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Voice of America, 98-05-26

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] U-N-H-C-R / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [02] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [04] KOSOVO FIGHTING (S ONLY) BY PAMELA TAYLOR (PRAGUE)
  • [05] EAST EURO EDUCATION (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

  • [01] U-N-H-C-R / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=5/26/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-232798
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY, U-N-H-C-R, SAYS THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN KOSOVO IS DETERIORATING DESPITE TALKS BETWEEN SERB AUTHORITIES AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS TO RESOLVE THEIR DISPUTE. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA REPORTS THE U-N AGENCY ESTIMATES MORE THAN 34-THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DISPLACED IN KOSOVO AND ANOTHER THREE-THOUSAND HAVE FLED TO NEIGHBORING MONTENEGRO.

    TEXT: LAST WEEK, THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY REGISTERED 880 PEOPLE WHO FLED INTO MONTENEGRO FROM KOSOVO. THIS IS A DRAMATIC INCREASE OVER THE PREVIOUS WEEK WHEN ONLY SIX PEOPLE ARE KNOWN TO HAVE FLED.

    THE AGENCY SAYS A LOT OF THE PEOPLE FLEEING TO MONTENEGRO ARE YOUNG SERB MEN WHO, THE AGENCY BELIEVES, DO NOT WANT TO BE DRAWN INTO THE CONFLICT AND DO NOT WANT TO BE DRAFTED INTO THE YUGOSLAV ARMY.

    U-N-H-C-R SPOKESMAN KRIS JANOWSKI SAYS THAT IN ADDITION TO THE STEEP RISE IN HOMELESS PEOPLE, RELIEF AGENCIES ARE HAVING PROBLEMS TRYING TO DELIVER HUMANITARIAN AID.

    /// JANOWSKI ACT ///

    SOME OF THE ROADS IN KOSOVO ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO USE BECAUSE OF THE FIGHTING AND THEY'RE BASICALLY TOO DANGEROUS TO USE OR SEALED OFF BY THE AUTHORITIES. THE OTHER PROBLEM IS CONFISCATIONS OF HUMANITARIAN AID BY THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES.

    /// END ACT ///

    LAST FRIDAY, MR. JANOWSKI SAYS SERB AUTHORITIES CONFISCATED A CONVOY OF RELIEF SUPPLIES BELONGING TO FIVE PRIVATE AID AGENCIES. HE SAYS THE SUPPLIES WERE TAKEN TO A LOCAL SERB RED CROSS WHERE IT IS BEING KEPT. HE SAYS THAT AS A CONSEQUENCE, THE AID AGENCIES HAVE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED THEIR OPERATIONS.

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS THIS IS THE LATEST IN A SERIES OF SIMILAR INCIDENTS WHERE SERB POLICE AND SOLDIERS HAVE SEIZED RELIEF SUPPLIES MEANT FOR HUNGRY, HOMELESS PEOPLE. HE SAYS THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY HAS NOT TAKEN UP THE ISSUE WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. BUT, HE SAYS THE UNITED NATIONS HAS EXPRESSED ITS DISPLEASURE TO LOCAL SERB AUTHORITIES IN KOSOVO.

    /// SECOND JANOWSKI ACT ///

    THIS IS A DECISION OR AN ACTION TAKEN BY THE AUTHORITIES ON THE GROUND WHICH IS ALARMING ENOUGH SINCE IT ACTUALLY BRINGS BACK THE OLD BAD MEMORIES OF BOSNIA WHERE FOOD WAS INDEED USED, OR WHERE HUMANITARIAN AID WAS INDEED USED IN THE CONFLICT.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY DOES NOT WANT TO SEE A REPEAT OF THIS IN KOSOVO. HE SAYS THE CONFISCATION OF HUMANITARIAN AID SERVES ONLY TO INCREASE TENSION AND FEAR. HE SAYS SUCH ACTIONS WILL NOT HELP ACHIEVE A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO THE CRISIS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/JWH
    26-May-98 10:15 AM EDT (1415 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=05/26/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10732
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    //// EDS: PERISHABLE MATERIAL, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-D-T ////

    INTRO: AMERICANS RETURNED TO WORK THIS TUESDAY AFTER THE LONG, MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, IN WHICH THE NATION'S WAR DEAD WERE HONORED. ON THE NEWSSTANDS, U-S PAPERS ARE STILL CELEBRATING THE VOTE FOR PEACE IN IRELAND AT THE END OF LAST WEEK.

