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Acting President and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took part in a national conference on education

January 14, 2000, Moscow

Addressing an audience of 5,000 delegates from all over Russia in the State Kremlin Palace, Vladimir Putin said that the revival of Russia was impossible without a new vision of a teacher. This means that it is essential to look for new ways to tackle the challenges facing education.

The acting president emphasized the need to fight such social evils as drug addiction, juvenile crime and homelessness. Mr Putin pointed out that 80% of drug addicts today are young people under the age of 30.

Vladimir Putin said that it was vital not to confine the solution of such a broad range of social problems to separate state agencies. Instead, a concerted effort was necessary to develop a new National Education Concept, he said.

The acting president said this concept needed to be perfected, but without repeating past mistakes. In particular, it is important to find a balance between free and paid education. Vladimir Putin said that there were different approaches to introducing 12-year secondary schools and to the control of the quality of education. He added that it was important to set up national education standards, as well as regional standards complying with local requirements.

The acting president said the issue of equal access to education and scholarships had to be closely examined.

Speaking about social support for teachers, Vladimir Putin announced the government’s plan to increase salaries in the budget sphere by 1.2 times from April 1, 2000.

Vladimir Putin promised to restore the title of the People’s Teacher of Russia in the near future.

The acting president appealed to the delegates to become involved in the debate on the problems of national education and put forward their proposals to the Cabinet.

Later that day Vladimir Putin and the participants of the conference watched the “Romeo and Juliet” ballet in the State Kremlin Palace.

January 14, 2000, Moscow