29 august 2012

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev holds a teleconference on the readiness of the education system for the start of the 2012-2013 academic year

During a teleconference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that by March 2013 the Ministry of Education and Science will present proposals on reorganising a number of ineffective universities that do not meet the standards of a higher educational institution. "Students of such universities are not to blame for anything and shouldn't be disadvantaged. They may continue their studies at other places," he said.

"Until the end of this year, the Ministry of Education and Science will monitor the performance of Russian higher educational institutions and will submit its proposals on reorganising ineffective ones by March 2013. We must do this finally," Mr Medvedev emphasised, adding that "this seriously devalues our system of higher education."

Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets reported about major directions in the development of education in 2012 – making school and preschool education accessible and promotion of additional education. She mentioned the project for new standards in education and said they will be introduced in secondary and high schools by 2020. Ms Golodets also noted that "today parents and the foreign market are setting new requirements for education and we must be able to recognise them and continue to develop with parents' help."

Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov reported on the growth of newly commissioned buildings for educational institutions and the increasing number of children that can now use their services. He said the shortage of teachers is falling. Mr Livanov noted that the number of three-shift general education schools has been reduces, as we as the number of schools located in decrepit buildings. "On the whole, I think our education system is ready for the new academic year," he concluded.

The governors of the Kurgan and Novgorod regions and the Altai Territory delivered reports during the teleconference. Deputy Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Galina Zolina reported to Mr Medvedev on the implementation of the government's and the president's instructions on assisting flood victims in the region. Representatives of private educational institutions and universities also took the floor at the teleconference.

Minister of the Interior Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkovn and Head of Rospotrebnadzor (Federal Service for Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare) Gennady Onishchenko also reported on the readiness of schools for the new academic year.

In conclusion, Mr Medvedev promised to sign a number of instructions on the issues cited in the reports of the participants, and said that "on the whole the education system is ready for the start of the academic year."