    OTHER TOPICS IN THE EDITORIAL COLUMNS INCLUDE THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S ENTANGLEMENTS WITH CHINA; THE LATEST INROADS AGAINST CANCER; THE STRIVING FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND COMING TO TERMS WITH THE THREAT OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS. NOW, HERE IS ______________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME QUOTES IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST. TEXT; THE OVERWHELMING YES VOTE IN BOTH NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE IRISH REPUBLIC FRIDAY IS STILL ONE OF THE CENTERS OF ATTENTION IN THE EDITORIALS, ELICITING PRAISE SUCH AS THIS FROM "NEWSDAY."

    VOICE: THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND, IN THE NORTH AND SOUTH, HAVE SPOKEN WITH THEIR BALLOTS: THEY WANT PEACE. AND THEY TOLD OF THEIR HOPES IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY - - APPROVING BY AN OVERWHELMING MARGIN THE PEACE AGREEMENT DESIGNED TO END THE BLOODY INTERNECINE CONFLICT THAT HAS RIVEN THEIR LAND FOR CENTURIES. ..... FOR THIS PROCESS TO CONTINUE, CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT LEADERS IN THE NORTH MUST DO THEIR UTMOST TO PREVENT NEW BOUTS OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE BY SPLINTER GROUPS ON BOTH SIDES, INTENT ON WRECKING THE NEWBORN HOPE OF PEACE.

    TEXT: "USA TODAY" PONDERS THE FUTURE AFTER CELEBRATING THE RESULT.

    VOICE: MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, THE MARGIN OF VICTORY - - 71-POINT ONE IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND 94-POINT-FOUR IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND TO THE SOUTH - - WILL HELP ISOLATE EXTREMISTS ON BOTH SIDES. THAT WON'T BE EASY. AFTER THE VOTE, BOB MCCARTNEY, LEADER OF ONE PROTESTANT FACTION, CALLED IT 'A BAD DAY FOR DEMOCRACY.' AND SINN FEIN'S GERRY ADAMS CONTINUED TO TALK OF UNITING IRELAND. YET THEY MUST NOW WORK TOGETHER. MOST URGENTLY THEY MUST PERSUADE EXTREMISTS ON BOTH SIDES TO LAY DOWN THEIR ARMS BY NOVEMBER, AS DICTATED BY THE ACCORD. IN CONFLICTS AS ANCIENT AS THOSE IN IRELAND, ANY PEACE IS FRAGILE. BUT IT BEGINS WITH MODERATES ON BOTH SIDES DEMANDING COMPROMISE.

    TEXT: TO PROBLEMS HALF WAY AROUND THE WORLD NOW, AS "THE NEW YORK TIMES" DISCUSSES RELATIONS BETWEEN THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AND CHINA. SPECIFICALLY AT ISSUE ARE ALLEGATIONS THAT THE PRESIDENT MAY HAVE COMPROMISED NATIONAL SECURITY BY ALLOWING U-S COMMERCIAL FIRMS TO LAUNCH SATELLITES ON CHINESE ROCKETS AND, IN THE PROCESS, HELP THE CHINESE WITH THEIR ROCKET GUIDANCE SYSTEMS.

