- Project Runeberg -  Russia & Peace /
137

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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EDUCATION 137
languages and literature and philosophy was
reduced as much as possible in favour of the
applied sciences, and still more the political and
social faculty, where, as we know, Marxism was
the official teaching.
On the other hand, in order to render it im
mediately possible for the workers to obtain
higher education, a v workers’ faculty " (Rabfak)
was created at each university, where young people
between eighteen and thirty years of age might
study. They were selected from the factories and
workshops on account of their ability, and were
provided for by the State. 25 per cent. of them
were to be chosen by the Communist Party, while
75 per cent. were to be elected, so the rule ran,
by various Government bodies without political
prejudice.
,This gigantic programme was, of course, doomed
to failure. Many elementary schools were opened,
but for lack of means the majority of them1 were
incapable of doing useful work. The teachers
were very irregularly paid, and with long delays
which inflicted upon them considerable losses due
to the rapid fall of the rouble exchange. Thus
they were reduced to poverty. And when, in
addition, they did not receive the public ration
(pajok), they often starved, Moreover, there was
a great scarcity of educational material. What
can the most self-sacrificing teacher do when his
pupils have neither got pencils, copy-books, or
slates and slate-pencils, and books are few and
far between? Moreover, the war, civil strife, and

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