Belarusian schools receiving new curricula

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With about a month to go before
the start of the new school year, most Belarusian schools have not yet been
given new curricula following the government's decision to reintroduce 11-year
secondary education program. There is much of uncertainty among teachers.

Alena Hauryk, principal of the N89 school in Minsk, says she has not yet seen the new
curriculum. All she knows is that the school will cut English lessons and transform
profound-study classes into ordinary ones.

"I cannot say anything
because I have not yet seen the new curriculum," Hauryk told ERB. "We
are at a loss. Foreign language instruction hours will be reduced at the
primary school. In addition, 11th grade profound-study classes will
be transformed into ordinary ones."

Mikalay Hiro, principal of the N3 school in Vileyka, told parents that their
children will be able to take optional courses if they need additional lessons
to offset for reduced hours.

Some commentators estimate
that about 30,000 teachers will lose jobs as a result of the reintroduction of
the old system. Raman Dapira, deputy chairman of the Trade Union of Education
Workers, declined to comment on possible lay-offs, noting that the union will
not have any details until August 18, two weeks before the new school year.

"No estimates have been
made. We have just started contacting schools on the matter. The [union]
chairman will be in the office no earlier than August 18. He will answer all your
questions."

Alena Kisyalyova, acting principal of the N24 linguistic gymnasium, says she
received the detailed curriculum on July 23.

"We have just received
the detailed curriculum. I am receiving it now at the education office,"
she told ERB.