A center to allow migrants and refugees to test how well they speak Russian as a foreign language was opened in the National Institute for Higher Education in Minsk on 4 December, representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told BelTA.
UNHCR Representative in the Republic of Belarus Jean-Yves Bouchardy noted the initiative is designed to encourage migrants and refugees to learn how to speak Russian. The tests will not be mandatory. "We understand that some of the people in our care learn how to speak the language on their own as part of their daily lives while some refuse to do that at all. But it is good that they will have an opportunity to test their skills using official standards approved by the Education Ministry," he said.
Language tests will be part of the comprehensive program designed to teach migrants and refugees to speak Russian. The program has worked for several years already with assistance of the Education Ministry and a number of educational institutions in Vitebsk, Brest, and Minsk.
The existing curricula and textbooks for migrants and refugees were presented during the event in Minsk. The first test was arranged and certificates to confirm they speak Russian well were issued. Such documents will be a plus, for instance, for finding a job.