Friday, February 2, 2018

Pupils in One-School Village in Tambov Region Launch Their Own Website

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 2 – Pupils in the only school in the village of Glazok in Tambov Oblast have launched a website about their town -- -- the first site of its kind in Russia and one that provides a unique childs’ eye view on how they see their village and what is happening there (

            The project was developed with the help of Kruzhok-Tur, a group of Internet enthusiasts who have conducted “technology weeks” in various villages of the region, teaching young people how to create a site and post news and other materials on it.  The site’s five pages provide an unvarnished view of what Glazok and its 1500 residents are like today.

                Among the stories the site features are:

·         Each family maintains its own garden and animals. When they can, family members hunt and fish.

·         There is only one school. It suffered from a fire a decade ago. A sports facility was planned but stopped before it began.

·         There is a beautiful building where once there was a hospital, but “now there is only a therapeutic center.”

·         People work in the school, the shops, at the post office and at the bank. But there aren’t enough jobs and so many go off to cities. Nonetheless they do come back to their families for holidays.

·         The nineteenth century church was destroyed in the 1930s. Initially people hoped ot restore it, but in 2008 a decision was made to build a new one. It is still in the process of being built.

·         The House of Culture, “the so-called ‘third place’ is possibly the only one in the village where one can meet informally and also where it is warm.”

·         A war memorial was put up in 2008. In December 2016, the remains of a villager who died in Crimea during World War II were returned and reburied in the village.

·         The village has a good beach but it lacks amenities so far.

·         Getting to Glazok isn’t easy: take the train to Michurinsk, then take a taxi (600 rubles or 10 US dollars), or take a bus which runs between Michurinsk and Glazkov three times a day at 5:30 am, 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

·         There are three stores, all located on the main square and all supposed to close at 9:00 pm. Usually however they are open later but you have to knock hard. They don’t have all everyone needs but an order. “Forget about bank cards and don’t try to use Apple Pay.”

·         The monthly rent for a house in Glazok is about 5,000 rubles (83 US dollars).  Tehre is no Airbnb and it is best to call one of two children who are listed on the site and who will help find you a place.

·         After Russians elsewhere learned of the fire in the school library, they sent hundreds of books; but the school doesn’t yet have a good place for them. 

·         And finally: “In the past, Glazok was a district center. Older people talk about the millionaire sovkhoz in which they raised sugar beets and looked after cows and pigs. In the second half of the 20th century there were several school buildings in Glazok, in which about 900 people studied. Here too was a big hospital with thereapeutic, surgical and birthing departments.”

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