Government Bodies
Flag Sunday, 1 October 2023
Minsk Overcast sky +10°C
All news
All news
15 March 2023, 14:42

Belarusian school students told where civic engagement, patriotism begin

MINSK, 15 March (BelTA) – Civic engagement and patriotism begin with relations in one's family, respect and love for friends and kindred people, with the understanding of one's responsibility before them. Head of the Belarus President Administration Igor Sergeyenko made the statement as he met with young Belarusians as part of the nationwide campaign “We are citizens of Belarus!” on the occasion of Constitution Day, BelTA has learned.

Igor Sergeyenko said: “Then you gradually start to get the feeling of understanding your native country, of which we should and can be proud.” The official emphasized that connectedness to the native country also begins with the knowledge of the country's history.

Igor Sergeyenko described Constitution Day as one of the main state holidays. It is deeply symbolical that Belarus' updated Constitution came into effect on this day, exactly one year ago. “It is aimed into the future. A Constitution for the entire Belarusian nation. A Constitution for you. You will have to live by it as you become adults, as you set out to achieve new accomplishments and create,” the official told young Belarusians.

It is deeply symbolical that school students get their passports as citizens of the Republic of Belarus on this day. Their passports come with rights and obligations. Including responsibility before their country and before the place where they grew up. “It is not simply a document. It is an event in the life of every person, a certain step into the adult life, the beginning of establishment of the person, the person's further growth,” the official said.

“All the conditions for the development of young people have been enabled in the country. All the opportunities are available for self-realization,” Igor Sergeyenko noted.

The official also informed the kids about today's complicated situation around Belarus, about the pressure the country has to deal with, and about challenges in the information sphere. The head of the Belarus President Administration also encouraged the young Belarusians to learn how to separate lies from truth and fake news from reality.

Igor Sergeyenko is convinced that while fighting fake news it is important to act proactively, to give objective and truthful information. And quality work of mass media is important in helping people become immune to fake news. The official pointed out that a lot has been done recently in this regard. Belarusian publications, TV channels have started working rather actively while using various forms for information delivery. “Attempts to dodge problems or hush up things don't benefit us. They shape some negative perception,” he said. “We should find positive things in our actions and our life. Moreover, there are many more positive things [than negative ones]. We have to preserve what we have now. What has been created and secured by parents and grandparents.”

The young Belarusians also asked the head of the Belarus President Administration a number of questions they were interested in. One of them touched upon the youth subculture Private Military Company Redan and how one can resist such destructive influences.

Igor Sergeyenko pointed out that the public and political situation in Belarus is stable but such challenges sometimes arise, including those originating from the Internet. Young people can be particularly susceptible to the influence of such ideas. This is why parental advice, work of pedagogues as well as active young people are important in this regard. “It is understandable that it is necessary to respond to such things in order to get rid of them. In order to explain that people shouldn't do such things. Pedagogues, parents, active assets should take care of it,” the official said. “Various destructive ideas take root where your and our influence and attention are missing for some reason. When those teenagers were interviewed, many could not explain why they had come to the place. They had to deal with repercussions as a result.”

Another question mentioned participants of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and what could be learned from that generation. Igor Sergeyenko said that one can make conclusions about those events and people by reading archive documents among other sources. The documents include diaries of soldiers and bulletin-board newspapers of partisan forces. “Their feeling of the Motherland, of responsibility may have been higher and greater than ours today. And their daily lives were much worse. But the need to learn, to work not for oneself but for the sake of the country may have been greater. People seemed ordinary enough. And yet they were extraordinary. People 14 and 18 years old committed heroic deeds,” Igor Sergeyenko noted.

The official pointed out that people of all ages and the entire country went to war back then. But young people aged 20-30 were the main force that won the war on the frontlines.

“I cannot say that we are worse or that we don't deserve the memory of that heroic deed. I can't. But you should simply strive towards that with concrete actions and deeds,” Igor Sergeyenko stressed.

The conversation also mentioned the significance of youth public organizations, which shape personalities and get people engaged in social activism.

The kids asked the head of the Belarus President Administration how they can glorify and develop Belarus at a young age. “By studying hard. So that later on you could achieve genuine concrete success in your line of work,” Igor Sergeyenko said.

In his words, active participation in the public and political life, participation in various projects and contests also glorifies Belarus. Some high-level heroic deeds are rewarded by the state with orders and medals. But everyone's contribution to studying and culture, to public life is also important. Moreover, people, who commit heroic deeds, often tend to be rather modest in everyday life and simply do their jobs, which turn out to be heroics. But there is space for heroic deeds in everyone's life, Igor Sergeyenko is convinced. Heroic deeds can be accomplished by overcoming one's own laziness and passivity in reaching high goals.

“Today we talk a lot about active civic stance, about what goals we should aim for, and how we should prepare for it. Yes, studying hard is your main responsibility today. Parents and teachers tell you about it. But simply studying is not enough today. Today one should constantly expand their horizons in order to better understand what is going on, get to the bottom of what is happening in our life and around Belarus. Preserve peace. Everything is being done in our country for that. Your schools and your parents' home are your battlefield now. You should take care of your parents, shouldn't make your teachers nervous, and should find some compromise solutions,” the Belarus President Administration head stressed.

Igor Sergeyenko shared some personal stories with the kids. For instance, he recalled how he received his first passport. He also informed those present about how members of his family had participated in the Great Patriotic War. Recent changes in university admission rules were discussed. The changes are supposed to let the most capable and talented kids to go to university.

Studying does not end upon school graduation. A person has to grow and improve during their entire life, Igor Sergeyenko stressed. When asked about his life values, he mentioned patriotism, diligence, the feeling of responsibility before his native place, his country, his friends and colleagues one cannot fail.

In conclusion of the conversation with the kids a ceremony took place to present passports to the young citizens of Belarus. As many as 20 school students were granted the honor of taking this important document from hands of the Belarus President Administration head. They had excelled in studies and public life. A total of about 70 students took part in the meeting. The most active participants of the conversation received commemorative gifts. Once the official part was over, the kids surrounded Igor Sergeyenko and talked to him about various topics for a long time. Commemorative photos were taken.

Participants of the meeting also had a chance to see works submitted for the patriotic drawing contest “Khatyn in eyes of kids”. The contest had been organized in anticipation of the 80th anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy.

Subscribe to us
Recent news from Belarus