Russia already spends far less on education than most other modern countries – about 3.5 percent of GDP – compared to 7-8 percent of GDP among European countries, 14 percent of the GDP in Japan and a high of 23 percent of GDP in South Korea.
Paul Goble reports:
School teachers are not miners whose 1989 work action pointed to the end of Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, a Moscow commentator says, but Russian Education Minister Andrey Fursenko’s decision to lay off 200,000 educators could prove almost as explosive and trigger a political crisis for Vladimir Putin and his government.
That is because, experts say, there are currently more than 1,000,000 young people waiting in line to get into pre-school institutions, the absence of which has a serious impact on family life and thus a problem that will become ever more important if even more instructors at that level are fired as Fursenko is committed to doing. And in addition to that, many schools have teacher vacancies in key subject areas like science and mathematics, shortages that have been widely reported in the Russian media and that make it difficult for many Russians to accept Fursenko’s claim that the Russian Federation should be getting rid of such a large number of teachers.
In a commentary in Svobodnaya Pressa portal, Aleksandr Danilkin says that Fursenko’s plan to eliminate the jobs of one of every six teachers in the Russian Federation because Russian schools are overstaffed could prove “explosive” and even help “dig the grave of the Putin government.”
Here’s another brilliant bit of reporting from the mighty Moscow Times, exposing the fundamental fraud and horror that lies under the rock known as Russia’s “education” system. Hopelessly corrupt, impoverished and insular, Russia is churning out a generation of hackneyed, robotic morons incapable of doing anything to challenge the quagmire that is the Putin regime — which, of course, is exactly how the regime wants it.
When economics student Mikhail Popov struggled with a final exam at a regional university, he was offered an alternative — pay $200 and get a good grade. “I wasn’t sure of how well I would do, so I agreed in order to avoid any problems,” Popov said. It is a common practice at his university, he said: “A lot of people do it — the majority.”
Once the pride of the Soviet system, the education system helped unite the population, giving millions a similar start in life. Its strengths included science and mathematics. During the 1990s, however, inadequate state financing shook the system to its core, encouraging the growth of now-rampant corruption. At the same time, the market opened up to private education, particularly at the university level, where institutions offering in-demand courses in economics and law sprang up. State institutions also began to fill their coffers by offering paid courses.
Mass murder is so sexy!
Writing in Prospect magazine Arkady Ostrovsky, Moscow bureau chief of the Economist magazine, tells us about “flirting with Stalin” and the horror of life in neo-Soviet Russia:
“Dear friends! The textbook you are holding in your hands is dedicated to the history of our Motherland… from the end of the Great Patriotic War to our days. We will trace the journey of the Soviet Union from its greatest historical triumph to its tragic disintegration.”
This greeting is addressed to hundreds of thousands of Russian schoolchildren who will in September receive a new history textbook printed by the publishing house Enlightenment and approved by the ministry of education. “The Soviet Union,” the new textbook explains, “was not a democracy, but it was an example for millions of people around the world of the best and fairest society.” Furthermore, over the past 70 years, the USSR, “a gigantic superpower which managed a social revolution and won the most cruel of wars,” effectively put pressure on western countries to give due regard to human rights. In the early part of the 21st century, continues the textbook, the west has been hostile to Russia and pursued a policy of double standards.
Had it not been for Vladimir Putin’s involvement, this book would probably have never seen the light of day. In 2007, Putin, then Russian president, gathered a group of history teachers to talk about his vision of the past. “We can’t allow anyone to impose a sense of guilt on us,” was his message.