The increase in the amount of working off will not stop the exodus of Belarusian students.
Lukashenka proposed to expand the practice of student Graduate Placement: fee-paying students also have to work off, and the terms of the budget-funded students' working off is to be increased from two years to five. The Belarusian dictator also spoke about "bad staff" in agriculture.
The Charter97.org website has talked on condition of anonymity with a teacher of the Belarusian Agricultural Academy - the university where Lukashenka studied.
- Is Lukashenka right when he talks about "bad staff" in agriculture?
- He is right, but it is impossible to improve the situation now. In recent times the prestige of education in this sphere has fallen to such an extent that we have been admitting students to agricultural specialities who are not fit to study.
I don't want to offend anyone, but what quality of specialists we can talk about when we have lowered the admission bar to the point where we take applicants with the high school diplomas alone. We have zero competition for many specialities.
Smart, talented guys, unfortunately, do not go into agriculture.
- Low wages and the system of work-offs. No one wants to tie their lives to collective farms, where there are no working conditions. You can see these shots with "shit covered cows" for yourself.
Lots of five-year students cry when they see the farms to which they are assigned. There are really terrible collective farms there. During the last Graduate Placement there was a case when a girl was sent to a farm that is twenty kilometres away from the motorway.
I understand that people choose for themselves the sphere in which they will work, and agriculture does not smell of roses. However, it is not slavery. If there is no infrastructure and conditions for work, some minimal things that are necessary for a decent life, then it is not the working off, but hard labor in exile.
- What do you think about the proposal to introduce the working off for fee-paying students, and to increase the term for budget-funded and contract students?
- We will simply have no fee-paying students. Lots of students specifically enrolled in paid education to avoid the working off, some transferred from the budget.
As a result, the universities will lose, because the fee-paying students "fed" them quite well.
There will also be fewer contract students and budget-funded students. Five years is a long period of time. A person will think ten times before committing himself for such a long period of time.
I think that a lot of specialities at my university could be closed because they simply won't attract students.
As long as the borders are open, nothing will happen. Smart guys will go to the West, while some will consider universities in Russia.
- Lukashenka gives it hot to cattle breeders for cattle deaths and bad results, threatens the leadership. Is it fair?
- It took us a long time to get to the pit into which our agriculture has fallen.
Livestock breeding is expensive and, if it is done properly, it brings good money. But a collective farmer will never cherish and care for these cows and calves for those kopecks. He thinks how to work off his shift faster and go to the shop for a bottle.
The chairman of the collective farm gets a salary, he doesn't care whether his farm is unprofitable or not. The rate is the same, he gets no interest from the profits. The system is completely rotten, the boat has sailed.
- What are the ways out of this situation?
- To give all that is "alive" to decent private companies. There will be sane control, interest, and in time - good salaries for workers, infrastructure on the ground.
The issue of staff is also solved here. If the private sector will pay a thousand dollars to a zootechnician or agronomist, there will be no need to hold students hostage. If there is a good offer, there will be demand.