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Alexander Shishlov: Real rise in teachers’ wages should become the priority task when preparing the federal budget for 2004

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A meeting of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science devoted to discussion of the priorities governing the compilation of the state budget for 2003 regarding financing for education took place in the State Duma on April 24, 2003.

Committee members stressed the importance of the work conducted by the government to optimise budget expenditures. However, this work should not be regarded as an instrument to make savings on education expenditures, said Alexander Shishlov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science (the YABLOKO faction). On the opposite, budget expenditures on education should be raised, as maintenance of the present level of teachers' wages and the financing of development of the logistics base of schools and universities will inevitably lead to a general degradation in the education system. The funds should be allotted first of all to development of education without limiting financing to education support only, stressed Shishlov.

According to Shishlov, the committee prepared joint proposals on first-hand budget priorities that are of political importance. They include an increase in teachers' wages, an increase in expenditures on the purchase of educational equipment and refurbishment of hostels, increase of expenditures on the development of an information education base.

In general the education sector requires about RUR 47 billion in additional funds in 2004, including RUR 27 billion for the transfer of the education sector to the sector wage system. The Single Tariff Scale (Ed. the present system for wage regulation for budget sector workers) is already obsolete, but can only be abolished, as long as the wages of school and university teachers are doubled, noted Shishlov.

Our proposals are definite and first and foremost realistic. But their implementation requires political will, which should be demonstrated by the state, as it is indebted to the education sphere, stressed Shishlov.

See also:

Reform in Education

Wages of Budget Sphere Workers
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