On the back of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s recent statement about dissent among teachers, a protest rally started at 3 pm in front of the building of the Belarusian Education Ministry in Minsk.
During Monday’s meeting, the president instructed Education Minister Ihar Karpenka to ‘deal with’ the teachers who ‘defected to the hostile camp’. According to him, Belarus has state education, state schools, state ideology, which should be taken into account.
“Those who want to stick to these principles, you are welcome – go teach, work. Those who do not should not work in schools. This needs to be said openly, sincerely, and honestly,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka.
Although Belarusian educators have been facing criticism over their allegedly contributing to rigging elections for years (most voting stations are located in schools; local election commissions mainly consist of teachers), a significant number of them have shown discontent with Belarusian leadership’s actions and police brutality on the wake of the 2020 presidential election. That is why several hundred persons, including decent teachers, came to the ministry today.
Half an hour later, a long convoy of military vehicles and paddy wagons drove up the protesters. The people were chanting: ‘Stop scaring us!’, ‘Criminals must stand trial’. One of the participants had a poster ‘Will teachers be brought from Russia too?’, apparently referring to Russian journalists’ being invited by the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company after their employees left their jobs or went on strike.