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Moscow State University president calls for returning astronomy to school curricula

December 13, 2014, 21:58 UTC+3 PLATEAU SHATZHATMAS
He took part in a gala ceremony of opening the Caucasus Mountainous Observatory in Russia’s North Caucasian region of Karachai-Cherkessia
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PLATEAU SHATZHATMAS, North Caucasus, December 13. /TASS/. Russian higher education community insists on returning astronomy as an academic discipline to general school curricula, Dr. Viktor Sadovnichy, the president of Moscow Lomonosov State University said on Saturday.

He took part in a gala ceremony of opening the Caucasus Mountainous Observatory in Russia’s North Caucasian region of Karachai-Cherkessia.

“I think astronomy must be returned to the curricula of general schools,” he said.

Reforms depend on the people who carry them out and “lopsided decisions occur at times,” Dr. Sadovnichy said.

He indicated that fundamental sciences, which are the locomotives of human development, suffered considerable losses in Russia in previous years. One of the landmarks of Russian science, the legendary Moscow Planetarium that had become an integral element of the history of Moscow City, was practically eliminated.

Moscow State University helped with it re-establishment and reconstruction. “Now the lines of people waiting for admittance are as huge as the ones described by /Soviet poet of the 1920’s and 1930’s/ Vladimir Mayakovsky,” Dr. Sadovnichy said. “We’ve begun to fight for astronomy.”

“Everything is getting restored step by step,” he said. “Theme compositions have already made a comeback and considerable efforts are being made in mathematics.”

“We’ve rebuffed an assault on the system of inter-school competitions in academic subjects and it embraces almost two million school kids at present,” Dr. Sadovnichy said.

He also recalled recent proposals to revive school-leaving exams in history and to make enter them on the list of mandatory Unified State Examinations.

“As the next step, we’ll insist on the return of astronomy as a subdivision of some other discipline or a separate school subject,” he said.

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