Belarusian Language School Students Transferred to Russian

2005 2005-09-27T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

At the start of the academic year students in the Belarusian language Vutseu secondary school of Dobrush district were transferred to the Russian language. The number of students in the district who learn in Belarusian is reducing with every year.
The Vutseu secondary school in Dobrush district was one of the two schools with all subjects taught in Belarusian. So now the situation has changed. Adam Varaniets, a teacher at the school, says: "The first grade and the second grade in our school were transferred to Russian this year. The main reason is that the children who finish a Belarusian school cannot continue their studies in the Belarusian language. When they take exams at the university, the required language is Russian. And then they continue to study in Russian. If there was at least one Belarusian language university, the children could continue their studies in the Belarusian language. This would be normal for the Republic of Belarus".
The school principal Volha Ramanienka told the Radio Liberty correspondent that the teachers had invested a lot of effort into persuading the parents that education should be provided in the mother tongue, however, as the children take entrance exams, it turns out universities have no Belarusian language groups. The kids have to transfer to Russian, which is a psychological shock for them.
Thousands of students who learn in Belarusian face the same problems.
The teachers themselves also run into problems. Methodological books in Belarusian are few. Even the textbooks arrive at Belarusian language schools latest of all.
Officially, the number of Belarusian language schools in Homel Region is by 50 more than that of Russian language schools. However, these are mostly small village schools that get closed in tens every summer. As a result, Russian is the language of education for about 150 thousand school students while Belarusian is only for 35 thousand children.

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