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New Education Environment

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New Education Environment


Head of the State Duma Committee for Education and Management Board Chairman of the Russkiy Mir Foundation Vyacheslav Nikonov summed up the results of the autumn session of the lower chamber of Russian Parliament.

In particular, he noted that new environment for the development of education have been created largely due to the new bill "On Education" being passed in the Duma as well as amendments to 180 other legislative acts. “Financing of the education system rose dramatically in recent years, including through the efforts of our faction (United Russia),” said the parliamentarian.

Preschool guidance is the new level of education added since September 1. State Duma deputies took an active part in the development of preschool education standards. “The problems of daycare centers are being solved also to a large extent through our efforts,” Nikonov remarked.

The head of the Duma committee informed that now each educational institution must have its own website. At present only 40% of rural schools do not have such sites, but by 2014, according to the parliamentarian, this problem will be addressed.

Discussing the situation at schools, he noted that because kindergartens are overcrowded, there is a risk of passing the kids from these establishments right to the first grade. In this connection, in Nikonov’s opinion, the proposal of Russian president Vladimir Putin put forward in his annual address to the Federal Assembly – to use daycares as a primary school – seems extremely relevant. “This idea was also voiced in the faction,” noted the MP.

As regards the introduction of the school uniform, Nikonov reminded that it was decided “to let every school, team and students themselves to choose their school uniform.”

He also noted that as of today the decree about awarding medals and honors to straight A-students has been revoked. “I'm sure this is wrong and we'll surely return to this practice later,” stated the MP.

For all the criticism of determining the efficiency and inefficiency of tertiary institutions, Nikonov is convinced that this work brought decent results. However, two principal errors were made: only state colleges and universities were evaluated and they were labeled as either “efficient” or “inefficient”, which should not have been done.

“In this year about 200 tertiary educational institutions have been identified, which do not carry out any educational process and about 400 that do almost nothing in this area,” he pointed out. In the months to come all these institutions of tertiary education will be closed.

One of the top priorities is getting rid of queues for a place in daycares. However MPs had a serious encounter with the Ministry of Finance over the extension of the daycare network, said Nikonov. He noted that the draft bill introduced earlier envisages the allocation of 100bn rubles to provide places in daycares for kids aged 3 to 7. Yet for now “we managed to squeeze out of the treasury only 10bn rubles plus the promise to revisit this issue in April.”

Parliamentarians will also keep under their control the matter of parents paying for daycares. The head of the Duma committee promised to put up a tough fight against unjustifiably high daycare fees in the regions, and also against the rectors who suddenly decided to raise dormitory costs for students.

Source: United Russia website


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