By Igor Slavinsky
In his speech at the solemn event for those graduating from higher educational establishments countrywide, Alexander Lukashenko asked what is needed for a person to achieve success. He then replied, “A dream must have wings. Each of us has our own dearest wishes but we are united by a common great dream: to make our country a cosy home for each family.
In recent years, much has been done to achieve this but our major goals and wide horizons continue to lie ahead. Our sovereign Belarus is just over 20 years old — an age of seething forces and hopes. It’s never easy for individuals — or the state — to be independent, following a unique path in life. Ups and downs are inevitable — as is normal — but difficulties only break the weak, while hardening the strong. We’re strong, so we’ll overcome challenges if we demonstrate determination and use our brains.”
Although the ball is a standard official event, with speeches given and some students awarded with Presidential letters of gratitude, it is also a time for nerves, wonderful dresses and joy — as once described by Tolstoy and Pushkin.
Belarus is a country of students — a fact worthy of pride. In all, 55 higher educational institutions operate in the Republic, teaching about 445,000 students (about 40 percent free of charge). Per capita, Belarus rivals advanced European states for its number of students and this fact is a pledge that the country has a bright future for the economy and culture.
During the party, young people danced and enjoyed themselves, although they are now facing their greatest challenge: finding a suitable job. Of course, the state is eager to support them. The Education Ministry tells us that 96 percent of graduates (who studied full time) have received employment (in addition to 11 percent of those who paid for their studies). Job hunting is clearly a primary concern for most, with the state of the economy and students’ activity being the key.
Vitaly Vechorko graduated from the Belarusian State University’s Law Department and already has a job; he tells us that most of his former classmates are in the same position. However, the private firm where Vitaly works is involved in imports, so is facing certain difficulties due to the situation on the currency market. Nevertheless, he is optimistic and plans to begin a post-graduate course to deepen his knowledge of civil law. Vitaly is convinced that Belarus will need even more civil law specialists (specialising in economic and commercial law) in the future. The prospects are obvious.