Teachers who opposed the regime (Video)
11:47, — Politics
On the Teacher’s Day we speak of teachers, who are not ashamed to look into children’s eyes.
The guest of the Belsat TV channel is a history teacher Natalia Illinich, who two years ago was faced with the choice: to leave an oppositional party or quit the job.
She has worked for a school in Talka for 26 year, founded a local history study group and the web-site talka.info, published a book “Talka and its neighborhood”. She researches the national liberation rebellion of 1863 against the Russian Empire, headed by Kastus Kalinouski in Igumen uyezd, annually organizes the Talka festival – a feast, which is loved by school pupils and knows by the public. Philosophers, sociologists, historians and folklorists are among her pupils.
Natalia Illinich recollects that it was very loud in the teachers’ room in the times of Perestroyka, people were not afraid to speak up. In the 2000-s it has become silent. “We would come, take a class journal and go for a class”.
The programme’s guest recollects that she recently met a teacher who had also recently been fired for politics. Uladzimir Jurzhyc taught informatics at the secondary school number 20 in Orsha and was its headmaster in the first half of the 2000-s. He recollected in the media that neither in the parliamentary elections 2000, nor the presidential elections 2001 did the authorities prepare final protocol numbers in advance. Teachers would be gathered together with the heads of enterprises by the chairman of the city executive committee and warned that the teachers’ “professional competences” would be judged by the results of the voting at the polling stations. In Uladzimir Jurzhyc’s polling station the counting of votes reflected the actual will of the voters, and already in 2004 he was not allowed to head the electoral commission at the polling station. He, though, remained the school’s headmaster and managed to assure the fair counting. Lukashenka’s third presidential term was supported by 48% then. Afterwards Uladzimir Jurzhyc was not only deprived of the headmaster’s position, but also the position of a teacher. Although as early as back in 2007 the state-owned newspaper Respublika wrote about him: “… a talented person is talented in everything”.
Such an incident took place in Minsk with Natalia Illinich’s university mate. She, quite predictably, compares the current situation in schools with the 1930-ies.