Belarus’ Deputy Information Minister, Igor Laptenok, has attended the press presentation of a new electronic textbook: Person and the Environment. 1st Grade. Belarus is Our Motherland. He notes that information technologies are more actively penetrating educational establishments, with universities, colleges and schools often preferring to use electronic devices. “Importantly, we don’t just have digital copies of textbooks; we can actually allow pupils to ‘virtually’ visit a museum or complete exercises on their computer. You can insert discs of additional materials to supplement texts,” Mr. Laptenok explains. This year, primary schools may join the latest IT revolution. “Teachers are showing increasing interest in multi-media projects, with many eager to diverse their teaching methods. They want lessons to be of the best quality, and most engaging,” stresses the Director of Pachatkovaya Shkola (Primary School) Publishing House, Natalia Vanina. She asserts that even the youngest schoolchildren — in their first year of studies — will receive a traditional book as their present from the Head of State this year: Belarus is Our Motherland. The text has been updated significantly, with new facts and photos added, contributed by BelTA photo reporters. An electronic version — Person and the Environment — is also available for use at home and at school. Ms. Vanina emphasises that the topics, tasks, virtual puzzles and other materials on the disc are to be used at junior level, during school and for after-school classes; moreover, it’s easily used at home. “Many tasks would be interesting for both children and parents — such as creating a family tree. By working together, young schoolchildren learn more effectively; meanwhile, it unites families,” she smiles.
The school year always begins with a lesson devoted to our native country. “This year, the topic is: ‘Your country, your Motherland is called cheerfully — Be-la-rus!’ explains the Head of the Education Ministry’s General Secondary Education Department, Yuri Gladkov. He adds that, this year, about 87,000 first grade pupils will start school, all wanting to feel like ‘true’ schoolchildren, plunging into the fascinating world of knowledge as soon as possible. “Our modern world requires fresh approaches from schools. The use of electronic devices in lessons is among our interesting new solutions,” Mr. Gladkov explains.