Young people solemnly granted their civil status

On eve of Constitution Day, hundreds of 16 year olds receive their first passports

By Galina Anufrieva

Parliamentarians invited some of the hardest working pupils from Minsk schools and gymnasiums to attend the National Assembly’s House of Representatives for a solemn ceremony of being given their passports, congratulating them on becoming fully-fledged citizens of the state.

Naturally, the youngsters felt a little anxious, but the parliamentarians welcomed them warmly and encouraged them. The Deputy Chair of the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee for Health-Care, Physical Culture, Family and Youth Matters, Svetlana Shilova, told them, “It’s an honour to have a Belarusian passport.”

Each of the young citizens has already achieved a great deal. For example, Alexander Lamchanovsky, a pupil of gymnasium #29, has taken part in numerous Olympiads and contests, winning prizes. He plans to make a career of the fascinating science of astronomy, speaking enthusiastically of lectures at the planetarium. He often travels to the countryside with his teacher to observe the night sky via telescope. New technology is ever improving our ability to learn about celestial bodies and, no doubt, the gifted boy will one day work with the most contemporary equipment. He is planning to apply to the country’s major university, the BSU, which has its Aerospace Education Centre. Alexander hopes to benefit his country and society with his endeavours.

16 year old Anna Zaprutskaya ‘feels quite at home’ with languages, already speaking fluent Russian and Belarusian — the two state languages. Of course, she still has much to learn and believes that all the country’s universities are open to her. She is also keen to study ecology. “Maybe, I’ll enter the International State Ecology University (named after Sakharov). There’s so much of interest in the world, and I’d like my profession to be useful to society. You make choices now which affect your whole life,” she notes.

These young people are looking to the future with confidence and are proud to be taking their first steps in their native country.

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