    VOICE: THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT OVER THE YEARS HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN DUBIOUS RELATIONSHIPS WITH FOREIGN MILITARY INSTITUTIONS, BUT THERE HAS RARELY BEEN A MORE TANGLED OR TROUBLING CONNECTION THAN THAT BETWEEN THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AND THE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY OF CHINA. /// OPT /// IT HAS PRODUCED CAMPAIGN FUNDING ABUSES, SERIOUS AMERICAN SECURITY LAPSES AND NOW A POLITICAL FUROR IN WASHINGTON LESS THAN A MONTH BEFORE PRESIDENT CLINTON IS TO MAKE THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL VISIT TO CHINA SINCE 1989. /// END OPT /// ......WHILE CHINA IS NOT AN ENEMY, IT IS NOT AN ALLY EITHER, AND CAUTION IS REQUIRED TO INSURE THAT SENSITIVE AMERICAN MILITARY TECHNOLOGY IS NOT TRANSFERRED. IN ITS EAGERNESS TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH BEIJING AND EXPAND AMERICAN COMMERCE IN CHINA, THE WHITE HOUSE HAS BEEN CARELESS ABOUT ENFORCING SECURITY PROTECTIONS.

    TEXT: DOMESTICALLY, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" IS PLEASED BY THE ADVANCES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER, INCLUDING SEVERAL PROMISING NEW DRUGS REPORTED ON IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS. BUT THE PAPER CAUTIONS:

    VOICE: IN THE EXCITEMENT SURROUNDING CANCER TREATMENT, LEGISLATORS IN WASHINGTON ARE LINING UP TO CHAMPION NEW RESEARCH FUNDING. IN ITS ENTHUSIASM, CONGRESS SHOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO PUT TOO MANY STRINGS [RESTRICTIONS] ON THE FUNDS OR TO SLIGHT PROMISING AREAS OF RESEARCH LIKE ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY IN FAVOR OF TRENDY BIOTECHNOLOGY.

    TEXT: BACK OVERSEAS NOW, AND TO A CONTRAST IN "USA TODAY" BETWEEN THE IRISH PEACE VOTE, AND THE STILL-ELUSIVE CONFLICT BETWEEN ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS.

    VOICE: UNLIKE IRELAND, MODERATION IS ON THE RUN IN THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT, AND NOT SURPRISINGLY, PEACE REMAINS ELUSIVE. /// OPT /// ON MONDAY, AN ISRAELI OFFICIAL SAID THE CABINET UNANIMOUSLY OPPOSES THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S PLAN FOR RESUMING MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS. PALESTINIANS HAVE ACCEPTED THE DEAL, WHICH FALLS FAR SHORT OF THEIR DEMANDS. BUT ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU REBUFFS ANY SUGGESTION OF COMPROMISE. /// END OPT /// UNLIKE IRELAND, WHERE PEACE WAS NEGOTIATED BY A FORMER U-S SENATOR, CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS SEEM INTENT ON MAKING MATTERS WORSE. ..... ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS REPEATEDLY HAVE MADE KNOWN THEIR PREFERENCES FOR PEACE IN PUBLIC POLLS. SADLY, THEIR POLITICIANS, AND SOME OF OURS, AREN'T LISTENING.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "MIAMI HERALD" IS UPSET WITH THE U-S GOVERNMENT OVER ITS TREATMENT OF A PALESTINIAN WHO HAS LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES FOR 17 YEARS AND RAISED A FAMILY HERE AND TAUGHT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA. NOW HE IS CAUGHT IN A KIND OF FEDERAL, LEGAL LIMBO. VOICED: MAZEN AL-NAJJAR HAS BEEN IN JAIL FOR A YEAR NOW. NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED AGAINST HIM; HE IS HELD IN A SMALL CELL ON THE STRENGTH OF INNUENDO, UNSUBSTANTIATED ASSUMPTION, AND OFFICIAL SECRECY. HIS JAILER IS THE U-S GOVERNMENT, SO HE'S AS CLOSE TO BEING A POLITICAL PRISONER AS ONE CAN GET IN THIS COUNTRY. ..... THE PROFESSOR OVERSTAYED HIS VISA, AS HAD HIS WIFE. THIS IS NOT AN UNCOMMON OCCURRENCE, BUT IT IS A DEPORTABLE OFFENSE. YET VIOLATORS WITH CLEAN RECORDS AND FAMILY TIES IN THIS COUNTRY USUALLY ARE ALLOWED TO STAY. HOWEVER, MR. AL-NAJJAR HAD THE FURTHER MISFORTUNE TO HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED BY TAMPA-AREA NEWS REPORTS AS A PARTICIPANT IN AN ISLAMIC CHARITY AND IN A THINK TANK IN WHICH HE ASSOCIATED WITH A MAN IDENTIFIED AS A LEADER OF THE ISLAMIC JIHAD TERRORIST GROUP. WHERE USF [THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA] FOUND NO GROUNDS FOR CONCERN, U-S IMMIGRATION AND JUSTICE OFFICIALS DEEMED MR. AL-NAJJAR A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY - - GUILT BY ASSOCIATION APPARENTLY. ..... HIS IMPRISONMENT IS A FRIGHTENING SUBVERSION OF THIS NATION'S FOUNDATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS. .....[NOW] THE GOVERNMENT MUST BRING CHARGES AGAINST HIM OR LET HIM GO FREE.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, THE INCREASED ATTENTION BEING PAID BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO THE THREAT OF BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS, DRAWS THIS SUPPORT FROM "NEWSDAY" ON LONG ISLAND.

