Quality of education hindered by de-ideologisation fears

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April 22, 2016 18:52

The Belarusian Education Ministry has launched a public debate on the Draft Law amending the Education Code.

The Belarusian authorities aspire to join the Bologna process in 2015, yet they ignore the Bologna Secretariat’s notes about the lack of students and employers’ participation in the management and the lack of academic communities’ autonomy. The Belarusian authorities would like to integrate into the European educational process in order to increase the international ranking of Belarusian universities and increase export of educational services, which means foreign exchange proceeds. The authorities are least interested in increasing students’ self-governance, employers’ participation in the management or greater autonomy for academic communities, because all that is a threat to the ideology in the education system. Authorities do not plan major changes in the educational policy. They want to maintain maximum control over the state education system.

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Minsk attempts to make up for image losses from military exercises by opening to Western values
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Image: Catholic.by

The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.

Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.

Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.

In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.

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