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MOSCOW, October 12 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia needs to build twice as many secondary schools as it does now to meet future demand, Minister of Education and Science Andrei Fursenko said on Wednesday.
“In the pre-crisis period, we used to commission a relatively big number of schools. Thus, as many as 960 schools were commissioned in 2008. It was a record-breaking figure,” he said at a Government Hour session of the Federation Council upper parliament house. “Later, the number of new schools dropped dramatically. Now the situation is improving. If in 2010 slightly more than 130 schools were commissioned [54 of which were sponsored by the federal budget], in 2011 the figure grew to 230, and only a third of them were funded from the federal budget. Next year, it is planned to build about 500 schools.”
Nevertheless, he stressed, it is still not enough. “We must build twice as many,” he stressed.
“We have raised this problem and discussed it with the government. But one must comprehend the scale of the problem: one school seat today costs from half a million to one million roubles, depending on the region,” Fursenko noted. More to it, according to forecasts, the number of schoolchildren will be on the rise starting from 2013. Now, there are about 13 million of schoolchildren and their number will increase by 150,000-200,000 a year. “It means we need to invest from 100 to 200 billion roubles in the construction of schools,” he stressed. “To motivate the regions, a third of the funds are to come from the federal budget. And this issue must be raised in the nearest future. Although the issue of allocating 150-200 billion roubles in a time span of five years is not an easy problem,” he added.