MOSCOW, May 28 (Itar-Tass) - After the resignation of Deputy Education Minister Igor Fedyukin, the Ministry of Education and Science will be able to strengthen its ranks by attracting acknowledged professionals, Secretary of United Russia's General Council, deputy speaker of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament Sergei Neverov told reporters on Tuesday.
"We've repeatedly said that the Ministry should employ professions whose reputation and knowledge is not questioned by the society," Neverov said.
He noted that this theme had been discussed at a recent meeting between the leadership of the Party with Education Minister Dmitry Livanov "where the issue about the deputy minister's competency was raised harshly."
"We talked about our concerns with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, too," the lawmaker noted.
United Russia is hoping that the minister will "revise his approaches toward interaction with professional community and lawmakers, and that the ministry would be more open to the discussion of problems that worry people."
"It is very important that the reforms which are being implemented in the education system and which affect the interests of millions of our citizens, are understandable to people," Neverov said.
Earlier, spokeswoman for the Russian prime minister Natalia Timakova said Fedyukin had tendered his resignation of his own accord.
In late April, Fedyukin, who was in charge of training scientific manpower, came under severe criticism after a scandal over his allegedly fake certificate of higher education. Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party /LDPR/ Vladimir Zhirinovsky then gathered the copies of the deputy minister's certificate of higher education and other documents which he said contained "a wealth of contradictory data."
At the end of May, Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko accused the Education Ministry of failing to meet the deadline for drawing a long-term state strategy in the field of intellectual property. In response, Fedyukin remarked that the ministry had been ordered to focus on working out plans for priority events in 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.
However, Matviyenko dismissed the explanations as invalid. She said the official wanted "to stonewall the issue."
"You've been working for year; but we've only heard general phrases which were not even systemized," the FC speaker said.
She reminded that one of the functions of the upper house was supervision over the operation of executive bodies. "We'll exercise these powers strictly, including towards you," Matviyenko underlined.
Sources at the ministry, in comments on Fedyukin's resignation, noted that "apparently it was his own personal decision."