Education in Russia Needs USD 1.5 Billion by 2004 to Avert Degradation

In 2004 education will require an additional USD 1.5 billion including USD 871 million for the transition to a branch system of work pay, according to Yabloko Party State Duma Deputy Alexander Shishlov at a session of the State Duma committee for education and science on Friday.

Shishlov said that the government's conducting of work for optimization of budget expenses 'must not be looked at as an instrument for economizing expenses on education.' He also said that budget expenses on education must be increased, because 'the continuation of the present level of pay for teachers and financing of expenses in the development of material bases for schools and institutions of higher education will inevitably lead to the degradation of the entire system of education.'

The committee and the Ministry of Education prepared a joint proposal for a top-priority budget with political importance. Particularly the proposal calls for the increase in pay for teachers, increase in expenses on acquisition of learning equipment and on the development of an information base for education, and also on repairs for dormitories.

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