According to Article 17 of the Law on Education, state organs, enterprises and public organizations are encouraged to establish extra school cultural, aesthetic, scientific, technical, and sports facilities, in order to satisfy the individual requirements of children and youth. In 1996 Belarus had 3,318 different nonformal educational facilities. They provide an elaborate arrangement of instructional and recreational activities through a network of children centers (former Young Pioneer palaces), ecological, technical, and computer teenage clubs, part-time music, art, and sport schools, as well as centers of folk art and crafts. Independent education for adults is carried out through "people's universities," which organize a variety of courses on different subjects; national cultural centers; evening courses on foreign languages, accounting, and finance; and sports clubs, which are gaining more popularity. An important educational role belongs to libraries, information centers, social organizations, publishing houses, and mass media.
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