Educational reform is an urgent issue for the ”whole
of society” and reform methods “will determine the
future of the country for a long time to come”, stated
the leader of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma
Grigory Yavlinsky in a speech during parliamentary
hearings (November 14, 2000) on the governmental draft
on educational reform.
Yavlinsky believes that the Soviet education system
“was ideally formed to resolve the key task” faced
by the USSR faced in the 1930s: the “transition from
an agrarian to an industrial country.” Yavlinsky commented:
“This was an ideal system, which brilliantly implemented
Yavlinsky also pointed out that in Russia education
“is to a large extent marked by a lack of choice,
repeated and concentrated presentation of study materials”.
“This develops obedient minds and via serious stable
school dogmatism leads to a situation where school
produces easily manageable people”.
“Today we must decide how to switch from an industrial
country into a country with a 21st century economy
and society. The system which was established for
another task cannot function here”, noted Yavlinsky.
Yabloko thinks that the government was right to choose
three main areas of work: “approximate of the contents
of education to the realities of our life today, change
the education system and resolve economic problems
Yavlinsky also said that budget allocations for education
should be considerably higher. At the same time he
is convinced that a mere increase in financial resources
for education without any reform would be “simply
a waste of money”.
First of all Grigory Yavlinsky proposes implementing
what had been adopted in the law “On Education”. “Let
us implement what was adopted five or six years ago.
This will suffice at first,” noted Yavlinsky, pointing
out to the audience that this year for the first time
in the country’s new history “individuals incapable
or reading or writing were conscripted to the army”.
Yavlinsky thinks that the country needs to establish
a system that considers the specifics of each pupil.
Such a system would enable citizens to assert their
constitutional rights to education and create a diversity
of educational institutions, so that children could
make a better choice.
Yavlinsky also called on the Duma to adopt, including
all requisite amendments, the draft law submitted
by Yabloko on implementation of a citizen’s constitutional
rights to education. According to Yavlinsky, this
would create a flexible national educational standard
and establish stringent norms for budget financing,
aimed at resolving economic problems in this sphere,
and would alter the order of budget financing to make
Yavlinsky also appealed to the audience at the parliamentary
support his calls for transferring the army to contract
basis. He said: “The budget comprises 88 billion rouble
revenues which were not obtained from oil prices.
This fact has virtually been recognised by both the
government and the President.”
The position of the Yabloko
faction on educational reform