Administration, Finance, & Educational Research
The Belarusian educational system is administered by the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus (legislative function), the Council of Ministers (executive function), the Ministry of Education, and the local administrative organs. The state organs define the educational policy; formulate the requirements to educational institutions; authorize the order of their establishment, reorganization, and liquidation; allocate resources for their financing, and approve the curricula. In their turn, local organs are responsible for the development of education within the range of their control. They define the numbers and structure of personnel training, allocate funds and establish tax benefits for the educational institutions in their territory, and pay special attention to the national peculiarities of the region under their jurisdiction. Educational institutions are independent in their decisions about the organization of the educational process and their financial activities, as long as they observe the laws and respect the students' and teachers' rights.
Belarusian education is financed from state and non-state sources. The primary sources of financing are the state and local budgets. According to the law, the state funds must constitute at least 10 percent of the national revenue. Other sources include the profit from paid educational services, research activities, contract sums for personnel training, and contributions of enterprises, organizations, and individuals. In 1996 the respective share of state and non-state financing of education was 80 and 20 percent.
When Belarus was part of the Soviet Union, education in all kinds of institutions was free of charge. The new economic situation of the 1990s brought about the establishment of private institutions, as well as the development of paid programs within state institutions. In 1999, about 83.0 percent of students were studying at the expense of the state budget, whereas 16.7 percent were paying tuition fees. There were 15 non-state institutions with a total of 36.5 thousand students.
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