By Vasily Kharitonov
The Head of State recalled his State of the Nation Address, given in April, noting that the country’s economic renewal relies on knowledge, production modernisation and the informatisation of all spheres. He aims to see creative people promoted to key positions in the state apparatus, science and enterprises. He noted, “In solving these problems, we rely on youngsters and will be doing everything possible for you, relying on your participation and your hands. You should direct your abilities and intellect to the creation and launch of the latest information, nano-, bio- and other technologies, so that our country can enter the cutting edge of innovative development, occupying its own niche globally. Your powers, inspiration and unlimited imagination can drive forward science and culture. You can enrich Belarusian art with new genres and trends, while creating works imbued with patriotism, to glorify our Motherland.”
Mr. Lukashenko emphasised that Belarus boasts almost 800 gymnasiums, lyceums and schools of arts, as well as thousands of clubs and studios offering extra-curricular activities. Young people enjoy every opportunity to explore their talents and to display their knowledge and skills at competitions and festivals. Meanwhile, young scientists, artists, painters and musicians receive state support from the Presidential Fund. Those with leadership skills have the chance to join the Belarusian Republican Youth Union.
According to the President, such efforts do yield fruit. Last year, Belarusian schoolchildren and students won over 50 medals at international Olympiads, and around 100 prizes and diplomas at prestigious festival and contests.
The President added, “The I Sing! TV project has become a bright event, helping handicapped children, orphans and young talents from one-parent families. The entrants are an example of how believing in your dream can bring success, regardless of any difficulties. Hundreds of paths are open to you: search, create, risk and discover. Of course, each one of you has a unique, dazzling personality. Be confident in reaching for your goals, achieving your plans through hard work, while remembering your moral responsibility to others. As prominent physicist Albert Einstein said: ‘Let kindness, beauty and truth be the ideals which light your way’.”
Mr. Lukashenko thanked the teachers for their great efforts in nurturing such wonderful pupils. “May they please you with new victories. Let gratitude live in their hearts for the teachers who opened their path to the peaks of knowledge and mastery,” noted the Head of State. He urged everyone to continue the academic year with hard work, successfully passing exams before enjoying a good summer. Mr. Lukashenko also bestowed awards on those being given special Presidential funding and the finalists of the I Sing! TV project. Participants then told the Head of State about their successes and achievements, sharing their hopes for forthcoming victories.
The Belarusian participant of the Eurovision Song Contest, in Swedish Malmo, Alena Lanskaya, attended the meeting. The President noted, “Our entrant performed at a public event viewed by millions, for which we should be appreciative. Moreover, she appeared to good effect in many respects at the contest. We should never take such results too personally. I know how you feel, Alena, about the way Russia voted; those 12 points uncast in your favour show how politicised and, even, falsified this contest is. Those who read the news have probably learnt about the scandal around the falsification of voting results in one of the participating states. I won’t even speak about the geographical voting principle. Just relax, listen and enjoy the music and performers. I don’t want to cast doubt or question the winning entry as the girl from Denmark was very good and her performance was great. However, our girl was just as good. Therefore, I suggest we stay cool and calm regarding such voting results.”
After chatting with the youngsters, Mr. Lukashenko stayed for a concert featuring scholarship holders of the Special Presidential Fund for the Support of Talented Young People. Finally, he urged all the students to keep pursuing their goals, without ever giving up. He underlined, “Never be disheartened at any stage of life. Your defeats are only chances to begin afresh at claiming victory.”