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The State Duma Committee on Education and Science proposes that the Russian Government should make development of education a priority issue when drafting the state budget for 2003

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The Government of Russia "should proceed from the fact that development of education is a priority" when drafting the federal law "On the Federal Budget for 2003" as regards financing education, the State Duma Committee on Education and Science has stated.

This is also stressed in the Committee decision, signed by its Chairman, Alexander Shishlov, a deputy from the Yabloko faction.

The State Duma Committee on Education and Science has proposed to the Russian Government and the Duma Budget and Tax Committee that when drafting the state budget for 2003 they should "proceed from … the principle of faster growth rates of expenditures on high-priority areas of educational development with mandatory preservation of the level of basic financing of education that has already been reached, and ensuring growth in expenditures on all issues of budget and economic classification, exceeding the level of forecast inflation."

The Committee also believes that the 2003 budget should "concentrate resources on the comprehensive development of the infrastructure of educational institutions, material incentives for highly-qualified teaching personnel, and on increasing the accessibility of professional education."

With the aim of increasing the accessibility of education, it was proposed that the following be done:

  • increase of stipends by at least 100%, with a simultaneous change of regulations on stipends to increase the targeted nature of social stipends, allotting an additional 6.6 bln roubles for this goal;
  • increase of expenditures on the repair and maintenance of student dormitories.

With the aim of material support for highly-qualified teaching personnel and encouraging innovation by teachers, the Committee proposes that the 2003 budget stipulate the following:

  • a 400% increase in additional payments for the academic degrees of "candidate of science" and "doctor of science", allotting to this an additional 4.7 bln roubles;
  • set additional bonuses for masters of professional education and directors of educational institutions of primary and secondary professional education, amounting to 1,000 roubles per month, allotting to this an additional 1.4 bln roubles;
  • provision for faster growth rates in wages to workers in education participating in the innovative and experimental work to modernise education, by increasing the funds for the Federal Programme for the Development of Education, in the amount of 0.4 bln roubles.

In order to further develop the infrastructure of educational institutions and informational and methodological support for education, the Committee proposed the following:

  • increase of expenditures for purchasing educational laboratory equipment to 7.2 bln roubles;
  • increase of expenditures on capital and current repairs of educational-laboratory and educational-production objects to 8.6 bln roubles;
  • increase of expenditures for replenishing library stock (including those on electronic media) to 1.6 bln roubles;
  • allotting additional funds amounting to 1.0 bln roubles for re-training and professional development of professors and teachers of higher education institutions.

In the part of providing basic financing for education, the Committee considers it necessary to stipulate the following:

  • raising average wages for workers in education (from January 1, 2003) by 20%, allotting an additional 6.9 bln roubles for this;
  • increase of expenditures on utilities by 46% (including inflation and tariff increases) considering the prospects of co-financing of these expenditures from extra-budgetary funds of educational institutions;
  • increase by 5.0 bln roubles of expenditures on providing meals for primary school pupils, those on state support, and orphans studying in professional education institutions.

"It is important to focus on the key tasks that we can solve today, without scattering the budget funds," noted Alexander Shishlov, Chairman of the State Duma Education and Science Committee.

See also:
Reform in Education

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