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 Statement of Parents and Pupils of School № 28 in Abakan

LIENIP NewsIn connection with close of school № 28 in Abakan, the Khakass public, parent-teacher association, parents, and pupils of the school made a Statement to Zimin V.M., State Duma deputy; Shtygashev V.N., chairman of Supreme Soviet of Khakass Republic; Lebed A.I., Governor of Khakass Republic; Khakass regional branch of Communist Party of Russian Federation (Kerzhentsev V.N.); Khakass regional branch of All-Russian Party "United Russia" (Zimin V.M.); Legislation and Law Order Committee (Karpova L.B.); Salate G.A., Secretary of Education of Khakass Republic; Burlakin N.G., Abakan mayor to the following effect:
"Town school № 28 is being closed in Abakan, capital of Khakass Republic. This school is not Khakass officially, but in fact the majority of pupils are Khakass, Khakas language is taught in all classes, the school focuses on complex study of historical and cultural heritage of Khakass people – history, culture, religion, etc. That is why the school № 28 is unique.
The close of the school infringes constitutional rights of Khakass people as well as other residents of Abakan regardless of nationality, as some of them may probably wish to send his child to such a school to study the second official language of Khakass Republic, history and cultural traditions of native soil.

The reasons for the close of the school:
1. Federal reform in educational system enacted per capita financing from 1 January 2009. Schools are to have no les than 25 pupils in a class to get financed. The peculiarity of our republic is that titular ethnic group composes 12 percent of the population. In this connection there are 16 – 17 pupils in a class on average in school № 28. But federal laws on education provide federal subjects for the right to conduct education policy in the region considering its special characteristics. The law says that development and implementation of republican and regional education development programmes that consider national and regional socio-economic, ecological, cultural, demographic and other peculiarities are under the jurisdiction of federal subjects. The law also enables federal subjects to define norms of financing not only on basis of number of pupils but on other bases too. And there are many other federal laws that provide Russian persons with rights to education on their own tongue, to national cultures, regional cultural traditions and peculiarities in multiethnic state being protected and promoted by educational system.
The problem is that local republican authorities – the Supreme Soviet and other legal structures – failed to take into account in republican education act above mentioned regional peculiarities that is number ob indigenous peoples. That is why this act does not proved constitutional rights of Khakass people. Therefore school № 28 turned out to be under the threat of close as well as small rural schools.
2. School № 28 was opened in 1997 and accommodated in the building of former kindergarten "Torgayah" unadapted for use as a school. And today according to town authorities requirements to standards of educational institutions have tightened and the school can no longer exist in this building and obtain a license. Kindergartens used to stand empty during the '90s and now the town is sorely in need of them. We absolutely agree with the fact, but it gives no reason to close the school – on the contrary, it is necessary to reorganize the school into secondary one and provide with a standard building.
G.A. Alekseyenko, head of municipal public education authority offers pupils of school № 28 to continue in town comprehensive school № 22. Khakass classes in this school were opened 15 years ago and they lack for pupils. G.A. Alekseyenko suggests filling them with pupils of school № 28, otherwise they will be closed. He even promises to reorganize school № 22 into a Khakass one later on. However this project is utopian, as this school building capacity is 1400 – 1500 pupils and there is no chance to get so many Khakass children. Even if they manage to find 50 percent of this number of Khakass pupils they will not be able to realize the project because we cannot impose study of Khakass language and cultural traditions on the rest of the pupils as this will deprive them of their rights. And, on the other hand, when only a part of pupils study Khakass language there is no language environment and Khakass school in fact. It will be Khakass classes in a town comprehensive school as before.
The town is in extreme need of Khakass school, as 13 percent of Abakan's residents are Khakass. To solve a given problem they should reorganize school № 28 into a secondary comprehensive school and give it a building for 600 – 700 pupils in the center of the town. There are a number of such small schools (№№ 3, 19, 10, 30) in the center of Abakan. They are short of pupils at the moment. One way to solve the problem may be to translate pupils of school № 28 to school № 19 and reorganize it into Khakass school – the project is analogous to that of G.A. Alekseyenko but is based on school № 19.
In this situation we consider Supreme Soviet of Khakass Republic should amend Education Act of Khakass Republic and make it support financing standards independent of number of pupils and provide other constitutional rights of the titular ethnic group on vernacular education and development of their national culture.
We pray in your aid to save the unique school and small rural schools that enable Khakass people exercise their constitutional rights and teach their children their own tongue and accustom them to spiritual values of their people."
The Statement is signed by pupils of school № 28, their parents, and public representatives.

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