A programme for a uniform educational and information environment worked out by the education ministry on instructions from the president, is to be submitted for government approval on June 7, deputy education minister Boris Vinogradov, said Friday. Speaking at Federation Council hearings on Distance Learning: problems and prospects for development, he said that the programme, which has already been okayed in more than 70 regions, is now being coordinated with the finance and economic development ministries. Vinogradov cited the basic sources of financing-half of the funds are expected to be of the budgetary origin and half from the budgets of Federation jurisdictions and extra-budgetary sources. The education ministry takes upon itself the elaboration of teachers' books and the upkeep of the trunk telecommunication network. As to refresher training courses for school teachers, the establishment of information channels and the acquisition of computer equipment, these should be the responsibility of the regions proper, said Vinogradov. In the opinion of the deputy minister, the legislation too should be re-worked with emphasis on creating legal norms for the organisation of joint educational activity based on distance learning technologies with foreign countries, including those integrated in the CIS. This proposal has won support at the parliamentary hearings attended not only by deputies but heads of leading colleges and universities as well.
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