Lukashenka politicises education as state-owned companies reduce their commitment to employment support

Category status:
- (The situation has deteriorated)
23-29.08.2021
Фото: Белапан

Lukashenka continues to use the apparatus of the state to bolster support at the expense of educationalists. The security forces significantly restrict private educational institutions and eliminate civil society organisations with a nationalist and cultural agenda. Meanwhile, state-owned companies are incrementally moving away from their traditional social function of absorbing the unemployed.

The ruling regime is further politicising the educational process and consolidating teachers’ loyalty, aiming to use ideological control over schools to influence parents. In some cases, the authorities have threatened to remove children from parents who are active opponents of the regime to deter public protest activities.

Further to this, the Education Ministry intends to limit private educational institutions to ensure ideological conformity. Officials are apparently already making plans to close private schools, kindergartens, and other educational services.

The security forces continue to purge the media and other organisations suspected of disloyalty and dissent or promoting a national, educational, and cultural agenda. The Minsk Urban Platform and Art Corporation, known for organising the “Litstapad” and “TEART” festivals, is the latest to be forcibly liquidated.

The list of “extremist” telegram channels, chat rooms, and groups has been significantly extended, enabling the authorities to suppress the audience for independent and registered media. Meanwhile, favourable economic indicators continue to convince the Belarusian leadership of the correctness of maintaining a sizeable state-owned component of the economy and otherwise preserving the public sector.

Protectionist licensing mechanisms are being used to control the consumer market and restrict access to imported goods; however, the state continues to abrogate many traditional social obligations in the face of diminishing resources. Pensions have been falling in real terms for seven months, and restoration of parity has been deferred until at least September. The social function of state-owned companies is also decreasing as the number of redundancies at flagship enterprises far exceeds the rate of new hires.

Thus, most likely, the Belarusian leadership will shift its attention to business.

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Previously in: The ruling elite

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