Belarusian education and Russia’s presence in it 

Belarusian education and Russia’s presence in it
Фото: Unsplash / JOSHUA COLEMAN

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  1. General trends of October

General trends of October

In October 2023, as a month earlier, the process of active interaction between the two education systems of Russia and Belarus continued in the sphere of general secondary education, higher education, science, youth policy and patriotic education. Further, we’d like to focus on the key moments that took place in October 2023.

  1. Results of the Union State Forum “Russia and Belarus: common history, common destiny.”

More details about the forum were described in another document. Here we would like to draw attention to the official results and the forum’s resolution on further action by the two countries:

  • Intensification of cooperation between academic institutions of Belarus and Russia through the Interacademy Council for the development of the Union State.
  • Countering attempts of external players to falsify the common history of Belarus and Russia.
  • Development of joint prospective research, museum and educational projects to preserve historical memory.
  • Development of joint textbooks for higher education institutions and secondary schools and their implementation in the educational process of Belarus and Russia.
  • Formation of Belarusian-Russian working groups to conduct research on history and prepare joint textbooks for higher education institutions and secondary schools.
  • Preparing interactive educational projects for students.
  • Creation of an open online library of scientific works on the common history of Belarus and Russia.
  • Holding joint scientific and educational events (festivals, dialogue platforms, olympiads for school and university students)
  • Implementation of joint activities aimed at preserving the memory of destroyed monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators in the countries neighboring Belarus and Russia.

At the time of writing this monitoring report, active interaction has already started on some issues, which will be reported in the November issue of the monitoring. 

  1. Continuation and strengthening of Rossotrudnichestvo’s active work with future university entrants.

During the reported month, there was a noticeable intensification of work, especially informational one, on the topic of entrance to Russian universities.

In October, the Russian House in Minsk created its channel on TikTok. At the time of writing this monitoring report, the channel has 17 videos. All of them are in one way or another dedicated to the popularization of entering Russian universities (programs, conditions, etc.). Another way of attracting attention to the opportunities of entering Russian universities was several videoconferences held by the consultants of Russian Houses in Belarus for Belarusian university entrants. Information about them is contained in the main text of the monitoring.

  1. Convention of student patriotic associations of the Union State.

At the end of October, a convention of patriotic associations of the Union State was held in Tver and Rzhev. The main outcome of this event was the development of a plan of joint patriotic activities of the two countries for 2024. The proposals include:

  • Public forum of young families “One state – one family” — an interstate expedition on preservation and popularization of common cultural heritage.
  • Student journalism school “Voices of patriots” at Belarusian-Russian Slavic University.

In addition to representatives of patriotic organizations of the two countries, officials of structures and departments implementing youth policy in Russia and Belarus participated in the convention, which indicates its high status.

  1. Intensification of work of the Russian House in Homiel.

In early October, the Russian House in Homiel was headed by a new head (diplomat and lawyer) Olga Boronenko. It should be noted that during the month of her work as the head of the Russian House in Homiel, there was a sharp intensification of work in all areas, including media. On October 4, she was interviewed in a local online media outlet.

Only in October, the new head met with Pavel Starosvetski, the head of the Sports and Tourism Department of the Homiel Regional Executive Committee, Vasily Levkutnik and Olga Shchemoreva, the administration of the BRSM city committee, Viktor Akulenko, the rector of Homiel Regional Institute of Education Development, Natalya Mamrukova, the deputy chairman of the Homiel Belaya Rus organization, Irina Pyrkova, the general director of the Homiel Palace and Park Complex, museum director Oksana Toropova and chief curator of the funds Tatiana Shoda, Aleksei Talai, a public figure, speaker, paralympian, the founder of the charitable foundation, director of Homiel airport Vladimir Chereukhin, Igor Poluyan, the head of the Sports and Tourism Department of the Homiel City Executive Committee, Vitaly Savchits, the director of the Children’s and Youth Sports School for Chess No.3, Archbishop Stefan of Homiel and Zhlobin.

All meetings were held in less than 4 weeks, which tells us about a new approach to building relationships between the Russian House in Homiel and local authorities and other actors, including: local officials, heads of public associations, sports organizations, institutions of higher and general secondary education, heads of religious organizations. At all meetings, preliminary plans for cooperation with the Russian House were established. It is obvious that Russian Houses in general are beginning to acquire a new, higher status in regions. Therefore, we expect the influence of these organizations to grow.

  1. Strengthening influence and presence in general secondary education

On October 31, the first educational event of the Open Education Center of the Ministry of Education of Russia was held in Minsk at the Russian House in Minsk. The realization of this project (which will be long-term) became possible within the framework of the signed agreement between Tolstoy Tula State Pedagogical University and the Rossotrudnichestvo representative office in Belarus. The main audience to be targeted by the project are school teachers, methodologists, and students themselves. The project will include:

  • Courses
  • Methodological events
  • Pedagogical workshops
  • Trainings
  • Business games, etc.
  1. Intensification of work of the Association of Schools of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus

In the new 2023-2024 academic year, the activity of this association has increased significantly. In October, the number of schools that are members of this association increased to 200, including 75 from Belarus. Representatives of the association took part in the Union State Forum “Russia and Belarus: common history, common destiny.” In addition, on October 9, the annual general meeting of members of the Association of Schools of Russia and Belarus was held in Smolensk, where plans and projects to be implemented in the current academic year were discussed.

The trend towards rapprochement and closer cooperation between the two countries at the level of general secondary education is becoming more and more evident

The task of this monitoring is to study and analyze the main events that took place in the education system of Belarus and its interaction with the Russian education system. For the research, we monitored resources of pro-Russian organizations in Belarus, official sources of the Ministry of Education of Belarus, state organizations that are engaged in educational policy.

You can read the entire monitoring by following the link or download it here.

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