Mr Putin visited Novocherkassk, where he held a meeting of the Council for Developing Local Self-Government. The meeting examined the outlook for education sector development, in particular ways to improve the quality of pre-school, school, and general extra-curricular education. President drew attention to a number of unresolved problems in the work of schools providing general education and pre-school establishments in Russia. Mr Putin called for decent wages for teachers and pre-school workers, a more rational organisation of the network of school and pre-school establishments, better quality of services provided and a more modern curriculum that satisfies the public’s interests and meets the future needs of the labour market and the state.
Russia currently has more than 57,000 general education schools with around 1.5 million teachers and more than 14 million pupils. There are more than 48,000 pre-school establishments employing a growing number of teachers – now more than 5 million. Almost 11 million children are enrolled in extra-curricular activities that cover the arts, science and technology, sports and other activities encouraging creativity and development.
Before the meeting began, Mr Putin and First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who accompanied the President on the visit, saw an exhibition on the history of local self-government and the education projects carried out in Rostov Region.
Earlier in the day, Mr Putin and Mr Medvedev visited the Cossack Cadets Corps, where they spoke with the cadets and looked at their schooling and accommodation situation, visiting in particular the classrooms, computer room, the gym, canteen, and the bedrooms.
Mr Putin and Mr Medvedev then laid flowers at the monument to Ataman Platov and the memorial to the victims of the 1962 Novocherkassk tragedy. The memorial commemorates the tragic events of June 2, 1962, when workers at a Novocherkassk factory, dissatisfied with rising food prices and a reduction in prices for the goods the plant produced, went on strike and organised a demonstration. The demonstrators were met with gunfire, which killed more than 20 demonstrators and wounded around 80.
Mr Putin also visited the Military Troops’ Voznesensky Cathedral in Novocherkassk. The cathedral’s senior priest told the President about the cathedral’s history starting from its construction in 1805, noting that it is the third-biggest in Russia after the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow and St Isaac’s Cathedral in St Petersburg. Mr Putin looked at the cathedral’s interior decoration and lit a candle before the icon of the Mother of God of the Don. The senior priest presented Mr Putin with a small icon and an album about the cathedral.
During his visit, Mr Putin had a working meeting with Governor of Rostov Region Vladimir Chub. Mr Chub informed the President about Rostov Region’s social and economic development results in 2007.