Belarus President meets with talented youth

    Talented people should be in demand in their homeland, President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with gifted school and university students, best representatives of the talented youth on 28 May.

    “While identifying development priorities, we emphasized talent and intellect. Our neighbors have just started working on national schemes to discover and support young hopefuls, while Belarus has been running such a system for the second decade already,” the President said. He added: “On the eve of our meeting I instructed a group of specialists to study the databanks of gifted young people. The results are sad,” the President said.

    The head of state reminded that years ago he had ordered to set up a databank of talented young people in a bid to help them fulfill themselves in Belarus. Education Minister Sergei Maskevich who attended the meeting said that today the databank features over 5,500 names. “How many of these 5,500 people work in our country? I am sure nobody knows exactly. This means that unfortunately the state and those people, members of the government who were responsible for that, are doing a bad job. We will rectify it,” the President said.

    “The government cannot afford squandering the best it has – the talent,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.

    The President noted that not only financial resources are invested in young talents. “Do not think that your achievements are only your credit. You owe your successes to your teachers and parents. They laid a foundation for your achievements, cultivated your talents and gifts,” he added.

    “The fact that school education is free and talented university students do not pay anything, either, does not mean that education is free per se. The government pays a lot for it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “We stand together: our society, parents, teachers and the state. We all support talents. I am convinced that not a single gifted or talented young person is left behind in our country. We have come up with a system enabling each of you to fulfill yourself regardless of your family background. Your talent will be acknowledged,” the head of state said. He emphasized that talented people should find their place in their homeland first of all. “We have found you, discovered and nurtured your talent, then why cannot we use your talent for the benefit of our country? If someone chooses to go abroad, go ahead, but the state should also gain from it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “I was told that young people who went to university abroad and majored in the disciplines that our universities do not teach are unable to return home and get a job because of unresolved issues with diplomas. If a good specialist wants to come and work here, does it matter which kind of diploma he has?” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    Addressing the meeting participants, the head of state noted that many winners and fellows of the special funds of the President have already been recognized. Some of them became scientists, professionals, artists. Some gained international fame.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko expects the energy of the young to give a new impetus to the development of Belarusian art. “Today it is important not only to preserve the traditions but also to create the cultural identity of our epoch, encourage contemporary artistic trends, provide young people with creative freedom and recognize their right to their own view of the world,” the head of state said.

    The talents are needed not only in science and art but also in public life. “The state supports children's and youth associations that help educate young leaders with an active civil position who will be responsible for our country in the future," the President emphasized.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed a special word of thanks to teachers: "We owe respect to anyone who knows how to turn a spark in young hearts into the flame of creativity.”

    Addressing the students, the President stressed: “Talent is responsible for one or two per cent of success, the rest is very hard work".

    The President spoke about the secret behind success at Eurovision. Many believe that it includes a talented performer, a good entry and a good show, as well as promotion efforts in mass media and the Internet.

    The head of state noted that next year the focus will be made on performance. “We need to make a good show, choose a unique artist who will be able to wow the jury; and then the European audience will judge itself for its judgment. If we lose, we need to lose with dignity. We wasted a lot of money and got a zero result,” the President said.

    “We need to change the approach to the contest dramatically. It should not be the responsibility of just one TV channel. There should be some higher authority in the Culture Ministry; we need to involve the both TV channels; both of them are run by the state. They need to make money and invest it. Plus sponsors. They need to make a good project,” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko wished the participants every success.