Putin vows to spend $4 bln on regional schools over next 2 years

The Russian government will allocate 120 billion rubles ($4 billion) for the modernization of regional schools over the next 2 school years, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

“We plan to allocate 60 billion rubles ($2 billion) from the federal budget in each of the next two academic school years. The federal funds will be spent to upgrade equipment in sports halls, school canteens, as well to resolve problems of ungraded rural schools and training…for teachers,” Putin said at meeting of the ruling United Russia party in Volgograd.

Possible closedown of several ungraded rural schools is now being urgently discussed in Russia.

“Our territory is vast, and it’s hard to argue that when a school is being closed down [some little] residential areas die,” Putin said, adding that it is necessary to preserve schools in every residential area where possible.

The prime minister emphasized that in little schools it is very difficult to maintain the education on high level. “In schools with two, three, four, five, seven, 10 teachers it is impossible to maintain everything on a qualitative level both in math and in physical culture.”

“We propose that good educational centers are set up with strong branches around them, to reduce expenditure on school maintenance,” Putin said.

The funds from the local budgets saved owing to the federal cash injection will be used to increase the teachers’ salaries.

VOLGOGRAD, May 6 (RIA Novosti) 

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