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Press Release, 23.11.99
Yabloko proposes saving our universally available education system and doubling teachers' salaries.

"We would like to demonstrate that there is a party in Russia that protects the interests of the country's future with the same persistence, as others advocate or oppose tolling", said Grigory Yavlinsky at a press conference in the State Duma.

Yabloko's working group submitted a draft law "On the Provisions of Constitutional Rights of Citizens to Secondary Education", that has been based on the ideas expressed by the representatives of pedagogical circles. The group includes the Director of the Institute for Planning of Education, former Minister of Education of the Russian Federation in 1990-1991 Eduard Dnyeprov, Director of Moscow school No. 1060 Anatoli Pinsky, and teacher of mathematics, Deputy of the Moscow Duma, Evgeni Bunimovich.

The draft law has the following two goals: to transfer the financing of education from threadbare to real sufficiency and bring the school programme into line with student abilities and requirements. This actually implies: the introduction of a new system for teachers' salaries, based on the schemes used to calculate the wages of municipal white collar workers; the formation of a system of special budgetary funds for education (to finance educational institutions); the introduction of new standard regulations for financing requirements, instead of using budget scraps; the introduction of specialisation in senior forms; the adoption of a new educational standard, stipulating a reduction in the burden on pupils due to a 8-9% cut in the compulsory educational burden at schools.The reduction of an educational burden, simultaneously with a change in wage principles for teachers, will solve the most important problem for school - teachers will not be interested in an increase in the educational burden, which would increase the work load for pupils; at the same time teachers' salaries will at least double.

According to Eduard Dnyeprov, the draft law qualitatively differs from many "election-tied" educational programmes. Such a law would provide for the establishment of a clear-cut mechanism to ensure the implementation of citizens' rights to free and universally available education, as stipulated by Article 43 of the Constitution.

The draft law presented today represents the first step in the implementation of Yabloko's educational programme. Its main principle can be summed up as follows: education must be a priority area for Russia's leadership that should think about the country's future.

Considerable part of URF's electorate supports Grigory Yavlinsky's proposals for peaceful settlement of the conflict in Chechnya.

Based on Interfax reports.