    VOICE: WITH CONSIDERABLE SPEED, THE PENTAGON IS TAKING SIGNIFICANT INITIAL STEPS TO ADDRESS THE DANGERS THAT BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS COULD POSE TO THIS COUNTRY. A DECISION LAST WEEK TO SPEND 50-MILLION DOLLARS TO SET UP BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE UNITS IN THE NATION'S TEN MOST POPULOUS STATES - - INCLUDING NEW YORK - - IS THE FIRST OF MANY ACTIONS NEEDED TO GUARD AGAINST THE DEPLOYMENT OF KNOWN BIOLOGICAL AGENTS, WHICH ARE AS HARD TO GUARD AGAINST AS TO DETECT. THE MEASURES ..... ARE IN DIRECT RESPONSE TO THE SOBERING RESULTS OF AN EXERCISE HELD IN SECRET EARLIER THIS SPRING. THE SCENARIO WAS THAT AN IMAGINARY GENETICALLY ENGINEERED STRAIN OF SMALLPOX WAS INTRODUCED ON THE NATION'S SOUTHERN BORDER; THE OUTCOME WAS DISASTROUS, SHOWING AN ALMOST TOTAL LACK OF PREPARATION AND COORDINATION. THE PENTAGON'S EARLY PLANS ARE A GOOD FIRST STEP.

    TEXT: ON THAT RATHER OMINOUS NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM SOME OF TUESDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    26-May-98 10:56 AM EDT (1456 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=5/26/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-232828
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN SHARPLY TODAY (TUESDAY) AMID CONCERNS ABOUT A SLOWING ECONOMY AND LOWER CORPORATE PROFITS. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 89 HUNDRED 63, DOWN 150 POINTS OR ONE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT ONE THOUSAND 94, DOWN 16 POINTS.

    AN INDEX OF AMERICAN CONSUMER CONFIDENCE FELL MODESTLY THIS MONTH BUT THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS WHO EXPECT THE ECONOMY WILL CONTINUE ITS STRONG GROWTH FELL MORE SHARPLY. ANALYSTS SAY THAT INDEX, COMBINED WITH A GROWING CONCERN THAT CORPORATE PROFITS WILL NOT LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS, CAUSED STOCK PRICES TO FALL.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    DAVID BRAVERMAN OF THE STANDARD AND POOR'S RESEARCH COMPANY, SAYS HE EXPECTS STOCK PRICES TO WEAKEN IN THE SECOND HALF OF THIS YEAR.

    ///BRAVERMAN ACT///

    THE MARKET ESSENTIALLY WILL FOCUS ON EARNINGS. I THINK WE WILL BE FACING A SOFTER ECONOMY AND THAT IS GOING TO PUT SOME PRESSURE ON STOCKS.

