Education minister believes junior pupils should study separately from seniors

Russian education minister Vladimir Filippov believes that junior pupils should study separately from secondary school students. "This is the goal we will achieve," he said.

Filippov spoke on Friday at the Moscow pedagogical council on "The role of educational institutions in the fulfilment of the state target programme 'Modernization of Moscow education'", a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

The minister pointed out that the number of pupils in Russian primary schools was gradually decreasing. If today their number totals 20 million children, by 2007 the figure may fall to 14 million.

The school must become attractive for Russian children, Filippov emphasized. The country should restore the system of pedagogic work in every class. "Public organizations for children and youth should return to schools," he believes.

At present the Russian educational system is testing variants of introducing profile education in senior grades.

In conclusion Filippov awarded Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov with "the highest branch award", the title of "Honorary education worker of the Russian Federation". "It is for the first time that the award has been given to the head of a constituent member of the Federation," the minister pointed out.

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