On pre-higher military education

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The Defense Ministry continues improvement of the pre-higher military education of the youth. This is manifested by information published by mass media that says that the Defense Ministry is considering plans to increase the quantity of Suvorov military schools and cadet schools for training of elite officers for the Russian Armed Forces. The ministry is reportedly considering an increase of the overall quantity of these military educational institutions from 17 to 20. A source in the Defense Ministry adds, “It is also planned to organize one cadet school where orphan girls being children of servicemen who have died will study.”

Post-Soviet Russia pays too little attention to the bringing up of patriotic traditions among children and youths. According to official data, more than 8,000 people study in Suvorov military schools and cadet schools. If the quantity of these institutions is increased to 20, the aggregate quantity of potential candidates for the role of officers will grow to 10,000. More than 2,500 students will graduate from Suvorov military schools and cadet schools annually. According to official data of the Defense Ministry, 80% of them become officers.

To improve the training of students in Suvorov military schools and cadet schools, the Defense Ministry is considering not only increase of quantity of these educational institutions but also two options for reforming of Suvorov (Nakhimov) military schools and cadet schools.

According to mass media, one of the options makes provisions for the increase of the education term of the students from current three years to six or seven years. An experiment will begin in the Ussuriysk Suvorov military school for this purpose in 2009.

The second option of reforming is connected with reduction of the training term for the students from three years to two.

Representatives of the Defense Ministry explain, “Advocates of this option believe that to Suvorov schools, it is necessary to admit the boys who have already finished nine grades of a secondary school and have sufficient notions about the future military profession.”

Representatives of the Defense Ministry say that only in several Suvorov military schools and cadet schools will the education term be increased and in all other institutions the study term will be reduced to two years. It is reported that the Defense Ministry together with the Ministry of Education and Science is already working out unified norms for financing and nutrition, unified uniforms and determine the unified standards for acceptance and education and other standards for students of the schools of the Suvorov and Nakhimov military schools and cadet schools. This is evidently done correctly because other security agencies like the Interior Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry and Federal Security Service have their own Suvorov military schools and cadet schools too.

The first Suvorov military schools were established in the USSR in 1943. Since December 1 of 1943, 4,500 boys started studying in nine Suvorov military schools (500 boys in each). These were mostly children of servicemen, guerillas, Soviet and communist party officials killed in action. Students of the Suvorov military schools studied for seven years and were in conditions of a closed boarding house. In 1995, the President of Russia signed resolution No. 155 on increasing the quantity of these military educational institutions. At present, the educational system of the Defense Ministry includes 17 military educational institutions including eight Suvorov military schools, one Nakhimov naval school, one Moscow military musical school and seven cadet schools. The system of the Defense Ministry also includes about 80 cadet schools (boarding schools), their main gals being patriotic upbringing of the youth. Military units of the Defense Ministry are permitted to maintain orphans from 12 to 18 years old. According to the Defense Ministry, there are 242 children of this age in the Armed Forces now.

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