Visit to boarding school of general education No. 13 in Minsk

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The state should do its best to prevent the marginalization of children with special needs in the society, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the visit to boarding school of general education No. 13 for hearing-impaired children in Minsk on 1 September.

“I have visited such schools many times. But today I have realized that you are not people with disabilities. You are just like us, only a bit different from us. However, having seen what you can do, I doubt that there is any difference. The main thing is that you communicate with teachers and other students freely,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Certainly, we are concerned what way in life you will choose later on and how your destiny will unfold. I promise you are not going to have problems with it. We have agreed that the government will once again look into the problem of employment so that all of you could find your place in life, so that you could work and earn a living for yourself and your children,” the President stressed.

The President said that sometimes companies are unwilling to take on young people with special needs. “I have not been told specific facts but I am told such things happen. We will surely find and remove these barriers. Because we cannot but support you, who so strongly aspire to become part of this life,” the Belarusian leader noted.

In the boarding school the President was informed about the preparedness of educational institutions for the new academic year and the development of special needs education in Belarus.

According to the President, he does not think that teaching is a lowly or boring profession. “Teaching is the most interesting work. School teachers have more freedom,” the head of state said. “Blue-collar workers have to work full day. Although teachers spend 4-5 hours at school, mark students’ works, and prepare for the next day, they still have more time for creativity and self-fulfillment.”

At the same time, the President deems it necessary to raise teachers’ salaries using the reserves of the education system. “Within a certain period of time it is necessary to increase teachers’ salaries by at least one fourth. And then, I am convinced, no one will quit the job, even those who do not think that it is their vocation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “We have agreed that the government will take measures, therefore, let’s try to increase teachers’ salaries within a short period of time. But the main requirement is to optimize the entire system of education, from the Education Ministry to schools, without doing harm to children.”

The head of state also attended the Knowledge Day concert featuring the children’s mime theater Sputnik and the studio of signed songs Talking Hands. After the concert the students of the boarding school gave a present to Aleksandr Lukashenko.

First-grade students received books Belarus Is Our Motherland from the President. The head of state also gave a present to the boarding school: a multi-purpose clickable board with special educational software for hearing-impaired children made by OAO Horizont.