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Topic. Level 3 (Grades 8/10)

Scientific and intellectual potential is the main strategic resource of Belarus. That is why education is among the national priorities in the Republic of Belarus. Compulsory secondary and vocational education, free of charge higher education for majority of students, advanced and developing legislative base are the main features of Belarusian system of education.

Every Belarusian citizen has a guaranteed right to education. The national multistage education system ensures that Belarusians can exercise this right in full.

Today Belarusian educational system includes pre-school education and up-bringing, general secondary school, secondary special education, higher education, scientific staff training, qualification improvement and staff retraining, adult self-education.

Pre-school education is provided through pre-school institutions which differ in type and specialization: day nursery, kindergarten, school of maturity, etc. These institutions are for children under six years old. Preprimary education is optional. But 70% of children do attend a nursery or a kindergarten before they start school.

Contemporary general secondary education in Belarus includes several stages: primary school (1–4 forms), basic school (5–9 forms) and complete secondary education (10–11forms). The first four years are devoted to acquiring basic skills and habits of writing, reading, count; mastering primary knowledge of nature, society and man.

Education in our country is compulsory to the 9th form inclusive. All pupils must follow the basic education curriculum up to the age of 15, and the majority of pupils stay at school until they finish their general secondary education at 17 (18).The last stage in the national education system is provided in general secondary schools, gymnasiums and lyceums. Every school has a curriculum of academic subjects, such as Mathematics, Geography, Native and Foreign Languages and Literature, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History and others. Gymnasiums and lyceums offer programs giving a profound knowledge in some field of study.

After finishing the 9th form one can go on to a vocational school which trains in a technical field, or a profession. After finishing the 11th form one can go in higher education. All applicants must take entrance examinations and get necessary entrance score.

There are about 340 students per 10000 residents of Belarus. The main types of higher educational establishments are the following: classical university, profile university or academy, institute, colleges of higher education. Graduates both from state and private higher educational establishments are granted state diplomas of higher education.

Three forms of study are available at the Belarusian higher educational establishments: full-time, evening and by correspondence. The best students can study at budget cost. The applicants who passed the entrance exams successfully but did not get the necessary entrance score pay for their education.

An academic year is usually divided into two terms each ending in an examinational session. Undergraduate courses normally take 4 years. Students attend lectures and practical classes; work at the libraries and laboratories to make reports and course papers. The Belarusian students also participate in international scientific conferences and competitions. In order to obtain practical experience all the students have practical training at different educational establishments, enterprises, offices.

After graduation budget students are provided with the first workplaces. Advanced students can study for degrees of Master. The degree of Master requires one or two further years of study with examinations and substantial dissertation.

It should be mentioned that today the system of secondary and higher education in Belarus is going through a transitional period. The main objectives of the reform are to create an independent education system and ensure its equivalence with education in other countries; to develop an appropriate legal and normative basis for education; to reform and rationalize the system of control over education; to develop and introduce new education methods based on integration and continuity on the content and forms of education at all levels.

Topic. Level 2 (Grades 6/7)

At present national education plays a great role in the development of our country and it is given much attention to. Nowadays Belarus is a country with a high level of education. There are about 11000 educational establishments in our republic. Among them there are both state and non-state institutions but all educational establishments are controlled by the state and they are uniformly administrated.

The eeducational system in our Republic consists of the following stages: preschool education; secondary education; specialized secondary education; higher education.

Preschool education is provided by kindergartens where children are given attention and little formal teaching till the age of 5 or 6 years old. The main activities for children are playing, singing, dancing and drawing.

The aim of preschool education is to give the child an opportunity to orient themselves in the surrounding world, to protect and improve child’s health and to develop their creative potential.

Secondary education is divided into 3 stages.

At primary school children learn to read fluently and with understanding, to write correctly and learn basic mathematical ideas.

At secondary base school (5-9 forms) children receive the information about the main aspects of historical development, bases of legal relations between people; they learn modern technologies and languages. Besides they prepare themselves for professional self-determination.

The last stage of secondary school (10 – 11 forms) is not compulsory. Two years of study are necessary to get ready for entering university. During two years students study the same subjects but at a deeper level. This type of education is also provided by gymnasiums, lyceums and specialized secondary schools. They give about 20-30 professions. A lot of students decide to continue their education and enter higher institutions.

There are 43 state higher educational establishments and the Academy of science in Belarus. The total number of students is about 2.5 million people. The basic principle of the organization of national education in Belarus is an equal opportunity for all citizens. Higher education is available for everyone according to their abilities. There are both free and fee- paying establishments. The academic year is divided into 2 terms each ending in examinations. The students attend lectures, practical lessons and seminars. They have everything necessary for their studies and for the development of their talents. Every year thousands of graduates receive diplomas and start working in different branches of national economy, science and education. Advanced students can obtain master’s degree and then study at postgraduate course and defend a thesis.

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