Since Putin Came to Power, Four Russian Schools, Three of Them Rural, have Closed Every Day
August 31 – Since 2000, four schools have closed in Russia every day, three of
them in rural areas. As a result, pupils must travel further to go to school,
many go into cities to study, the quality of education they receive has
declined, and ever more Russian parents are electing to home school their
trends in turn are accelerating the death of the Russian village and the
depopulation of rural Russia, developments that a Nakanune news agency report
says are threatening the country’s ability to modernize at home and to defend
itself against national security threats from abroad (nakanune.ru/articles/114235/)e.
closure of schools in rural areas is casting a shadow on the entire country,
the news agency continues. Not only are children having to travel up to 17
kilometers each day to get to school, up from 12 only 18 years ago, but ever
more of them are forced to go into nearby cities to get any education, effectively
condemning their villages to an early death.
confirm this. In 2005, 99 percent of village pupils studied in rural schools,
but in 2017, only 85 percent do. The remainder either study in cities, are
homeschooled or have dropped out of the educational system altogether.
course,” the agency continues, “urbanization is a global process … but for
Russia with its enormous distances and very small population, further
urbanization will mean the risk of a loss of territory. And the mass liquidation
of rural schools under the pretext of their unprofitability will only promote
logic of the market,” Nakanune says, “where schools are rating by their
effectiveness in these terms is murderous for Russia.” With their death, the village
school ceases to be an anchor for the village and an escalator for young people
there, thus further depressing birthrates and killing off the villages more
trend has been made worse, educational officials say, by the desire of the
school system to make instruction “fun” rather than substantive. Parents can
see this and are drawing their own conclusions, pulling their children out of
schools and educating them at home so that they will be better prepared for
universities and life.
Russian government doesn’t currently maintain statistics on home schooling, but
it is clearly a growing phenomenon, especially in villages. Some activists
estimate ther are as many as 100,000 young people being home schooled on a
voluntary basis – that is, not because of problems with their health but because
of the decision of parents.
is still a tiny fraction of all Russian pupils – less than one percent – but the
share is growing, up by more than seven times over the last decade, at least in
part because of the impact of the closure of schools in rural Russia.