Vladimir Filippov, the Russian Education Minister, pointed to the progress in the modernisation of village schools at the "governmental hour" of the plenary session of the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament).
The Minister said that 44,000 schools out of 65,000 are village schools, about the third of all pupils are going there.
V. Fillipov said that in 2001 the president initiated the programme that provided for the equipment of village schools with up-to-date computers.
The minister said that the computerization programme first covered village schools which means that the government is not saving money at their expense.
Within the next three years, each school will receive a 100-volume collection of works of the Russian classical literature, according to the Minister.
He thanked the State Duma for including in the 2003 budget money for schools to buy sport equipment.
The Defence Minister pointed to the importance of increasing the financing of village schools and enticing high-skilled teachers.