By Yelena Beganskaya
Luzhesno’s former gymnasium-boarding school for talented children has officially become the second Cadet College in the Vitebsk Region. Its Director, Vladimir Shitko, explains that the decision is the result of significant interest from local teenagers. Several years ago, President Alexander Lukashenko visited, praising those who were attending military-patriotic classes. In recent years, over 200 gymnasium leavers have entered the Military Academy, with many becoming officers. The decision to change the status is much influenced by the opening of other gymnasiums in the Vitebsk Region which train talented children.
Formerly, the Luzhesno boarding school primarily taught village schoolchildren but will now welcome pupils from cities, towns and rural areas. Future officers must be well educated, so the quality of training is paramount. The composition of pupils is to alter, with 48 ‘recruits’ enrolled in the 8th grade. They arrived on September 1st wearing their cadet uniforms. Over the coming two or three years, the school will fully re-qualify as a ‘cadet school’ (once the present gymnasium pupils graduate).
Girls are to be admitted alongside boys; as Mr. Shitko notes, they already account for the major share. However, girls are ultimately limited to no more than 25 percent of all cadets.