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Education minister should be given chance to respond to criticism, rectify situation - FC speaker

May 29, 2013, 16:49 UTC+3

Livanov has worked as education minister for only a year, so it is premature to "draw final conclusion " about his work

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MOSCOW, May 29 (Itar-Tass) - Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko acknowledged critical remarks regarding the performance of Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov, but said he should be given a chance to rectify the situation.

"There are claims to the Education Ministry and the minister, they are justified, but I'm not inclined to make hasty decisions or launch ministerial merry-go-round," Matviyenko told reporters on Wednesday.

However, "the signals for the Ministry of Education and Science" are alarming. "If the minister /of education and science/ and his colleague show that they are capable of responding to criticism and taking effective measures, and if they're up to the posts they occupy; it's one situation. If they are unable to effectively cope with the tasks; the question will resolve by itself; of course, in that event, the reshuffle issue will be raised justifiably."

Livanov has worked as education minister for only a year, so it is premature to "draw final conclusion " about his work. "He should be give a chance to respond to criticism, rectify the situation, level it out and show that he can effectively run the ministry," the speaker said.

On Tuesday, Livanov said he might consider following the example of his outgoing deputy Igor Fedyukin if he lacked conditions and atmosphere for effective work.

"Fedyukin explained that he cannot work effectively because he feels great psychological discomfort. If I have a similar feeling, I am going to do what Igor Fedyukin did,” Livanov told a meeting of the Ministry’s Public Council.

Sources at the ministry, in comments on Fedyukin's resignation, noted that "apparently it was his own personal decision."

Meanwhile, secretary of United Russia's General Council, deputy speaker of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament Sergei Neverov, in comments on Fedyukin's resignation, said the ministry would be able to strengthen its ranks by attracting acknowledged professionals.

"We've repeatedly said that the Ministry should employ professions whose reputation and knowledge is not questioned by the society," Neverov said.

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.

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 a year; but we've only heard general phrases which were not even systemized," the FC speaker rebuked him.

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