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MOSCOW, August 3 (Itar-Tass) — The draft of the new basic law “On Education in the Russian Federation” has been passed to the State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament on Friday. The document was submitted by the government and is registered in the lower house electronic database.
According to the accompanying materials, the bill “is designed to improve the legislation in the field of education and is a basic legal act in this sphere.” The text “fixes the foundations of legal regulation in the sphere of education, integrating both the general provisions and regulations regulating relations in separate sub-systems of education (pre-school, general, secondary vocational, higher education.”
The Cabinet simultaneously submitted to the State Duma the so-called ancillary bill that envisages the introduction of changes to more than 100 federal laws in connection with the adoption of the basic document. Most of amendments to the legislative acts “secure bringing their terminology in line with the concepts and terms used in the draft Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation.”
This package of bills was approved at a cabinet meeting on July 26. RF Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the meeting gave instructions to finalise it within seven days, after which pass it to the State Duma.
The basic document text has been discussed at various levels for almost two years. It, in particular, provides for the electronic and distance learning forms, provides for procedures on independent assessment of the quality of education, for participation in the licensing and accreditation of the employers. The bill for the first time fixes the legal status of teachers - social security, wage levels not below the region’s average, the possibility to use original approaches to teaching. Priority is given to inclusive education, i.e., teaching of children with disabilities in mainstream schools. The future law provides for free education. The number of free school has been increased to 37.
According to Medvedev’s instruction, RF Minister of Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov and his Deputy - Secretary of State Natalya Tretyak were appointed official government representatives in the bill’s consideration by the two parliament houses.
Last week, Livanov expressed confidence that “Implementing the law will not cause any problems,” adding that the document provides for continuity with the previous one. “The law is a compromise, it has a marked social character and it will preserve the main benefits. The rights and obligations of the educational relations’ participants are better balanced in the document,” said the minister.
At a meeting of the RF government, which considered the bill, Medvedev said that it is necessary to allocate an additional 416 billion roubles for the development of education in 2013. “The expenditures for raising teachers’ wages, raising scholarships, the redistribution of authority in the sphere of education will be undertaken within the limits of budget allocations intended for these purposes,” he said. “An additional 16 billion roubles will be required from the federal budget for the implementation of the new bills after their entry into force in 2013 alone, and from the budgets of the Russian Federation subjects - more than 400 billion roubles.”
The prime minister noted that at the same time the spending of budgets of municipalities will be reduced by 112 billion roubles.
During the discussion Medvedev also said that the open debate on the law on education has taken two years. According to him, absolutely all strata of the society are taking part in the public discussion, not just professionals, it is because this subject is interesting in a professional or human way to a huge number of people.
“It’s time to sum up this discussion,” said Medvedev, adding that according to experts, the basic law on education of 1992 does not reflect the current realities and cannot regulate social relations in this sphere. “The gap between the needs of the educational practice and regulatory framework for this practice is too big,” said the RF government head.