16 July 2018, Monday, 21:23

Anti-Utopia and Antivirus

Iryna Khalip

The regime stepped over all borders of absurd.

The end of the summer is a surly season. Vacation of students and school children is about to end, their parents waste money, and graduates have to go to their places and start working for the government. It taught you, and now you're in the red. It will find you anyway and will force you. Don't even start playing cat-and-mouse, you'll lose anyway.

In the old Soviet times, when education was free, and placement was compulsory, there was a popular joke: "Undergrads always have a passport with them, in case someone makes a proposal." Marriage then was a guarantee of diplomas without a job offer. Now it is not. You must think about the state first, and then about marriage. Marriage is no placement. But this year the state has outdone itself. It revoke diploma without a job offer, although it issued them.

Here is a group of graduates of the Department of Journalism. 19 of those with free education received diplomas without a job offer in April. They got no placement due to various reasons: for example, one was a disabled person, the other takes care of his disabled father. It does not matter, in general, these are mostly family circumstances and health state. But they have recently been asked to the university and demanded to hand over these damn leaflets. Diplomas without a job offer, they say, are abandoned and you are subject to placement now. Those who don't agree must pay out all costs for free education. Applications from private companies, of course, are not considered and are not accepted.

All questions "why?, how is this possible? it was your decision to give us such diplomas!" have the following explanation: on June 1 Deputy Prime Minister Vasil Zharko revived after a good celebration of the Farewell Bell and invented a 100% job placement for graduates, because he saw it in his short broken sleep. While the order slowly marched along the corridors of the Council of Ministers, and reached the Ministry of Education, while letters were written and distributed to all domestic universities, graduates managed to get diplomas. And now they are caught all over the country in order to place in hindsight. Disabled father? You're a disabled person? Sorry, guy, but the government does not care. Everyone is subject to forced placement, Zharko invented it for some reason.

As a result, a graduate with journalist's diploma has an employment record book with "engineer" written in it. To work for 50 rubles a month. You will, they say, install antivirus software. It takes five years and much money for the government to make journalists install antivirus software. Ш can imagine what the educational process will turn into with these antiviruses.

A few former students got a place at the Department of Journalism at once. The others are still threatened with the "Meditsinsky Vestnik". That is, the clinical aspect of the "Meditsinsky Vestnik" is clear: graduates with diplomas without a job offer should be placed somewhere, because Zharko had a dream on the first summer night. But it cannot be done and departments employ a dozen of graduates on one position to fulfill the order. Then they report: we have 100% employment. And, of course, no one will say: I'm sorry, Mr. Zharko, but while you were writing your instructions, our graduates received diplomas and flew to Mars. Those with worse marks flew to the moon. And we can't travel the Universe to catch them, we have no authority and money. If you want, do it on your own. Pursue them and take their diplomas back. And we will not engage in this mess and share money offered them between us.

It is unlikely that any Joe Bloggs of a free world will be able to understand the attitude of the Belarusian state to students who get education "for free". It treats them as if only stupid and untalented people can study for free, those who will never find a good job on their own and only the state can help them. It somehow cannot realize in any way that the state-subsidized education is available for those with better grades. And it is done not due to the state's grace. They did not ask anyone, prostrated themselves before ministries and rectors. So why does the state think that they owe to it? There is the one answer: the state is both criminal and mentally retarded.

Applicants who passed with flying colors can expect a grant for education almost at all western universities. No one pursues them later and cries "we taught you at our own expense and now you must work for us!". For some reason they understand that a talented university graduate will benefit humanity, regardless of the state he will build his career in. Our state does not even understand that a young specialist who has found a highly paid job on his own will pay much more taxes than an engineer with a journalist's diploma working at a quarter rate, and will sooner compensate the state money spent on his education. And they refuse to see the laws: a graduate with the escape intension will run away anyway. One can write a book of these methods.

By the way, a couple of years ago I came across "Questions and answers" about the placement on one of educational sites. A leading HR business partner of the State Institute of Management and Social Technologies of the Belarusian State University Daria Karneyevets answered questions. A girl wrote that she was taking a state-funded education, but she was about to marry a citizen of Poland and leave. The leading HR business partner said: "Marriage with foreigner is not a ground for a diploma without a job offer." That is, let the citizen of Poland open his purse and redeem his bonded fiancée. And if one is a pauper, let him wait unless his fiancée work for the government. Another graduate writes that she is placed to another city, and asks if she should be provided with housing for this period. The leading specialist says "No". Provision of housing for a young specialist is a right, but not an obligation of an employer.

Well, what other questions to state-employer? It has no obligations, only rights. But young specialists have only obligations, no rights. As in a fairy tale - that's how we are going to share the crops!

This is not a fairy tale, but the reality. More precisely, it's anti-utopia. Many of us do not notice that they have been living for a long time within limits of one literary genre. Those who resist meet Big Brother in the uniform. Those who don't, they suffer neglect to their own. And there is no other way out but the Square.

Iryna Khalip for Charter97.org