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School rolls boom but seats are missing, minister bewails

January 23, 2014, 16:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
At present, almost 25% of schools have to teach children in two and sometimes three shifts
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Russia's education and science minister Dmitry Livanov

Russia's education and science minister Dmitry Livanov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

MOSCOW, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Youngsters studying in Russian schools will grow in number by 2.5 million by 2020-2021, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov told a cabinet meeting on Thursday, but a problem looks like residing in where they all will sit, he warned colleagues.

“Demand for extra seats in schools is growing," Livanov said. "Now, almost 25% of schools, that's 10,686, have to teach children in two and sometimes three shifts,” he calculated, adding that more than 1.8 million schoolchildren were taking lessons under these conditions.

Teaching in shifts is incompatible with modern education standards, the minister said. “Around 5,400 rural schools still do not meet modern sanitary requirements,” he revealed, adding that 633 schools were in critical condition and needed repairs. Another 8,000 should be overhauled.

The ministry would take further steps to reconstruct and build new schools all over Russia, he said.

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