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The Duma majority refused to increase financing of education and science in 2003

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Chairman of the Duma Committee on Education and Science, member of the YABLOKO faction Alexander Shishlov expressed his regret that the Duma majority refused to vote for the amendments on allotting additional funds to the education and science sector. The amendments were discussed on Friday, October 18, 2002.

The position of the "big four" factions of the Duma - the "Unity", "Fatherland - All Russia", "People's Deputy" and "Russia's Regions" - and the LDPR faction was decisive in the Duma vote. These deputy groups refused to allot additional funds toeducation and science. The education committee of the Duma proposed an increase in expenditure on education and science of 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 in Section 6 of the Draft Budget "Fundamental Research and Facilitation of Science and Technology Progress" for tender-based financing of research, development of research in the higher educational institutions, as well as maintenance of fundamental research in branches of the Academy of Science.

According to Shishlov, the increase by 21.89% of expenditures on educations and science planned for 2003 does not correlate with the priority of support of education announced by the government. In the past two years the annual increase of expenditures on education amounted to over 50%.

Alexander Shishlov also said that the state could obtain funds to increase financing for education and science in Russia by reducing expenditure on servicing the foreign debt.

See also:
Reform in Education
Budget 2003

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