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MOSCOW, November 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian MPs suggested postponing the entry into force of the new education law for six months.
The government’s draft education law passed the first reading in the Duma on October 17 and is scheduled for a second reading on December 11.
“As for when the law should take effect, it is January 1, 2013 [as stated in the draft law]. But it is clear that this date needs to be changed,” Alexander Degtyarev (United Russia), the head of the State Duma Education Committee, said at a meeting of the presidium of the Council of Russian Legislators on Monday, November 19.
In his opinion, “it would be advisable for the law to enter into force in the second half of 2013 from the point of view of the budgetary process so that we would have the possibility, if such a need arises, to make changes to the federal and regional budgets for the second half of year,” he said.
Degtyarev noted that the amendments to the draft law suggest postponing the enactment of the document until August 1. Nevertheless, he believes that it would take a “consolidated decision of the government, the presidential administration and legislators” to determine the final date.
The new education law is to replace two existing ones: “On Education” and “On Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education” which were adopted in 1992 and 1996, respectively.
State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said earlier that the Duma would adopt a new basic education law before the end of the year.
He noted that although departmental education, such as that given at the Interior Ministry’s Moscow University, has its specific aspects, “they should be taken into account in the education law”.
Naryshkin recalled that the draft law is now being prepared for a second reading and “will be adopted during the autumn session” that ends in late December.
He also proposed that the government make annual reports on educational policy in Russia.
“I would suggest that the future law (“On Education” in Russia) be supplemented with a provision that will require the government to make annual reports on the implementation of the state educational policy in the country, which the government would represent to the State Duma,” Naryshkin said.
He also noted that some questions raised concerns during the work on ther basic education law, including stipends and utilities payment benefits for rural teachers.
“We should find such a solution that would not cause the position of this category of teachers to worsen in the future,” the speaker said. Additional work is also need with regard to ungraded schools. “Our common task is to make education qualitative, modern and competitive,” he said.
Former head of the Federal Education Agency and a member of the Duma Committee on Education, Grigory Balykhin, said that the draft basic law “On Education” submitted to the State Duma by the government and passed in a first reading on October 17 included many proposals that were put forth during its drafting.
“However the Duma Committee on Education continues to receive proposals. We have already received them from more than from 5,000 educational organisations and 90,000 people,” he said.