President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Colleagues!
I would like to briefly sum up because our work on this issue certainly does not end here. The Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport will meet regularly and of course we can return to this issue and will indeed return to it as we prepare for the World Student Games and the Olympics.
Nevertheless following today's work I will give instructions to the government cabinet – and this is perhaps the most important thing – to approve the strategy for the development of physical culture and sport through to 2020 – essentially, what we are working on now. The instructions that will be given include developing standards for material and technical equipment for physical education classes in educational institutions and taking account of these standards when preparing licensing and accreditation requirements. I would especially like to draw the attention of the Ministry of Education to this point, because we do not need to give licenses and accreditation to educational institutions that only have chairs and tables. This is wasteful, especially in view of the fact that health problems occur there for students, for children. And you need to look at everything that is being done in other institutions of higher education. I would even perhaps say the following: if a university is unable to resolve issues surrounding physical culture and sports, this may well be a sufficient reason to deny it a license, even if the given university fulfills other requirements.
We need to improve the system of national competitions among school teams in various sports in order to attract more children to these competitions — this is also an important task. Irina Konstantinovna [Rodnina, member of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport, three-time Olympic champion] just spoke about this.
It is time to draw the line on a new system for paying coaches, trainers, physical education teachers and health workers who work in the field of physical education and sport, a system that must take into account the concrete impact of their activities. We have already given instructions on this issue more than once. I think the government cabinet should take a few months to finally formulate its position on this issue. Right now we are talking a lot about it but no decisions are being taken. I remember that this issue was raised in February, a month in which I think we were at one of the sessions of the Council and the Presidium – in Kazan I think – and we talked about it then with our colleague Mintimer Sharipovich [Shaimiev, President of the Republic of Tatarstan]. There are still no decisions that have been made. We have to close this issue within three months.
I think it is a good idea to hold an annual Russia-wide contest for the best physical education teacher, coach and sports doctor. The more such contests the better. Naturally, we should start at the national level but then move towards the regional level.
And I fully support the last idea we heard today, about an information data base and a roster of sports facilities. We should know what we have, what remains, what is new: this is our wealth. And certainly the roster should involve many different facilities: it should include public sports facilities and private ones. We need to fulfill this task in all the regions of the Russian Federation. So I support this very much.
We heard a number of concrete proposals today. I think we really need to decide about financing of a number of sports facilities and perhaps think about future changes to legislation. Valery Pavlinovich [Shantsev, Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region] mentioned this in his report. I would like us to look at this issue from all different angles, not just in terms of ensuring certain interests and the equilibrium of budgetary legislation. This is, of course, very important but it is not all.
Other useful things were said here: we had a brief exchange with Svetlana Sergeevna Zhurova [Deputy Chairperson of State Duma] about the personnel who operate sports facilities. I think that this too is a fairly important topic that can be reviewed at the level of the Ministry of Education and, accordingly, the Ministry of Sports with a view to finding out who is working on this because only the devil knows who is involved in what, and it really is a serious issue, not to mention the various unfortunate incidents that occur in sports facilities. We must know who is involved, responsible for this, who prepares the personnel and perhaps identify a range of universities that are authorised in this respect.
And the last thing I would like to say today. We all understand that the current situation in international financial markets is not very propitious to long-term investment. We are thinking about what will happen tomorrow. But when it comes to priorities — and each state should draw up their priorities in this area — I think that such difficulties should not affect or should not have too much of an effect on a number of basic sectors. This certainly includes the social sphere and the need to maintain appropriate standards of living. We are obliged to ensure these standards both at the federal and regional levels. The same applies to the funding of physical education and sport, because ultimately this affects the quality and length of life of our citizens.
I would like to see all the heads of regions who are present here be guided by this idea when determining their development priorities in the very near future.
Thank you for your work.