Education in the Republic of Belarus
Education in the Republic of Belarus is about teaching and learning in the interests of the individual, the society and the state. It seeks to nurture talents and build skills across various professions and industries.
Belarus’ education policy is based on the following principles:
- public participation and co-operative management of the education system;
- a fair and equal access to education;
- high-quality education for all.
Belarus ranks 9th out of 149 countries worldwide in the “Access to Basic Knowledge” indicator in the 2019 Social Progress Index.
The adult literacy rate in Belarus has always been among the highest in the world. Now it stands at 99.7%. Some 98% of people have attended primary and secondary schools and vocational colleges. Belarus is on par with the world’s most advanced countries in terms of primary and secondary school enrollment ratios. In recent years about 5% of GDP has been spent on education, which is about the same as in developed European countries.
The education system encompasses general education, continuing education and special needs education. All in all, there are more than 8,000 educational institutions providing general education, continuing education and special needs education in Belarus. They have about 3 million students and employ over 400,000 people (one in 10 of Belarus’ workforce).
General education includes pre-school education, secondary education, secondary vocational education, post-secondary vocational education, higher learning and post-graduate education. Extracurricular activities are divided into extracurricular programs for children, youth and adults.
This classification of education is in conformity with the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011). Thus, the country is implementing the principle of lifelong learning.
However, after joining the Bologna Process, Belarus did not abandon the best practices of the Soviet education system (internationality, state support, accessibility and affordability, stability, ability to adapt to current social and economic needs).
The education system is financed mostly by public funds, which is viewed as the country’s investment in human capital.
The Education Code of the Republic of Belarus came into force on 1 September 2011. This document can be viewed as a single and comprehensive mechanism to regulate the education system. It was designed to encapsulate and align all related legal norms and provide complete codification of the education-related laws. A new version of the Education Code has been drafted taking into consideration ongoing and planned changes in the education system.
It is important that the education laws of Belarus are in sync with social and economic development plans of our country, the Belarus-Russia Union State, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Belarus’ education system incorporates education and upbringing that prioritizes love and respect for the Fatherland, people, language, culture, traditions and customs of Belarus.
Education based on sustainable development principles offers every person an opportunity to make their lives and the lives of the entire society better.