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Russian Schools to Grow by 6.5 Million Student Places

Dmitry Medvedev
Then President, Dmitry Medvedev visits an orphanage in 2011

Beginning in 2016, a ten year program to modernize and expand Russia's school system will be set in place. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told reporters recently the program will see 3 trillion rubles allocated from government and private sources to create the new schools and infrastructure.

Mr. Medvedev went on to describe how the plan would be implemented, calling the new initiative "colossal". Through co-financing and inter-constituent Russian Federation means, the Prime Minister expects next year alone will see tens of billions allocated toward the start of the new program. The 2016 program launch will require over 50 billion rubles, according to Medvedev. During the meeting, Mr. Medvedev also discussed parts of the plan aimed at modernizing curriculum and the system as well. 

Deputy Prime Minister, Olga Golodets was named to begin analyzing the current system and characteristics of the Russian classroom. For Mr. Medvedev's part, the PM recollected for those present, his own schooling in which more than 40 students crowded the small classrooms. The Prime Minister recollected: 

"Perhaps this is not what we need to strive for in order to restore the number of students in the class, because it is obvious that many subjects cannot be taught under such circumstances. Language, as an example, would be impossible and a waste of time with 40 students in a class." 

Mr. Medvedev offered the opinion that  between 25 and 30 students per class might be the optimal number to aim for. Further discussion was made over the nature of construction of the new schools, in particular the number of floors. In the old Soviet system most schools were four stories, but Medvedev questioned whether it would be more economical and feasible to build two, two story buildings without the use of elevators etc.