Educational Policies in Russia

Soviet Policies

After World War II, Russia was left having to rebuild many of the educational buildings that had been destroyed in the war. There was a shortage of teachers. Over half of the adult population was illiterate as a result of the war, and many teenagers were also forced to forgo an education in order to provide financial support for their families.

The Soviet government underwent major efforts in order to restore the literacy of the nation and provide for the education of children. Children were given shoes, clothing, school books, supplies and transportation to school. There was a special fund that was created to provide for these necessities of school children. By 1949, the state put forth a requirement that all school children were to receive compulsory education for at least seven years. Despite this requirement, there were still many students who were dropping out of school to take on jobs to financially support their families. In 1952, the compulsory seven-year educational requirement transformed into a 10-year educational requirement for all students.

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The XIX Congress in 1952 also made a fundamental change in the secondary educational system of students in Russia. Vocational training comprised at least 1/3 of the educational requirements that students were to complete, along with 2/3 training in general education subjects. The major idea behind this educational shift was to combine workforce labor with the theories that students learned in schools. School training was intended to make students ready to enter the labor force.

Post-Soviet Educational Policies

Today, there is much more freedom in the educational plans that are developed for children. Students now have greater power to create their own course of education, as opposed to the educational plan that was once developed for them under the communist regime. There is also a more humanist approach to the courses that are taught to students, as opposed to the more labor-centric courses that students were once forced to take.

In 2000, Russia established the National Doctrine of Education in the Russia Federation. This Act now provides for all major aspects of education in Russia. The act sets forth the basic objectives of education, the salaries of teachers, accessibility of education for students and other measures. The act seeks to provide equal opportunities to education for students from all social backgrounds and classes in Russia.

The Act also extends the number of required years of compulsory education for all students in Russia. The Act extends the number of years that children must be within the educational system from 10 years to 12 years. One of the major goals of this Act and policies signed into law by President Dmitri Medvedev is to also improve the quality of education that students receive. Scholars note that this focus upon improving the quality of education that students receive is a marked shift in educational policy in Russia. Students will now have greater access to technology and be able to focus more on humanist disciplines than in the Soviet era.

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