MOSCOW, September 17 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Communist Party does not object that the alternative bill on “popular education”, proposed by the party at the start of the year, was integrated in the draft, backed now by the Ministry of Education and Science.
This move was reported on Saturday at the Congress of the Russian Educational Society by deputy head of the State Duma Education Committee Oleg Smolin.
He noted that some proposals of the document, submitted by Communists – around 12 items – were already included in the official bill, placed at the site of the Ministry of Education. On the whole, according to Smolin, the latest version of this bill turned to be better than the two previous.
At the same time, speaking on behalf of authors of the alternative version of the bill, Smolin emphasised that Communists are ready for broader integration of the two documents which diverge so far on many items. “Take more, take the whole of it,” Smolin called on those who drafted the official version.
“We summed up requirements of the Russian educational community; half of the country has become our co-authors,” he said.
One of items of the “communist” version, Smolin continued, is a rise in state expenditures, within three years, for education at least by seven percent of the GDP. “These are minimum necessary expenses; now they stand at 3.5 percent,” he noted.
An important difference is that Communists note in their bill that “the EEG may be preserved, but (should be applied) only on a voluntary basis”.
Besides, Communists propose “restoring the state educational channel in VHF band and ensuring grant support for all channels which air educational programmes”.
Earlier, this topic was discussed by the Ministry of Education with representatives of the All-Russian Popular Front. But it was decided at the time to limit to examining possibilities of launching only educational programmes so as to assess demand later.
Apart from the above, Communists insist that stipends should be not just a way of encouraging for good studies: this money should be enough, more or less, to students for life. “Social stipends should be at a level, but ordinary stipends, for instance, at higher schools – should be equal to 80 percent of the living wage,” Smolin explained.
The Congress of the Russian Educational Society that opened in Moscow on Saturday, is attended by over 1,000 delegates; geography of participants from the Trans-Baikal Territory to Kaluga. They include school teachers, higher school lecturers, academicians, students and tutors of kindergartens. The aim of the congress is to discuss the most pressing issues of Russian education.