A new military doctrine, compulsory military education at schools and compulsory periodic training of persons subject to the draft to come into effect
The RF State Duma approved the first reading of a bill on compulsory military training at schools and professional colleges, providing that students must also have compulsory periodical training. On Friday October 10, Russian deputies adopted amendments to the law "On military service and military duty" and the law "On education" which in their turn remove any contradictions that had existed between both documents.
In particularly, the law "On education" stipulates that military education at schools is possible only if approved by students themselves and their parents. At the same time, the law "On military service and military duty" stipulates for obligatory teaching of elementary knowledge about defense and for teaching the fundamentals of military service at schools and professional colleges. The law states that only additional educational programs on military training are voluntary. The amendment to the law adopted by Duma deputies makes clear that the clause concerning the law "On education" must be abolished and a new one referring to the law on military service must be introduced.
What is more, in the first reading the deputies adopted an amendment on periodical training in the framework of military education of students. It is expected that periodic military training will be conducted not for those who are leaving school, but for students in their penultimate year of studies. This will allow school leavers to devote more time to their finals.
Thus, Russian education is to be once again militarized as was during the Soviet era. In response to the harsh criticism of the project by several of the Duma factions, RF presidential spokesperson Alexander Kotenkov said that schools needed the compulsory military education. He added that the law might be adopted on condition that before the second reading in the Duma the clause on compulsory periodical military training must be removed from the law.
338 deputies voted for adoption of the law, 42 against it, with nobody abstaining. Now it is the turn of the Federation Council and the RF president to consider the document.
Chairman of the Duma Science and Education Committee, Yabloko deputy Alexander Shishlov says that with the approval the law of compulsory military education at schools, the Duma majority is pushing the society toward militarization.
Alexander Shishlov strongly objects to the law developed by the military. The deputy asks: "What do we want to have: militarization or high-tech society based on educational economics?" The Yabloko deputy insists that students and their parents must still have an alternative. "What the law "On education" says in this respect absolutely agrees with the RF Constitution, the legislation and common sense. There is no need to change the wording."
Alexander Shishlov suggests that if the RF Defense Ministry has spare money it would be wiser to spend it on realization of the military reform and on transition to a contract-based army. If the ministry does not need the money it should send it to schools for educational spending.