Belarusian authorities concerned about secondary education quality
Belarus has launched the National Educational Portal in order to provide comprehensive (informational, scientific, educational, and consultancy) support for all teachers, parents, and pupils involved in the school system (incl. pre-school, primary, secondary and special education).
Education Ministry officials would never admit it, but the Portal is a kind of state response to the reduced quality of secondary education in Belarus. The results of centralised testing among secondary school pupils are worse each year, and in some subjects, more than one-third of the pupils do not score the minimum required results. Despite some efforts by the Belarusian authorities aiming to improve the quality of education, they have been unable turn the situation around.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.