Russia to introduce cultural program for school kids

Pavel Smertin/TASS

How much art, theater, and sightseeing should be injected into kids’ education? Russia’s Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Education are mulling over the question and have joined forces to determine how many cultural excursions children will go on during their studies.

Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky says every child will visit a certain number of plays, museums, art exhibitions, classical music concerts, and architectural monuments, all the while writing about their experience in a special print and online diary for their friends, parents, and teachers to read.

“We have such a program in sports – GTO – which everyone is accustomed to. For many decades it worked well and is now being revived in Russian schools. And I know from my own children who are currently at school that they aspire to meet this standard because it’s useful, important, and helpful for entering higher education institutions,” he explained.

The program will help children develop a sense of esthetics and love for their homeland through the knowledge of its culture, the culture of its peoples, and regions, explained Minister of Education Olga Vasilieva. “During the last few years we have failed to give enough attention to proper cultural education for our kids. This happened for a number of reasons, everyone will agree that there hasn’t been enough time dedicated to the assessment of contemporary culture in school programs, subjects, and the history of culture,” she said.

Smaller cultural initiatives already exist in some schools, like in the Penza Region, where kids have a cultural diary (both print and online) and visit museums and theaters every Saturday as part of school classes. The government initiative will make this practice a nationwide norm, Medinsky explained.

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