Zero officials lost the game to schoolchildren before the battle began.
A few days before September 1, information sites and friends' feeds on social networks resembled status reports from the battlefield. From the pedagogical battlefield, of course. This war has been waging for long. Enemies of the best education system in the world, the Belarusian one, dug-in on the borders with NATO; saboteurs and spies wormed themselves into confidence and were entrenched in schools. But finally the state has its all reserves mobilized and rolls up victories. Thanks to minister-communist Karpenka and, of course, to Comrade Stalin for our happy childhood.
They managed to change the schedule during the summer, because the son of the minister-communist does not get enough sleep. For decades schools have worked in the same mode, and now everything seems to be different. Although nothing has changed in particular, cunning officials have come up with "zero lessons" and junior students will have to come to school at 8 am anyway, because their parents go to work early.
A zero lesson. Gentlemen, you are zeros. As well as your education level and brains. Extending the working day both for children and teachers for an hour is as easy as pie. One just needs to write an order, put a stamp and signature and send it for the vertical! An enemy will fail to understand the moment he was cheated at.
However, they missed the school uniform this summer. There are about a million schoolchildren in Belarus, and no one dared sew several million sets of the uniform of different sized. However, they say that vests with school emblems will be bought at the expense of parents, of course.
A friend of mine, her son learns at gymnasium in Salihorsk, tells they already tried to impose it last year. Children were taken measurements. In the end of April the order was finally delivered. Of course, most of children did not fit in those vests sewn according to September measurements: "during the journey the dog could grow up." It's okay. That was a great state order covered at the expense of parents. There will be many such state orders this year, factories will work and parents will spend their money saying at the back of their mind "eat it, we will not wear it anyway".
On social networks some friends tell with bafflement about parental patrols that used to be in the air and now have become the reality and have to identify troubled homes. They also discuss more expensive school meals and new daily duty of classroom teachers to make notes about children who had a meal at school. I wonder what they will come up with to make teachers, children and parents hate each other. It seems that the degenerative fantasy has no limits.
On August 31, a traditional day of the meeting between a classroom teacher and children, I got my son into the school and was about to give a gasp of a stormy, wild and emotional life around me there. Children hugged and squealed with delight, played catch-up and fights in school corridors, there was a mingle-mangle in the middle of the yard, and the high school students giggled looking at classmates who became taller in the summer.
Do they really want to destroy this atmosphere? Oh, this is a bad idea. They lost the game before its beginning.
One can assign a personal number to each student and sew a yellow star on a sleeve, one can wear everyone in an ugly uniform, and order, prohibit and demand, kill and bury. But no dictatorship will manage to destroy the overflowing life, the first friendship that lasts forever, the first true hurt feelings and quarrels , and the first love (I will never forget the dialogue of junior students I heard by chance: "Did you fall in love with anyone?" - Just take a look at them, there is no one to fall in love with...")
Nobody and nothing can eradicate life from school. Because the corpse in the form of a communist minister, wooden soldiers-officials and a zombie-potato-digger are completely at the mercy of our children. No Spanish boot of the education system which is getting tighter is not able to ruin friendship, a passion for knowledge and a love of life in them.
No dictatorship will ruin the school, because there always will be a few teachers who think and feel the way free children do. So, you will lose this war, officials.
You'd better get involved in something useful. Catch butterflies, for example. Press flowers. Make boxes. And then you will certainly be lucky. And so will we. Especially our children.
Iryna Khalip for Charter97.org