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Entries / Public Education (entry)

Public Education (entry)

Categories / Science. Education/Educational Institutions

PUBLIC EDUCATION. It was Peter the Great who laid the basis for public education in St. Petersburg placing the greatest emphasis on military and professional education with the Naval Academy founded in approximately 1715, the Engineering School in 1719, and the Art School in 1721. Schools attached to the Main Admiralty and Kronstadt's schools provided training for entering the Naval Academy. There were also three schools for children of soldiers performing service in the artillery, labour teams, and the St. Petersburg Garrison. The Petersburg Academy of Sciences was founded in 1725 to become an educational centre with a gymnasium and university attached. Catherine II laid the foundation for women's education in Russia by establishing the Smolny Institute for Young Noble Ladies. The nobility started sending their children to study abroad in the mid-18th century, while more and more private boarding schools opened in the capital at the same time. The first seven public schools were founded in St. Petersburg in 1781 with 486 pupils and 27 teachers. In 1782, a special Committee for the Establishment of Public Schools was founded. There were 14 two-class minor public schools and two four-class principal public schools, Russian and German, operating in St. Petersburg in 1803, the number of pupils totalling 3,485 people. The Ministry of Public Education was founded in 1802 and St. Petersburg education district was formed soon afterwards. The charter of 1804 provided for three stages of public education: parish school, uyezd (district) school, and gymnasium. In 1805-06, three minor schools - Andreevskoye, Vvedenskoye, and Vladimirskoye - were reorganised into district schools, the others were transformed into parish schools and a regional gymnasium opened on the basis of a principal public school. Schools were established on the principle that all social classes possessed the right to enter and receive an education. The nobility, however, strove to separate their children from other social classes, which was encouraged by opening a Noble Boarding School as a part of the university and a boarding school as a part of the regional gymnasium. The new Charter of 1828 abolished the succession and egalitarian principle attaching each stage to a certain class. Apart from boarding schools, women's education developed mainly in the Department of Empress Maria's Establishments, which was also a centre for professional education. Class limitations were officially abolished by the Gymnasium Charter of 1864, approved during the Great Reforms of the 1860s. District schools were reorganised into progymnasiums. From the 1860s, private schools started to be opened, attached to the supervisory body of an education district. These were divided into three categories, providing for a minimum six years of study, three years of study, and one year of study. In 1877, St. Petersburg's elementary schools passed from the control of the Ministry of Public Education to the control of the City Duma, which improved their condition significantly. There were 17 schools with 724 pupils in 1877, and 335 with 17,967 pupils in 1897, the number of pupils reaching 62,418 people in 1916. In 1913, 283 out of the 700 elementary schools existing in St. Petersburg were financed by the city. The number of private secondary schools grew rapidly after the Revolution of 1905-07 totalling over 80% of all the secondary education institutions of the Ministry of Public Education in St. Petersburg in 1914. Vocational schools were placed under the control of the Ministry of Public Education in 1881. A law passed in 1895 determined the lowest type of vocational school with a four-year course of studies. The Russian Technical Society played a leading role in managing vocational education. Together with the City Duma, it opened a chain of Sunday schools in working class districts of St. Petersburg. Three-year classes were established for workers at a number of factories. There were over 200 diverse vocational education institutions in St. Petersburg by 1914. After the October Revolution of 1917, however, the public education was completely restructured with all education institutions, both state and public, reorganised into united labour schools as a result of the school reform of 1918. They provided a nine-year course of studies, five years at the first stage and four years at the second stage. Labour training was urgently needed; first-stage studies were reduced to four years in 1923, while the second stage increased to five years instead. A course of vocational training was introduced for the two senior classes of the second stage. Based on the first stage and three junior classes of the second stage, seven-year studies were established at industrial enterprises in 1926, which provided a general education basis for the industrial apprenticeship system. Old schooling systems and methods were partly re-established from 1931 resulting in ten-year schooling. There were 373 schools with 169,100 pupils in Leningrad in the academic year of 1927/28, 612 schools with 467,000 pupils in 1937/38, 471 schools with 375,300 pupils in 1955/56, and 586 schools with 500,400 pupils in 1985/86. The first technical schools sprang up in 1920s with a two-year course of studies based on the secondary school. Among primary vocational schools, the school of the industrial apprenticeship system was the most popular type in 1920-30s. Due to labour shortage, a chain of trade schools was built in the 1940s. The technical vocational school was established in the late 1950s to unite all kinds of secondary vocational schools. Public education saw new trends in the early 1990s due to the changing social and economic conditions. Some technical schools, technical vocational schools, and secondary schools were renamed as colleges, lyceums, and gymnasiums. Private and religious schools were also opened. There were 735 state general education schools including 42 lyceums with 458,600 pupils in St. Petersburg as of 1 January 2003. As regards to non-school education institutions, there were 20 of them in the academic year of 1993/94 and 70 with 6,573 pupils in 2002/03 including 61 secondary institutions with five lyceums and five religious schools among them.

Catherine II, Empress
Peter I, Emperor

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The subject Index
Admiral Makarov Sea Academy
Ministry of Public Education
Smolny Institute
Empress Maria's Department of Institutions
City Duma
Russian Technical Society