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The "big four" factions in the Duma refused to support education and science

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Chairman of the Duma Committee on Education and Science and member of the YABLOKO faction Alexander Shishlov expressed his regret that representatives of the deputies' groups the "Unity", "Fatherland - All Russia", "People's Deputy" and "Russia's Regions" had refused to support the amendments of the Education Committee on allotting additional funds to the education and science sector. The amendments for the second reading of the draft budget for 2003 were discussed during the meeting of the State Duma Budget and Tax Committee on Thursday, October 10, 2002.

According to Shishlov, the decision of the Budget and Tax Committee was in line with the amendments introduced by "Unity", "Fatherland - All Russia", "People's Deputy" and "Russia's Regions» These changes did not envisage an increase in expenditures on education and science. Shishlov noted that "the absence of any SPS faction members on the Committee largely facilitated the success of the "big four".

The Education and Science Committee proposed raising expenditure on education and science by 2 billion and 0.5 billion roubles respectively.

In particular, the Committee proposed allocating in section 14 of the draft budget additional funds to computerise educational institutions, first and foremost primary vocational training, the purchase of laboratory equipment, retraining and upgrading of the qualifications of teachers, primarily staff at higher education institutions, as well as an increase in funds for federal programmes in education (presidential programmes "Orphans" and "Talented Children", etc.).

The Education Committee proposed allocating additional funds in Section 6 of the draft budget "Fundamental Research and Facilitation of Science and Technology Progress" to tender-based financing of research, development of research at higher educational institutions, as well as maintenance of fundamental research in branches of the Academy of Science.

According to Shishlov, the 21.8% increase in expenditure on education and science planned for 2003 does not correlate with the priority of support for education announced by the government. Over the past two years annual increases in expenditures on education amounted to over 50%. Today, according to Shishlov, education needs above all funds for development and modernization.

Shishlov also noted that during the second reading of the budget (scheduled for October 18, 2002) the YABLOKO faction will propose a vote on amendments to increase expenditure on education and science.

See also:
Reform in Education
Budget 2003

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