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A PROGRESS REPORT ON THE SOVIET SCHOOL REORGANIZATION
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND REPORTS
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
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A PROGRESS REPORT ON THE SOVIET SCHOOL REORGANIZATION
A major reorganization of the Soviet school system was begun inchool year and is scheduled for completion3 In addition to adding "labor training" to the curricula of all Soviet schools, the law on oducation. passed in8 provided) extension of compulsory educationonversion of the general academic high schools Into labor-poly-technical high schools,xpansion of evening andschools at the high school and college levels. These goals were elaborated further in the Seven Yearnd supplemented by decrees providing for an expansion ln the network of child-careki.ndergartons and boarding schools.
In tho past two yoars the USSR has proceeded vigorously lnthe network of child-care facilities and also in increasing the enrollment in evening schools and correspondence courses. On the other band, the extension ofear education is apparently behind schedule, and high school enrollment has continued to decline more rapidly than the population of high-school age. This unevenin carrying out educational goals evidently was dictated ln large part by tho need for additional workers during years when the number of persons roachlng working age was still declining sharply. Thus, those programs that would increase labor force participation among toenagers,and mothers have been stressed, and programs that would put teenagers in school instead of in Jobs have boon permitted to lag. In the next several years, as the number of persons reaching working age rises sharply, these lagging programs probably will receive new emphasis. The need to expand school facilities also will becomebecause of the expected rapid rise ln the school ago population.
Educational Plans and Progress
Child-careto the Seven Year Plan, the network of nurseries and" Kindergartens is to bo expanded tomoreillion children5 compared toillion Since the population of pre-school age (lessears) probably will not Increase much during that period, this program will provido facilities for at leastercent of thein theso ages compared to aboutercent By the endacilities had oxpanded to accommodato anbout the average annual increase required to meet the planned goal. 0 more kindergartens and nurseries were built than/ Seeking to use available facilities more9 decree provided for the merging of nurseries and kindergartens into unified institutions. 3/
The Seven Year Plan also called for an expansion of enrollment in boarding schools8 These schools were first established in their present formnd have been widely acclaimed by the Soviet leadership as tho ultimate and ideal institution in which to prepare tho."New Soviot Man." During
tho current school year, however,tudents are attending theso schools. 4/ In an attempt to overcome the lag In this program,0 decree transferring budgeted funds from housing construction to school construction singled out the boarding schools for special consideration. 5/
Compulsory Blght-Voaxtransition from seven-year to eight-year compulsory schooling Is scheduled for completion by the fall/ It is unlikely that this schedule will be met, since the problems oT high dropout rates and Inadequate schoolproblems that have kept about one-fifth of all Soviet children from completing the soventh grade nine years after it becamehavo apparently yet to bo solved. During the past two years,in tho first seven grades has baroly kopt pace with population growth In these ages. In extending compulsory schooling an additional year, the USSR is faced wltb the largo problom of finding the physical facilities to add an extra grade to the existing schools in tho faceapid Increase in the number of children eligible for these schools. The populationhroughurrently le increasing by about two million annually, after declining during most ofecause of the low birth rates of World War II. (See Table page- 4)
Labor-Polytechnical Highconversion of the general blgh schoolsnto labbr-polytechnical high schoolsas scheduled to begin inchool year and toears. At the beginning of the current school0 highhalf of theproductionfor their students. 7/ High school (day) enrollment has continued to decline rapidly, however, and now constitutes only ono-fourth of the populationhroughompared to one-third8 and almost one-half The conversion process thus has been easedby the relatively small student body currently attending the high schools. Soviet plans calleversal of the current downward trend in the proportion of high-school age youth enrolled In full-time high schools.
Work-Study Prograim In High Schools, Tekhnikums, andplanned, enrollment in evening schools and correspondence courses at high schools, tekhnikums, and VUZes has Incroasedillion8illion Most of this increase has occurred in the high schools. The USSR plans to Increase enrollment in evening and correspondence courses toillion
School-Age Population and Population Reaching
n the USSR"'
1. Tsontralnoye statisticheskoye upravleniye prl sovete
ministrov SSSR. Narodnoye khozyayntvo9 godu (USSR National Economy.. U. Pravda,.
""r'BIS, Daily Report (USSR and. CM.
I. "The Law on Compulsory Universal Education
.Must ho Enforcedo..
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