Belarusian education should anticipate the needs of the economy, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he visited the Minsk State Auto-Mechanical College named after academician M.S. Vysotsky on 1 September.
Alexander Lukashenko took part in the celebration of Knowledge Day in the college. “The beginning of the academic year always brings new hopes, opportunities, and discoveries. This day is especially important for first-year students. A bright, interesting, and very responsible period is ahead of you. You have already made your first serious step in life when have chosen a true blue-collar job,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
“The main resource of any company is not the equipment whatever advanced it can be. The major resource is people. Specialists will never be left on the sidelines. They will always be in demand. The demand for such specialists will continue growing. Today more young people understand that vocational education is prestigious and has prospects. Every year more than one third of school leavers choose lyceums and colleges as the first step of their professional career. All necessary conditions for it have been created,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko cited the Minsk State Auto-Mechanical College as an example. The educational institution has state-of-the-art laboratories, an autodrome, and a maintenance station. An estimated 24,000 people have received education in the college so far. “24,000 is a huge number. Many of the graduates have become production managers, scientists, highly-qualified specialists in mechanical engineering and prominent state figures,” the President said.
According to the head of state, it was decided at the Nationwide Conference on Teaching that the priority in the enrolment to universities will be given to graduates of vocational and secondary special educational institutions, to those who already tried their hand in the future profession. “Go through this stage of your education. If you like to study at the university, you will have such an advantage,” he said.
Alexander Lukashenko said that perhaps the role of a working man is played down in the society while vocational colleges are considered to be less prestigious in comparison with universities. “You listen and stay calm. In order to master a blue-collar profession one needs to have a talent and be smart. Remember you will never have such a period in your life in the future. If you, choosing this profession, do not do what you need to, tomorrow will be too late. You will waste you time in this case. Since you came here to earn a great name of a working man, do your best to achieve it every day, every hour and hold you heads up as you are truly working people who work for the benefit of our country,” the President said addressing the students of the college.
The head of state stressed that Belarusian education should anticipate the needs of the economy. It is needed to train in-demand specialists. “Our country can be a success in terms of tough competition only if it uses all intellectual resources to develop high-tech, science-intensive, and innovative branches,” Alexander Lukashenko is convinced.
According to the President, it is vitally important to train highly-qualified specialists for such industries as construction, processing industry, and mechanical engineering. “These are promising industries, and we will develop them. It means that you will be in demand. We do not need just manpower, we need skilled workers who will do their best to make components, units, mechanisms – competitive products of tomorrow,” the President said.
Alexander Lukashenko added that he had recently seen a new Polesye harvester. “This is good equipment, it is as good as foreign analogues. But we do not want these machines to be as good as foreign ones, we want them to be better than foreign equipment. We want a super harvester! And an ultra-modern super truck, a tractor, an electric car. Our designers have good ideas, and skilled and devoted people are needed to bring them to life,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.
Vocational training plays a leading role in the training of such specialists. “We view it as a school of formation of a professional, a citizen, a patriot. Working people cherish the achievements of their colleagues, enterprises, the entire country more than anybody else. They value peace and accord because working people are not criminals, they need peace and accord for work. Every day they use their best skills and talent to create the national wealth. I am convinced that your abilities, diligence and perseverance will be focused on creation,” the President said.
The main objectives for teachers are to train good specialists, to bring up a harmonious personally, a true working man, the head of state stressed. “This is a noble mission, hard work, and big responsibility at the same time. By teaching youth, you are laying the foundations of the future of our country. The best award for teachers is the success of their students. I am convinced that your experience, enthusiasm, and zeal for self-improvement will be a good example for the younger generation,” the Belarusian leader concluded.
Alexander Lukashenko wished the students of the college a productive and eventful academic year. He also wished its teachers to have more reasons to be proud of the achievements of their students.
The head of state was also made familiar with the physical infrastructure and the way the education process in the college is organized. The President took a look at the resource center for training automobile mechanics.
He was told that the network of Belarusian vocational schools is being optimized. At present vocational education is available from various institutions such as standalone colleges, colleges operating as part of a university, vocational lyceums, and other ones. There are plans to add vocational colleges to the system. The work to that effect proceeds in a systemic and consistent manner. Let’s do it properly, the head of state said as he approved of the idea.
Alexander Lukashenko also pointed out that it is necessary to make the practical part of the education process in vocational schools more prominent. “The guys and girls should see where and how they are going to work after graduation,” he said.
The participation of Belarusian specialists in WorldSkills championships was mentioned. Participation allows studying new technologies and assimilating them into education and manufacturing. The Belarusian team is now getting ready to participate in the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 championship, which will take place in October. Alexander Lukashenko noted he would like the team to win such competitions more frequently since blue-collar professions had been developing in the country for a long time. “I thought we easily win such competitions every time but it turns out things are different,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
While on a tour of the diagnostics lab where the students are supposed to study the design of popular electric cars, the President asked the college’s professors whether developing the electric car industry in Belarus was promising. He received a positive answer. Alexander Lukashenko talked to the professors to discuss in detail the operation principles of electric cars, their technical parameters, advantages and capabilities. After that he said he would like the best specialists of the college to take part in the development of the Belarusian electric car. The head of state said he would like the car to be reliable and safe without having to get it repaired every year. “You’ve convinced me that we should make a good electric car for people to drive in the city or go to the country house,” he said.
The President instructed heads of the relevant government agencies to step up efforts to develop this kind of transport. “Before the nuclear power plant goes online, we should have our consumers and definitely the infrastructure,” the head of state stressed.