Vladimir Makey calls for a Public Advisory Council meeting

April 22, 2016 17:48

Vladimir Makey makes attempts to revive the status of the Presidential Administration and himself personally as of the main strategic coordinator of the state policy of Belarus. The PAC’s role in the domestic policy of Belarus is minimal therefore Makey can only count on the PR effect.

A meeting of the Public Advisory Council under the auspices of the Presidential Administration has been scheduled to take place in the third decade of September.

Comment

Vladimir Makey makes attempts to revive the status of the Presidential Administration and himself personally as of the main strategic coordinator of the state policy of Belarus. The PAC’s role in the domestic policy of Belarus is minimal therefore Makey can only count on the PR effect.

Apart from personal interest of Vladimir Makey, who needs to restore the lost confidence of the president, the only real meaning of the PAC is image-making. Thereby the Presidential Administration intends to keep the idea of internal political dialogue and of a “round table” in the focus of attention of the international community. In the meanwhile the Belarusian President has little interest in organization of a round table however in terms of propaganda this idea has short-term positive effects, e.g. it creates a positive image of the Belarusian leadership on the eve of talks with the IMF mission.

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Belarusian authorities attempt to depoliticise education system
August 21, 2017 10:55
Image: TUT.BY

The Belarusian authorities are attempting to strengthen some elements of the ‘Soviet’ education to ensure the ideological loyalty of new generations to the state. Most likely, one of the major tasks of the educational reform is to prevent growing discontent with the existing education system among the population. The educational reform aims to strengthen centralisation and adjust the system to the needs of the public sector.

In Belarus, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Ministry of Economy would determine the university enrolment figures.

The Belarusian authorities do not seem to have a long-term vision of the educational reform. The education system changes depending on who leads the Education Ministry and has access to President Lukashenka. For instance, former head of pro-government communist party and Education Minister Igor Karpenko reintroduced some "Soviet" elements to the school and strengthened ideological components along with the de-politicisation of the curricula. Current generation of students and youth have not spoken against the authorities, unlike previous generations raised during the Gorbachev thaw and socio-political transformations of the 1990s.

In addition, the Belarusian authorities are attempting to adopt measures aiming to prevent discontent among the population with the Belarusian education system. The authorities are mobilizing those nostalgic for the USSR and propose to return to 5-marks grading system, school uniforms and reduced curriculum. The Belarusian leadership also aims to blur the growing social stratification in society and to relax social tension due to the growing income gap between the richest and poorest.

Should the authorities adopt plans to reduce university enrolment, they would re-certify universities in order to close some of them and would reduce competition from private educational institutions. The Belarusian leadership is attempting to adjust the education system to the needs of the real economy, to reduce pressure on the labour market and to cut government spending on higher education for specialists low in demand by replacing them with graduates of secondary vocational schools requiring less time to train.