    ///END ACT///

    SALES OF EXISTING HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES FELL IN APRIL BY TWO AND ONE-HALF PERCENT. HOWEVER, THE HOME SALES RATE IS STILL RUNNING MORE THAN 18 PERCENT ABOVE A YEAR AGO.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    JOBS ARE APPARENTLY STILL PLENTIFUL IN THE UNITED STATES. A SURVEY BY THE MANPOWER EMPLOYMENT AGENCY SHOWS U-S COMPANIES HAVE THEIR STRONGEST HIRING PLANS IN 20 YEARS.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS THE FEDERAL BUDGET WILL SHOW A RECORD 39 BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF A COMBINATION OF SPENDING CUTS AND HIGHER TAX REVENUES. HOWEVER, THE PRESIDENT AGAIN URGED THAT THE SURPLUS BE USED TO ENSURE THE STABILITY OF THE U-S SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT SYSTEM, RATHER THAN USED TO FINANCE IMMEDIATE TAX CUTS AS SOME REPUBLICANS HAVE SUGGESTED.

    THE BRITISH-BASED TYCO INTERNATIONAL COMPANY WILL PAY THREE POINT THREE BILLION DOLLARS TO BUY THE U-S SURGICAL CORPORATION. THE ACQUISITION WILL MAKE TYCO A MAJOR FORCE IN THE MARKET FOR SURGICAL AND OTHER MEDICAL SUPPLIES.

    THE PULITZER PUBLISHING COMPANY WILL SELL ITS 14 RADIO AND TELEVISION STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES TO THE HEARST-ARGYLE TELEVISION CORPORATION FOR ONE POINT ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

    THERE ARE REPORTS THAT VOLKSWAGEN, THE GERMAN-BASED AUTO COMPANY, IS INTERESTED IN BUYING LAMBORGHINI, THE ITALIAN LUXURY CAR MAKER. VOLKSWAGEN, WHICH RECENTLY WON A BIDDING WAR FOR ROLLS-ROYCE, THE BRITISH LUXURY CAR COMPANY, DECLINED COMMENT ON THE LAMBORGHINI REPORT.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    26-May-98 4:59 PM EDT (2059 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO FIGHTING (S ONLY) BY PAMELA TAYLOR (PRAGUE)

    DATE=5/26/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-232818
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AT LEAST 12 ETHNIC ALBANIANS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN WESTERN KOSOVO IN A BATTLE BETWEEN ARMED SEPARATIST GUERRILLAS AND SERBIAN POLICE. V-O-A'S PAMELA TAYLOR REPORTS FROM OUR CENTRAL EUROPEAN BUREAU IN PRAGUE:

    TEXT: THE KOSOVAR ALBANIAN INFORMATION CENTER IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, PRISTINA, SAYS ALL THE DEATHS OCCURRED IN THE DECANI AREA OF THE TROUBLED SERBIA PROVINCE. IT IS A REGION WEST OF THE CAPITAL WHICH HAS BEEN CLOSED TO OUTSIDERS FOR MORE THAN ONE MONTH, MAKING INDEPENDENT CONFIRMATION IMPOSSIBLE.

    THE SERB MEDIA CENTER REPORTED A CLASH BETWEEN ARMED ALBANIANS OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY (K-L-A) AT A POST ON THE BORDER WITH ALBANIA (MORINA). THE SERB SOURCES ACCUSE THE K-L-A GUERRILLAS OF TRYING TO CROSS INTO SERBIA FROM ALBANIA. THEY REPORTED NO INJURIES.

    THE LATEST CLASH BETWEEN THE ALBANIANS SEEKING SEPARATION FROM SERBIA IS THE WORST SINCE LEADERS FROM BOTH SIDES MET FOR A FIRST ROUND OF TALKS LAST FRIDAY. THE TALKS WERE INTENDED TO SET THE STAGE FOR A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT OF THE CRISIS, BUT NOTHING WAS AGREED EXCEPT TO HOLD MORE TALKS LATER THIS WEEK. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PAM/JWH
    26-May-98 2:40 PM EDT (1840 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] EAST EURO EDUCATION (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=5/26/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-232790
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS (INTERNATIONAL) CHILDREN'S (EMERGENCY) FUND, UNICEF, SAYS EDUCATION IS TAKING A BACK SEAT TO ECONOMIC REFORMS IN THE FORMER COMMUNIST COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION. AS A CONSEQUENCE, UNICEF REPORTS THAT MILLIONS OF CHILDREN ARE MISSING OUT ON QUALITY EDUCATION AND, AS A CONSEQUENCE, ARE ILL-PREPARED TO BECOME PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF THEIR SOCIETIES. DETAILS FROM LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA.

