Belarusian schools receiving new curricula

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.