Russia’s Education Ministry has released methodological guidelines for schoolteachers to use on November 10, the 100th anniversary of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s birth. The guidelines call for a nationwide lesson on the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, arguing that such a class will foster patriotism, help schoolchildren form a Russian identity, allow them to understand the value of defending their fatherland, and facilitate interest in military service down the line.
The Ministry’s guidelines included several potential formats for the recommended anniversary lessons. They ranged from simply reading Kalashnikov’s writings and interviews in humanities classes to comparing his rifles with American M-16s to assembling and disassembling AK-47s and AK-74s should those weapons be available. The lesson guidelines for high schoolers in their final two years also call for a discussion of Kalashnikov’s 2012 letter to Patriarch Kirill, in which the engineer expressed regret for the deaths his inventions had caused.