MINSK, 29 June (BelTA) – It is necessary to work out new university admission rules before the next admission campaign begins. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with prominent Belarusian pedagogues on 29 June, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “People have argued a lot about the accessibility of education in Belarus. I am surprised that some politicians, who received university education for free in the past, now speak in favor of only fee-based education. It means that kids from blue-collar worker families, talented and smart kids though, will not be able to afford university education. The way many countries follow by separating the society into the elite and the working class, into those, who have the privilege of university education and those, who don't, doesn't suit us.”
“You know my point of view. Anyone, even people from the back of beyond, can become a university student in Belarus if he or she has the knowledge and the will to learn. The system of university admission exams should live up to this principle. The university needs to properly see the person inside the potential students instead of results of school graduation tests. The education minister has been instructed to look into the matter,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that as a university professor he knows very well what it feels like to talk to someone face to face. “I should say that with the system for testing potential students of the country's best universities we cut off hardworking and capable youngsters, whose parents, frankly speaking, are not part of the country's elite. Such kids don't have businessmen as parents and a lot of money… The system itself prevents kids from, let's say, rural schools from entering a university because teaching standards over there are still a bit lower than those in major cities, in Minsk. Where tutoring to gain additional knowledge is unavailable,” the president believes.
“Don't think that all the university professors take bribes and what not… After all, they are patriots just like we said at the beginning. So if they are patriots, they should and they can see the future genuine citizens in potential students. We don't see that if we use only standard tests despite the system's positive qualities. This is why the Education Ministry has been instructed to work out new university admission rules by the next admission campaign by borrowing the best traits of the previous university admission system, by borrowing the best traits of the school graduation testing system,” the head of state stated.
Aleksandr Lukashenko added that certainly the suggested novelties will be widely discussed. “Instructions have been given to do this work as part of the work on the Education Code. It has to be done as soon as possible,” he concluded.