Strengthening discipline at all levels of education applies to students, teachers, and parents.
The updates concern both general issues of improving the education system and the organization of the educational process, as well as the requirements for all participants in the process, as well as social protection and support for students and graduates, the Security Council comments.
The goal is knowledge plus competencies
The updated code proposes a different definition of education itself. Its goal is not only the versatile development of the student’s personality, but also the formation of his competencies, which are understood as the ability to carry out activities in accordance with the education received.
Taking into account the directions of the country’s further development, the principles of state policy in the field of education are supplemented by inclusion in education and the obligatory nature of general secondary education.
The code fixes the normative financing of state educational institutions, which has shown its effectiveness in the course of experiments. In order to streamline the work of private institutions of preschool and general secondary education, it is possible to finance part of the costs of such institutions at the expense of the republican and local budgets in the manner determined by the Government.
In order to avoid misleading the population, a ban is provided for the use of the names “kindergarten”, “school”, “gymnasium”, “lyceum”, “college”, “college”, “university” in the names of legal entities that are not educational institutions, “Institute”, “Academy”, unless otherwise provided by legislative acts.
No naming confusion
To solve the problem of enrolling children in the first grade, admission will be carried out when they reach the age of six at the beginning of the school year. The duration of the academic year has been changed – from September 1 to August 31 (in the previous version of the code – from September 1 to June 1).
For unloading, it is possible to conduct extracurricular activities on the sixth school day with students of grades V-XI. Now they are held only in IX-XI classes.
The term for obtaining vocational education has been shortened: on the basis of general secondary full-time education, it will be from six months to one year (now – from one to two years).
The existing types of educational institutions have been reduced and optimized. For example, a nursery, a nursery-kindergarten, a kindergarten will now be called the same – a kindergarten. Their number does not change, only the names are ordered. A single name for institutions of vocational and secondary specialized education is being introduced – college. There are three types of universities left: institute, academy (conservatory), university.
At the same time, the structure of higher education underwent a change. Universities will provide general higher education (4-4.5 years – bachelor’s degree with the qualification and degree “bachelor”), in-depth higher education (1-2 years – master’s program aimed at training specialists for the scientific and innovative sphere and the education system with a master’s degree). For the most complex specialties (training of doctors, specialists for nuclear power, etc.), a continuous educational program is provided for a period of study of 5-6 years.
Discipline and responsibility
It provides for the termination of educational relations with students who are brought to administrative responsibility for a single commission of a gross administrative offense or brought to criminal responsibility. Students who do not attend classes according to their schedule may be charged a fee for conducting repeat classes outside the study group and for the elimination of academic debt.
A provision is introduced on the reimbursement to the budget of funds spent by the state on the training of a highly qualified research worker, specialist, worker, serving organizations – customers of personnel (in the event of an unreasonable refusal to hire a graduate) and employers (in the event of an illegal dismissal of a young specialist).
The concept of “conflict of interests of a teacher” was introduced into the code. This is a situation when the teacher has an interest in obtaining some benefit, contrary to the interests of students or their parents. For example, if the student failed to master the topic in the lesson, and instead of supporting classes, the teacher offers his services as a tutor.
Goals, objectives, basic requirements for education have not changed significantly. However, certain provisions have been updated, the functions of teachers and parents in this area have been clarified. Thus, the duties of parents include ensuring that their children comply with the requirements of constituent documents and internal regulations for students.
The draft law gives parents the right to receive information about the course and content of the educational process, methods of education and upbringing, the results of their children’s studies, but in the manner determined by the head of the educational institution with the participation of a self-government body, which includes persons from among the legal representatives of students.
Social protection and support
Particular attention in the Code is paid to the social protection of students and graduates. The current rules have been updated. Thus, graduates who studied on a paid basis and applied for a job offer will be granted the status of a young specialist.
Employment is introduced on account of the reservation for children of the orphan category and persons with special needs of psychophysical development who have received professional education. Such graduates, together with a document on education, will be issued a certificate of employment at a reserved workplace.
Local executive and administrative bodies and other founders have been given the authority to establish or change the norms for the size of groups and classes.
In the new edition of the Code, excessive detail has been eliminated. For example, the grade scale, the grades themselves and the records used to evaluate studies will be established not by the code, but by the Rules for conducting attestation. This will allow, if necessary, to quickly make changes not to the code, which is rather complicated and lengthy, but to the rules.
Irina Starovoitova, First Deputy Minister of Education of Belarus:
— The code establishes principles that remain unshakable for the national education system. These are accessibility, quality of education, social guarantees. Two new principles have been added – the principle of inclusion in education and the principle of compulsory general secondary education. There are also innovations concerning, for example, normative financing. We tested it experimentally, saw its effectiveness, and now this norm has been introduced into the Code.
Strengthening discipline at all levels of education concerns all subjects of the educational process – students, teachers, parents, and, in general, the rules that are established in educational institutions.
Persons with medical contraindications will not be able to carry out pedagogical activities. In this regard, the obligation of teachers to undergo mandatory medical examinations has been established.
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