Chernobyl's legacy stays

February 19, 1999

Belarus is tightening up on compulsory two-year work-placements for state university graduates.

From now on graduates who fail to report for their work placements or quit in the two years will have to refund their education cost, as will employers who take them on without seeking official permission.

Placements were a feature of education under Soviet rule, but abolished when the USSR broke up, only to be reintroduced by president Alaksandr Lukashenka in 1997. The aim was to ensure staffing in unpopular jobs, particularly medical staff and teachers needed for the areas affected by fall-out from Chernobyl.

The rule applies to state higher education and to "specialised secondary" training establishments, such as schools of nursing.

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