|The RF State Duma approved the first reading of a draft
law on mandatory military training at schools and professional colleges,
stipulating that students must also attend mandatory regular training.
On Friday October 10, Russian deputies adopted amendments to the law "On
Military Service and Military Duty" and the law "On Education"
which in their turn remove any contradictions that existed between both
In particularly, the law "On Education" stipulates that military
education at schools is only possible if approved by students themselves
and their parents. At the same time, the law "On Military Service
and Military Duty" stipulates the mandatory teaching of basic knowledge
about defence and the teaching of the fundamentals of military service
at schools and professional colleges. The law states that only additional
educational programs on military training are voluntary. The amendment
to the law adopted by Duma deputies makes clear that the clause concerning
the law "On Education" must be abolished and a new one referring
to the law on military service must be introduced.
What is more, in the first reading the deputies adopted an amendment
on regular training as part of the military education of students. It
is expected that regular military training will be conducted not for school-leavers,
but for students in their penultimate year of studies. This will allow
school leavers to devote more time to their finals.
Thus, Russian education will once be again militarized as it was during
the Soviet era. In response to the harsh criticism of the project by several
Duma factions, RF presidential spokesperson Alexander Kotenkov said that
schools needed the mandatory military education. He added that the law
might be adopted, provided that the clause on mandatory regular military
training is removed from the law before the second reading in the Duma.
In all 338 deputies voted for adoption of the law, 42 against and nobody
abstained. Now it is the turn of the Federation Council and the RF President
to consider the document.
Chairman of the Duma Science and Education Committee, Yabloko deputy
Alexander Shishlov says
that following approval of the law on mandatory military education at
schools, the Duma majority is pushing society towards militarization.
Shishlov strongly objects to the law developed by the military. The
deputy asks: "What do we want to have: militarization or a high-tech
society based on educational economics?" The Yabloko deputy insists
that students and their parents must still have an alternative. "What
the law "On education" says in this respect absolutely agrees
with the RF Constitution, the legislation and common sense. There is no
need to change the wording."
Shishlov suggests that if the RF Defence Ministry has spare money, it
would be wiser to spend it on implementing military reforms and on the
transition to a contract-based army. If the ministry does not need the
money, it should send it to schools for spending on education.
Alexander Shishlov: the
State Duma Committee for Education and Science pposes the introduction
of mandatory military training at school. Press release. October 9, 2003