a result of which pupils can flee from the closed schools.
After a detailed analysis of the situation with the escapes, the Commission of the Council of Ministers decided to go a "simple and proven" way: adolescents should be more severely punished for escaping from correctional educational institutions: No one even asked whether anything could be wrong with these institutions themselves.

32 teenagers fled from Mahilioŭ closed vocational school on September 26, 2014;
2 – on October 12, 2014;
3 – on March 17, 2015;
1 – on July 20, 2015;
2 – on August 24, 2015.

Lawyer Pavel Sapelka who examined some aspects of functioning of the closed educational-correctional and medical-correctional institutions, comments the situation from the point of view of the actual restriction of freedom for the teenagers that is shyly disguised under the label “special school”.

"Officials have decided to deal with the consequences, not asking about the reasons. At First, they
gather under the same roof ordinary teenage bullies and those who have committed crimes, but have not reached the age of criminal responsibility or were exempted from criminal liability; this is euphemistically called a special institution, though it is, in fact, deprivation of liberty, but without the barbed wire on the fence. If these are non-free places, from which one can escape – the escapes will continue.

Let's call a spade a spade: this is no school, but a correctional center. Then, please, place there only those who have committed real crimes, create the conditions that would prevent them from escaping, and punish them for violations with extra duties and penal cell, without giving it the mysterious title of “readaptation room”. What is readaptation, after all? This is a set of measures aimed at restoring the lost or weakened human reactions that contribute to one's adaptation to the conditions of work and life. How does 2-day stay in a separate locked room restore reactions and adapts people to work and life?

Finally, has at least one fact of escape been audited by the prosecutor's office so far? Have they established the reasons for the escape as a result?”

According to information provided by the Ministry of Education, Belarus has three special educational institutions:

Mahilioŭ state special school of the closed type,
Mahilioŭ state special vocational school of the closed type;
Mahilioŭ state special vocational school of the closed type No. 2, specializing in wood industry;
Petrykaŭ state special vocational school of the closed type No. 1, specializing in light industry;

and one special medical-educational institution, Kryvičy state special vocational school No. 3 of the closed type.

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