    TEXT: UNDER THE FORMER COMMUNIST SYSTEM, EDUCATION IN THE STUDIED COUNTRIES WAS UNIVERSAL. BUT WITH THE FALL OF COMMUNISM, THAT CHANGED DRAMATICALLY. //OPT// UNICEF REPORTS, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT ACROSS THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, MORE THAN 30-THOUSAND PRE-SCHOOLS CLOSED DOWN BETWEEN THE YEARS 1991 AND 1995. //END OPT//

    UNICEF'S DEPUTY REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, RUDOLF HOFFMAN, CALLS THIS AN ENORMOUS SETBACK. HE SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION GIVES CHILDREN A GOOD START FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL. HE ADDS THAT THE COST OF EDUCATING A CHILD HAS RISEN AT A TIME WHEN THE GOVERNMENTS IN QUESTION HAVE LESS MONEY TO SPEND.

    ///HOFFMAN ACT///

    WHEN IT COMES TO CURRICULUM REFORM, WHEN IT COMES TO THE PRINTING OF NEW TEXTBOOKS, WHEN IT COMES TO SCHOOL MEALS -- ALL THIS CANNOT BE ANY LONGER PAID BY THE STATE. HENCE, THEY ARE ASKING PARENTS TO CONTRIBUTE. AND, GIVEN THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THESE COUNTRIES AND HOW PARENTS ARE ALSO PARTLY UNEMPLOYED ... IT MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL.

    ///END ACT///

    UNICEF EXAMINED THE SITUATION IN 27 CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AND FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS. THE REPORT NOTES SPENDING ON EDUCATION HAS DECLINED IN ALMOST ALL OF THEM. BUT, UNICEF SAYS, THE FALLS HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY STEEP IN GEORGIA, AZERBAIJAN AND BULGARIA -- ALL OF WHICH ARE EXPERIENCING SERIOUS ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.

    //OPT//

    THE REPORT SAYS CHILDREN IN URBAN AREAS HAVE BETTER ACCESS TO EDUCATION THAN DO THOSE LIVING IN THE RURAL AREAS.

    MR. HOFFMAN SAYS THERE ARE ONE-POINT-SIX MILLION FEWER STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS NOW THAN THERE WERE IN 1989. HE SAYS THERE'S A HIGH DROP-OUT RATE IN THESE COUNTRIES AMONG ADOLESCENTS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15 AND 18.

    ///SECOND HOFFMAN ACT///

    CHILDREN DON'T SEE IT AS A KIND OF NECESSITY TO GO TO SCHOOL. THEY DON'T SEE WHAT THIS WILL BRING THEM IN TERMS OF ADVANTAGES ... IF THEY ARE NOT IN SCHOOL, IF THERE IS NOT EMPLOYMENT, THEY BECOME THE RISK GROUP AND THEY BECOME THE STREET CHILDREN, AND THEN WE START WITH ALL THESE THINGS LIKE JUVENILE DELINQUENCY, AND SO FORTH.

    ///END ACT/////END OPT//

    UNICEF SAYS WHILE MORE MONEY IS NECESSARY, IT ARGUES THAT EVEN WITH LIMITED RESOURCES, COUNTRIES CAN DO A LOT TO IMPROVE THEIR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS. AMONG ITS RECOMMENDATIONS, THE REPORT SAYS SCHOOLS MUST MOVE AWAY FROM THE RIGID SOVIET-STYLE METHOD OF TEACHING AND BECOME MORE FLEXIBLE AND RELEVANT TO THE NEEDS OF MODERN SOCIETIES. IT ALSO SAYS SPECIAL HELP MUST BE GIVEN TO POOR FAMILIES TO HELP THEM PAY SCHOOL FEES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/PCF
    26-May-98 7:34 AM EDT (1134 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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