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The Moscow Times

12,000 Altai Teachers Protest

May 29, 2002

About 12,000 teachers in the Altai region kicked off a nationwide campaign Tuesday for education reform and higher wages, Interfax reported. Teachers unions in the western Siberian region are collecting signatures through Saturday for a petition to President Vladimir Putin. Other regions will join the drive, Interfax said.

The petition states that there have been no changes in education since Putin became president two years ago and laments that living standards of teachers, college professors and students remain low. The petition also warns that the limited funds sunk into education are spent inefficiently and the quality of secondary and higher education is declining.

Putin presided over a State Council meeting in August at which it was declared the education system would be reformed. Ministers said at the time that most of the reform would take four to seven years to implement. Salaries for teachers were then raised a notch.

But salaries in some regions are still not paid in a timely manner. Alexander Shishlov, head of the State Duma's science and education committee, said Tuesday that the government has not done enough since August. "I share the concern of the unions and think that measures aimed at the development of education must be more dynamic and focused on several priority issues," Shishlov, a member of the liberal Yabloko party, said by telephone.

He said his committee will propose that spending be increased in the 2003 federal budget to allow the purchase of new equipment for education institutions and salary hikes for college and university professors with degrees.


See also:
the original at

YABLOKO leader doubts the accuracy of public opinion poll on introducing censorship in the media. Press Release, May 30, 2002

The Moscow Times, May 29, 2002

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