26 May 2020, Tuesday, 10:52
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Belarusians Demand to Cancel High School Graduation

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Belarusians Demand to Cancel High School Graduation
Photo: kp.by

Jauhenia Pasternak initiated the petition.

Writer Jauhenia Pasternak, the mother of a ninth-grader, issued an open letter to the Ministry of Education, reports Euroradio.

She accuses the ministry of inaction during the coronavirus epidemic: "It's a pity that a black hole replaced you under the influence of coronavirus. Not a single decision is made in time. It raises the feeling of helplessness. All our neighbours have switched to distance learning. Belarus is the only country that did not do it; not because it is better. It happened because of the inability of the ministry to do anything".

Pasternak believes that the Ministry of Education lies when it reports 40% of children attend schools. "You can report as much as you like, but parents are not fools to believe in this 40 %. We have acquaintances and friends; children go to different schools. One can't hide the real situation, even if one keeps silence. Parents will learn that ten teachers have pneumonia and stay in hospital. Parents know it. They know how many children are infected. They know how many teachers are sick. They know first-level contacts. They know that children and teenagers usually carry COVID19 without symptoms. Parents are sick, the child has a positive test, but no symptoms are observed," she states.

According to the writer, graduation testing may contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

Jauhenia Pasternak and tutor Jauhen Liviant appeal to Aliaksandr Lukashenka with four proposals:

1. to cancel the high school graduation;

2. to postpone enrollment testing and hold it no earlier than 1 August 2020. In any case, do not hold the exams until Belarus makes through the height of coronavirus infection;

3. to organize full-time or distance classes in schools, gymnasiums and lyceums before the next academic year begins. During these classes, schoolchildren could learn or repeat the material of the last quarter of the academic year;

4. to initiate urgent amendments to the legislation to legalise distance learning and testing.