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Print out date: 20.04.2018 02:11
11.04.2017 17:16 Society, Belarus — EU

Poland may revive education program for Belarusian victims of politically motivated persecution

By Alena Spasyuk, BelaPAN
Minsk, 11 April. Belarusian civil society figures and politicians are in talks with the Polish government about the possible resumption of its educational assistance program for victims of politically motivated persecution in Belarus.
Launched in the wake of Belarus' 2006 presidential election, the Kastus Kalinowski program was replaced with a smaller work experience program for Belarusian master's degree holders in 2016.
Now that the Belarusian authorities have resumed persecuting people on political motives, there are hopes that the program may restart this fall, Ina Kuley, who led an organization that used to administer the program, told BelaPAN.
"That means that students who have been expelled from Belarusian schools of higher learning will be able to study at Polish universities," she said. Ms. Kuley said that she was "90 percent certain" of the program's resumption.
The list of students who have been recently kicked out of university for political activity currently includes up to 30 people but may grow after exams take place this spring and summer, said Ms. Kuley.
The activist said that there would be more communication between Belarusian students involved in the revived program while Belarusian-related subjects would be included in their syllabuses.
Ms. Kuley now heads an organization that helps Belarusian graduates of foreign universities find work at home. It is determined to provide assistance to those returning to Belarus after studying in Poland under the program.
Poland's support for democracy in Belarus that comes amid funding cuts for EU projects in the country "reflects the neighboring country's special role in supporting democracy," said Ms. Kuley.
"Poland has always stood out from our partners, has been the closest and most sympathetic neighbor that has provided the greatest response to events taking place in Belarus. Poland understands the situation better than other countries and is interested to see Belarus become a free and democratic country," she said.




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