Migrant children to receive ‘Russian worldview’ school education

13:52, 23 may 2016

Russia plans to create a system of education for migrant children that will foster the creation of a “Russian worldview,” according to the newspaper Kommersant.

The first proposal for this comprehensive system of education was drafted by the Moscow-based People’s Friendship University of Russia at the request of the government.

The document mentions the production of textbooks with “meticulously-selected cultural materials” that would develop a “Russian worldview” in the children.

In addition to schoolbooks, the document proposes compulsory “non-core curriculum” courses on tolerance, which would communicate the message that “immigrants are carriers of unique cultures, the knowledge of which enriched Russian thought in the past and will be extremely useful to this thought in the future.”

Regarding infrastructure, the document mentions the creation of a Russian Language and Culture Center for Migrant Children—a research laboratory of sorts for the development of pedagogical strategies to be applied both in the center’s regional branches and in its offices across migrant countries.

The PFUR document, the Ministry of Education has said, is a working paper that will be discussed and refined over the course of various sessions.

“The differences between [the proposed system] and the traditional system of ‘education’ is that the former is elective, while the latter would be obligatory,” said the report. “This is in the interest of the host society, [as it would] prevent the formation of closed ethnic enclaves within the Russian Federation,” and in the interest of migrant families, “whose children could experience social mobility from exposure to this Russian education.”

From January 1, 2015, knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history, and Russian law have been prerequisite conditions for foreign citizens to receive patent registration rights, work permits, temporary residency, or permanent residency within the Russian federation. Applicants for work permits must pay an examination fee of 4,900 rubles (about $75) and applicants for temporary/permanent residency must pay an examination free of 5,300 rubles (about $80). Foreigners belonging to the category of “highly qualified professionals” are exempt from the examination requirements.